Grand Seiko Price Increase Official for January 1st 2013

As it says in the title, our beloved Grand Seiko timepieces will be undergoing a 7-9% price increase (depending on the model) as of January 1st 2013.  This is the 1st price increase Seiko has put on GS since it’s arrival to the US about 3 years ago.  This is certainly a much longer time without increased prices as compared to brands that go up once or twice a year.  While Grand Seiko is a high-end luxury brand, they still remain one of the best values on the market for a high quality timepiece.  One thing is certain, even at the higher prices, they are still worth every penny.

To give an idea of the new prices, I have listed some of our most popular models at their current retail price and what they will be going up to…

SBGA001 – currently $5,700 – after increase $6,200

SBGA011 – currently $7,000 – after increase $7,600

SBGA029 – currently $7,500 – after increase $8,100

SBGA031 – currently $8,900 – after increase $9,600

SBGE001 – currently $7,200 – after increase $7,800

SBGC001 – currently $9,700 – after increase $10,500

SBGC005 – currently $12,000 – after increase $13,000

SBGH001 or 005 – currently $7,200 – after increase $7,800

SBGR051 or 053 – currently $4,400 – after increase $4,800

SBGX059, 061, or 063 – currently $2,600 – after increase $2,800

We have a great inventory of pieces at the old prices and will hold to them as long as stock lasts.  With any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-486-3996.

Highlights from the Grand Seiko Roadshow 2012

GSRS2012-37

I have to say, there is nothing like seeing one of the finest Grand Seiko watchmakers put together a 9S85 Hi-Beat movement right in front of you.  The focus and attention it requires is much more than one can expect.  Especially, when there are crowds of people around you taking pictures and talking to you.  Even in these conditions, Mr. Ito from Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio, kept a calm and steady hand when assembling this spectacular movement and even managed to crack jokes and explain the steps of what he was doing.  If you have never attended one of the Grand Seiko Roadshows, start planning your trips to AZ Fine Time for next year!

GSRS2012-8

The start of the day here was hectic.  Cleaning and organizing for this event can be a bear, but was well worth it.  The staff from Seiko USA and Seiko Japan came early to start setting up.  We met with our friends from Seiko USA and were introduced to Mr. Tsutomu Ito from Shizuku-Ishi and to Mrs. Mari Oshikiri, the sales and marketing manager for the Seiko Watch Corporation in Tokyo.  Both were very nice, humble and also seemed very happy to be in the beautiful AZ weather.  Mari was fluent in English and translated for Mr. Ito during the event.

GSRS2012-2

GSRS2012-7

GSRS2012-6

GSRS2012-54

Once all the displays were set up and everyone was comfortable, people were floating around the store checking out all the exhibits showing off all of the incredible technology that Seiko utilizes to manufacture all the parts and alloys that come together to build a Grand Seiko mechanical.  From the Spron alloys to the MEMS manufactured parts, Seiko not only proves they are one of the only true vertical manufactures in the watch industry, but also create some of the finest parts a mechanical movement can have.

GSRS2012-21

GSRS2012-27

Once Mr. Ito started building the movement, the jaws started dropping.  I think everyone was impressed not only with how steady his hand was, but how quickly he was able to assemble it.  The highlight to everyone in attendance was when the Spron 610 hairspring was dropped into place and Mr. Ito yelled, “It’s alive!”.  This was a 1st to see at a Grand Seiko Roadshow as every other event, the watchmaker built a Spring Drive, which has a tri-synchro regulator as opposed to a traditional escapement.

GSRS2012-31

GSRS2012-35

One of my favorite parts of the event was when Mr. Ito demonstrated the resilience of the Spron 610 hairspring used in the escapement of Grand Seiko.   In the pictures and video below, you can see how the Spron 610, retains its original shape after being stretched out, while the common hairspring becomes distorted after the stretch.  Just another proving factor that GS has some of the finest quality hairspring on the market.

GSRS2012-42

GSRS2012-43

Check out the video below…

One of the other cool highlights of the evening was the accuracy testing machine.  We put a bunch of different watches on the machine, to see how accurate, or in-accurate, other watches were.  Needless to say, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat was the most accurate of the bunch, testing between 0 and 3 seconds a day in different positions.   Most others were in the range of 10+ sec a day.

