Principles of Japanese tasteful are rather all around characterized compared to many different societies, frequently laid out by nine unmistakable ideas. Eight of the nine have hundreds of years of history behind the ideas, which were built into Japanese culture during various periods over the previous millennia.
The most up to date tasteful, Kawaii (adorableness), was created during the 1970s and is the lone present day stylish prevalent across the way of life. Kawaii is also the just a single not assembled into what many consider to be the center ideals of the Japanese aesthetic.
The eight main standards are Wabi-sabi (flaw and impermanence), Miyabi (elegance and refinement), Shibui (straightforward, subtle, and unobtrusive), Iki (effortlessness, spontaneity, and originality or personal flair), Jo-ha-kyū (modulation and development), Yūgen (significant, puzzling feeling of beauty in nature and human affliction), Geidō (the appreciation of the practice of an art or creation), and Ensō (edification, minimalism, the void, or the whole of the Japanese aesthetic).
Unlike Western societies, where feel are regularly diminished to philosophical activities for artists, the standards of Japanese style have become so integrated into the way of life that many everyday choices take style into account. Understand that and the importance and relevance of these components can easily be found in objects created in Japan.
The universe of watchmaking is no different.
Many reactions of Japanese watch feel frequently come from the point of view of the extravagant and arguably over-decorated stylish of Swiss watchmaking, where extraordinary skeletonizing, decoration, and completing methods with loads of twists are viewed as the standard – or if nothing else the ideal.
In contrast, the stylish of Japanese watches, even exceptionally decorated ones, follow the aforementioned standards of Japanese feel that would almost certainly be diametrically contradicted to the decorative exuberance of a lot of Western watchmaking.
For this reason, Japanese watches have a subtle, understated tasteful that centers around minimalism and a feeling of the craft at the center. It’s nothing unexpected that when Swiss watchmakers partner with Japanese artists to create staggering bits of craftsmanship, they are clear departures from the typical Western fare (the Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe is a great example).
Taste is subjective, and some may lean toward the appearance of traditional Swiss or German watchmaking. But for those searching out artistic restraint integrally attached to culture, Japanese watch feel are the place where it’s at.
A ideal example of this is Grand Seiko, a brand celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2020, which has had decades of plans encapsulating the pride of rule that is Japanese plan aesthetic.
As a way to mark that anniversary and demonstrate those standards in practice, Grand Seiko released a pair of restricted version watches in the Elegance line featuring the style of Miyabi, Shibui, Geidō, and Yūgen to name a couple. The SBGW263 in platinum and the SBGW264 in pink gold are altogether different from each other, yet at the center they are intimately related.
Grand Seiko SBGW263 and SBGW264
The Elegance assortment, Grand Seiko’s dress watch line, is the place where we find many historically propelled pieces, so it is nothing unexpected that these two 60th Anniversary pieces are also here. The cases are straightforward 39 mm plans with classic carries and a restrained mid-case with delicate bends, dissimilar to the beveled and more mathematical cases found in the Heritage collection.
While the two of them share the same fundamental case plan, simply in two unique metals, the dials and hands are the clear differentiators for this pair of watches. The SBGW264 in pink gold features a delicate timberland green dial that has been machine engraved with a circularly radiating checkerboard-like plan; not guilloche but rather still an incredibly attractive pattern.
The dial also features applied gold hour markers giving incredible contrast against the darker background of the dial. Small white pad-printed minute hash marks are found along the external edge, integrating with the printed words “Grand Seiko” below the applied gold GS logo.
It’s a period just watch featuring hours, minutes, and seconds showing the time with matching gold hands that have been expertly shaped. The green engraved dial is the feature of this piece and contrasts dramatically from the SBGW263, which goes a totally extraordinary route.
Instead of applied markers and an exact machine-engraved dial, the platinum model boasts a three-part white gold dial, each segment hand engraved with an unmistakable pattern, which I’ll detail in below.
There is practically no tone to this watch aside from the stark blue second hand. In any case any contrast or differentiation comes down to complete decisions and the sharp cuts of the engravings. It is a strong embodiment of the puzzling Yūgen stylish without a doubt, so how about we dive into that a bit more.
Japanese Yūgen stylish guideline and more
The platinum SBGW263 is enlivened by the location of Grand Seiko’s Shizukuishi manufacture. The name of the town, Shizukuishi, comes from a legend about a profound cave that resonated with the sound of dribbling water on the rocks.
That legend is artistically portrayed via the engravings on the dial and hands. The hour and moment hands portray the water drops, and the engraved hour markers are the splashing drops hitting the stones. The splash proceeds on the external chapter ring where the fives are portrayed as splashes as well. Aside from the individual moment marks in between, all of the engravings are straightforwardly enlivened by the dribbling of water onto cave rocks.
The Yūgen tasteful is all about the puzzling beauty of nature, the covered up and obscure, which is what the legend of Shizukuishi is about: an elderly person searching for the wellspring of a sound just to find the apparently bottomless cave and sound of dribbling water.
The implementation of that stylish also falls under the standards of Miyabi, Shibui, and Geidō because of its elegant effortlessness, which features the artistic craft of hand engraving. It’s obvious once you know to search for these standards; the details almost call out to you.
