Grand Seiko is honored by the announcement of the brand chapter in the upcoming Phillips The New York Watch Auction: SEVEN on December 10-11, 2022, in New York City. This marks the first occasion that the Japanese luxury watch manufacturer will have a dedicated chapter with the leading auction house.
The Watch Department at Phillips has curated a collection of historical references for this auction, which have been authenticated and serviced internally by the skilled watchmakers at Grand Seiko. A selection of very fine modern timepieces will also be featured, including a one-of-a-kind Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon.
“The Grand Seiko Chapter in the upcoming Phillips auction is an exciting and important moment in the history of the company. We are honored that such a showcase will highlight the legacy of the brand with a curation of historical timepieces, a special selection of modern timepieces, and the pinnacle of watchmaking and innovation, the unique Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon, created exclusively for the event,” said Brice Le Troadec, President of Grand Seiko Corporation of America, and Global Strategy Officer, Grand Seiko of Seiko Watch Corporation. “Having a designated chapter further solidifies Grand Seiko’s position as an international luxury watch manufacturer and demonstrates the brand’s ability to create timepieces that are coveted by collectors from all over the world. We are humbled by this opportunity and the recognition that comes with it.”
Earlier this year, Grand Seiko reached a new milestone in its sixty-two-year history with the introduction of the brand’s first mechanical complication watch, the Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon. At its heart is a uniquely innovative movement that delivers an unprecedented level of stable accuracy by combining a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism as one unit on a single axis for the very first time in horological history. The watch is named Kodo, the Japanese word for heartbeat. With its unique appearance when in motion and its carefully designed sound, this revolutionary watch reveals its vitality both audibly and visually, constructed with an open-work design and the sapphire case back. In 2020, Grand Seiko introduced the “T0 Constant-force Tourbillon” as a concept movement. The Kodo is the first to bring this concept to reality.
Grand Seiko will be donating proceeds from the December auction to charity. The profit from the sale of select modern timepieces will be donated to the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, Florida. Its commitment to the environment perfectly aligns with the brand’s “Nature of Time” philosophy and recognizes the importance of the natural world as a source of inspiration and creativity. For the piece-unique Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon, a portion of the sale will be donated to the Children’s Heart Foundation. The Children’s Heart Foundation is the leading organization dedicated to funding congenital heart defect research.
For the Kodo model unique piece to be sold exclusively by Phillips Auction, SLGT001, the concept was based on musō 無双. Musō roughly translates to “one and only” or “second to none,” a fitting term for the unique piece exclusive to the auction. This unparalleled model is unique in several ways compared to the global model limited to 20 pieces, reference SLGT003.
First, the multi-component case structure is made entirely of Grand Seiko’s proprietary alloy, Brilliant Hard Titanium. This material, which is used on only the outer case and outer construction of the bezel of SLGT003, is used for both the inner and exterior case components to thoroughly reduce weight and achieve a comfortable feel unique to this model. Brilliant Hard Titanium is as light as pure titanium but twice as hard as stainless steel and, therefore, highly resistant to scratches. Its color is brighter than the other forms of titanium used for Grand Seiko, allowing the Zaratsu polished surfaces to stand out more prominently.
The bridges, mainplate, and many of the components of the movement are plated in a silver color to create an entirely new aesthetic for the Kodo. A yellow-gold accent for the power reserve and seconds track of the carriage inherits the aesthetic of the T0 concept movement.
The design of the screws for the Kodo model has the appearance of the six arms of the carriages, a trait that cleverly enhances the design but also is pleasant for assembly. The special screwdriver and screws used have an even application of torque, which the designer of T0 and Kodo, Mr. Takuma Kawauchiya, enjoys greatly. For the unique piece SLGT001, the screws are tempered blue by hand instead of being mirror polished as they are on reference SLGT003.
The carriages for the constant-force tourbillon mechanism are titanium to help reduce weight and improve efficiency. They are blue as well, which is executed through anodic oxidation. Anodic Oxidation is a surface treatment in which the titanium carriages are subjected to electrolysis to generate an oxide film artificially. Titanium oxide film produces color according to the light refraction index, enabling the production of different colors by varying the thickness of the oxide film. This once again emulates the styling of the original concept T0.
The GS letters are specially engraved by hand on the Brilliant Hard Titanium clasp by Grand Seiko’s very best engravers. The watch is offered with a calf strap specially treated in the same traditional way as was used to create the high-durability material once used in the armor of the Samurai. The strap’s surface is painted by hand with Urushi lacquer in a multi-coating process that gives the strap a delicate sheen. It is in a brown color specially for this unique piece.
Accompanying the unique piece Kodo SLGT001, will be an exclusive trip to Japan to meet its creators, the Grand Seiko team, a visit to Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi in the lovely Iwate prefecture.