GSRS2012-22

GSRS2012-19

GSRS2012-17

We would like to thank everyone who attended in store, participated online with the live feed, and our great customers who purchased for the event.  A big thanks to our friends at Seiko USA for coming out to visit and contributing to another success, and a very special thank you to Mr. Ito and Mrs. Oshikiri,  our guests who traveled all the way from Japan to attend the event.

GSRS2012-20

See all the pictures below…

Grand Seiko Roadshow 2012 at AZ Fine Time

GSRS2012L

The Grand Seiko Roadshow is back at AZ Fine Time!  For the 3rd year in a row, you will be able to see a Grand Seiko Master Watchmaker build an actual Grand Seiko movement here in our store in Scottsdale, AZ on Dec. 7th from 2-8pm.  If you are in the area, it is a very memorable event that you won’t want to miss.

GSwatchmaker

For the 1st time, we will not have a Spring Drive watchmaker on site, but a master Hi-Beat watchmaker who will be building the Grand Seiko 9S85 movement here in our store!  Come down and meet Mr. Tsutomu Ito in person and see him build one of the most difficult calibers in the Grand Seiko line up.  Mr. Ito started with Morioka Seiko Instruments back in 1991, by 2003 was a 1st grade certified skilled worker, and in 2010 was awarded 2nd rank in a national skills competition in watchmaking.  Needless to say, he is more than qualified for the job.  Also, Mr. Ito will be providing autographs during the event for purchases made.  He will either autograph the watch box, or catalog for anyone who purchases a Grand Seiko, Ananta or Astron during the event.  If you cannot attend, please call us to order and have the autograph arranged.

Shiz-1

Seiko also will be demonstrating the significance of their own proprietary and in-house developed Spron alloy.  Spron is utilized in the Grand Seiko series and is used for mainspring and hairspring.  This custom alloy is known for its durability, shock resistance and anti-magnetic properties but has also proven to be one of the leading alloys in the industry.  It is quite impressive how Seiko can manufacture near every aspect of Grand Seiko in house. Not only is Seiko one of the only true vertical manufactures in the industry, but they even manufacture the machines that manufacture watch parts, in house.  Now, Seiko even provides hairspring and other parts to some of the most renowned Swiss companies.

Shizukuishi

Mr. Ito works at Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio in the Iwate Prefecture of Japan.  In previous years, our Spring Drive watchmakers have been from the Takumi workshop, in the Nagano prefecture.  The Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio is a micro-artist studio, that is responsible for the high grade mechanical watches, such as the 9S85 Hi-Beat caliber.  Back in the late 1930’s, Seiko split into 2 separate divisions, Seikosha and Daini Seikosha, which are now today know as SII and Seiko Epson. There has always been somewhat of a competition between the 2 divisions and today, thanks to Mr. Shinji Hattori (President of Seiko Corporation), the 2 factories now work together and produce some of the most incredible products on the market.

GSwatchmaker2

For this incredible event, AZ Fine Time will have complimentary food and drinks, and complimentary cigars provided by the Cigar King portion of our business.  The cigar of the evening will be provided by Ashton cigars, which are  a renowned for their high quality Dominican made cigars.  Ashton has been the manufacture of choice for every Grand Seiko Roadshow we have hosted in the past.  It is only appropriate to have such luxurious cigar, with such a luxurious brand like Grand Seiko.

For those in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area, I have listed the details below.

Grand Seiko Roadshow

Friday, Dec. 7th from 2-8pm (MST)

AZ Fine Time

7830 E Gelding Dr Suite 100

Scottsdale AZ 85260

800-486-3996

If you cannot attend, we will have live feed of the event which you can watch HERE or HERE during the event.  Be prepared for an amazing night and keep an eye out for a follow up with pictures, video, and a full report of how the event went.

Don’t forget, if you want to purchase a Grand Seiko, and want to have an autograph from one of few watchmakers talented enough to build a Hi-Beat movement, now’s the time!

Hope to see you there!