The trickling water could also allude to Jo-ha-kyū (development) and Wabi-sabi (impermanence): it’s all there. What’s more, the standard of Geidō is exceptionally apparent from crafted by master engraver Kiyoshi Terui and his team, who hand engraved all the dial components, including the extremely detailed GS Grande Seiko logo.
With all the dial components being somewhat bended, it really features the perseverance and spotlight on craft necessary to create engravings that look great and reliable, probably perhaps the hardest thing to achieve with hand engraving.
But the platinum adaptation of this watch isn’t the just one demonstrating these standards. The SBGW264 in pink gold hits hard with the standards of Miyabi, Shibui, and Jo-ha-kyū. The dial engraving creates a ton of visual development, and the clean details of the markers and hands pull the basic, refined elegance together for a too clean and captivating design.
Moreover, the dial details are straightforwardly propelled by the local birch timberland encompassing Shizukuishi.
The dark green offers way to features of almost white when seen at various angles on the light. This addresses the way the light gleams on the birch leaves but lets a portion of the stark white of the birch bark look through as the leaves vacillate in the breeze. That brings the watch round trip back to the Yūgen tasteful: the strange beauty of nature sitting just outside, moving the originators all through their day.
Same center, distinctive approach
Flipping each of these models over, we find that the two of them go a special course more in accordance with the stylish standards carried over from the front.
The platinum model has a strong case back with a hand-engraved gold medallion embedded into the middle, a high-help Grand Seiko lion in yellow gold. This attention on the craftsmanship stylish makes wonderful sense based on the hand-engraved details of the front. It also shrouds Caliber 9S64, an unmistakably current development in appearance that contrasts with the subdued handcrafted tasteful dial side.
The pink gold model proceeds with the refined elegance angle and instead has a sapphire crystal case back to feature all around completed Caliber 9S64 inside. The completing of the caliber also falls in accordance with the Miyabi and Shibui style, and much more so Ensō, the minimalist Japanese aesthetic.
It doesn’t look to be the most elaborately decorated development with a heaping of beveling, engraving, and various completes frequently found on Swiss developments. Instead, it feels straightforward and legitimate, yet still exact and perfected.
To me this is a great display of how one can start with the same development and case, go in such unique visual ways, and yet still tie the two items so intimately together based on the managing tasteful principles.
The stylish standard of Ensō appears to be the most applicable to the whole practice of creating these two watches – and most pieces by Grand Seiko.
The brand regularly references the “Grande Seiko stylish,” which I think can be clearly demonstrated to lay on the eight main standards of the Japanese tasteful. Without a doubt, it is in various amounts at various occasions for various models, but there is always the inclination of making progress toward Ensō and its companions.
It is this consistency that helps Grand Seiko make model after model fit cozily inside the brand overall while also allowing for Iki – creativity and flair – for its designers.
These two restricted versions made to celebrate 60 years of the sub-brand are fairly unique on the surface, but both achieve similar accomplishment of addressing the Grand Seiko stylish and legacy of the brand. With possibly two totally different clients for each watch, Grand Seiko also uses core values to speak to both sorts of collector.
That is something the brand is exceptionally fruitful at, and based on different releases to pay tribute to the 60th anniversary will keep on being in the foreseeable future.
We broke down the stylish, presently we should break down both of the watches!
- Wowza Factor * 8.2 The various dials are awesome, and the subtle, refined feel are sufficient to make this man say wowza!
- Late Night Lust Appeal * 82.22» 806.303m/s2 I’m torn over which one I’m longing for additional, but regardless I’m actually lying awake contemplating the duo!
- M.G.R. * 54 A heavy hand-winding Grand Seiko caliber is unquestionably quirky enough for me!
- Added-Functionitis * N/A nothing unexpected here again: it appears to be that there isn’t a lot of need for anything extra, so I surmise no requirement for Gotta-HAVE-That cream as well!
- Ouch Outline * 9.19 That crushing in your rotator cuff! Being a pitcher in secondary school baseball without a throwing coach leads to problems later throughout everyday life – like a painful pounding in your shoulder while doing basic activities like pushups. Anyway, it’s past the point where it is possible to advise my high schooler self to take it easy, but I’ll still gladly accept that bit of pain in the event that it means getting one of these on my wrist!
- Mermaid Moment * The gradual process of a couple weeks! The beauty of Grand Seiko is that the subtle refinement delivers a ton of fantastic watches that don’t scream “Hello, take a gander at me!” but instead murmur, “You realize you want to come over to my place later . . . !”
- Awesome Total * 828 First take the platinum case alloy (950) and add the gold case alloy (18), at that point subtract the total number of pieces in the restricted releases combined (140) to get an esthetically awesome total!
For more information, please visit www.grand-seiko.com/us-en/special/60th/shizukuishi-engraving .
Quick Facts Grand Seiko SBGW263
Case: 39 x 11.8 mm, platinum and 18-karat yellow gold
Development: manual winding Caliber 9S64, 72-hour power hold, 28,800 vph/4 Hz recurrence
Capacities: hours, minutes, seconds
Limitation: 20 pieces
Quick Facts Grand Seiko SBGW264
Case: 39 x 11.6 mm, 18-karat pink gold
Development: manual winding Caliber 9S64, 72-hour power save, 28,800 vph/4 Hz recurrence
Capacities: hours, minutes, seconds
Limitation: 120 pieces
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