Why Is A Grand Seiko Watch So Expensive


Grand Seiko is Seiko’s luxury watch branch known for making incredible watches. These watches do have a very high price tag, which begs the question, why is a Grand Seiko watch so expensive?

Grand Seiko is the luxury segment of the Seiko watch company. A Grand Seiko watch is hand made with durable and exotic materials and utilizes the in-house movements. Furthermore, a Grand Seiko is made with incredible attention to detail.

A Grand Seiko is definitely a luxury watch, but does that alone justify the price? In this article, we’ll dive deeper into why a Grand Seiko is so expensive and how it weighs up against other luxury watch brands.

What Is A Grand Seiko Watch

Grand Seiko is a luxury watch company. Now you’ve probably heard of the Japanese brand Seiko before, which is the parent company of Grand Seiko.

Grand Seiko is basically the upper echelon of Seiko watches, created to compete with the ever so popular Swiss luxury watches. Until 1960, a Swiss luxury watch was unrivaled, but Seiko figured they could compete with their own luxury watch segment.

The very first Grand Seiko watch was introduced in 1960 on a rather small scale; only 36.000 were produced. This didn’t mean, however, that the Grand Seiko was a flop. In fact, the opposite was true.

4 years after the introduction of the first Grand Seiko watch, a second model was released. This one came with a calendar function (want to learn how watches keep the date? Then you should go to this article here!).

Over the years, Seiko introduced many more models and complications, but in 2004, they introduced what’s arguably the most unique part of a Grand Seiko watch; Spring Drive.

Spring Drive is Seiko’s unique mechanism that powers the watch and is basically a combination of mechanical and electronic watchmaking. The Spring Drive mechanism is ultimately responsible for the gliding motion of a Grand Seiko watch.

Seiko Spring Drive is powered by a mainspring, making it self-sufficient in its power needs, which ensures the gliding motion of a Grand Seiko watch. Furthermore, there’s a tri-synchro regulator that regulates the speed at which the mainspring unwinds, ensuring accuracy not seen in other quartz watches.

This is a very complicated mechanism, but it adds to the luxury feel of a Grand Seiko watch. Of course, it also adds to the quality and the attention to detail.

Aside from looking amazing, the gliding motion also reduces the stress on the mainspring. And when the stress is taken away for a large portion, you’re left with a watch that will last you a very long time. It could even outlast you if you take proper care of it.

Aside from the Spring Drive movement, Grand Seiko also has an extremely accurate quartz movement, the 9F. The 9F is accurate to 5 seconds a year, and in the worst case, 10 seconds a year. This type of accuracy is rare in other quartz watches.

Lastly, the Grand Seiko mechanical movements are also top tier. The mechanical movements are reliable, accurate, and of great quality. The Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement is named 9R, the quartz movement is named 9F, and the mechanical movement is named 9S.

Why Is A Grand Seiko Watch So Expensive

Grand Seiko is the luxury segment of the incredibly popular watch brand Seiko. These Grand Seiko watches are hand made with only the best materials.

Handmaking these watches can take a lot of time. Only the Spring Drive, for example, consists of 200 parts. And all these parts are carefully handled and placed, ensuring the highest quality Grand Seiko has to offer. In total, a Grand Seiko can take up to 17 days to make.

Furthermore, a Grand Seiko watch is made with high-quality materials. Stainless steel, titanium, and yellow gold are a common sight for the casings of these watches.

The material used for the glass is a popular choice under the luxury watches, a sapphire crystal. Sapphire crystal is incredibly resistant to scratches, so your watch won’t be all cracked when you accidentally drop it. Of course, you should never drop a Grand Seiko watch!

When you pair the high-quality materials with the precise craftsmanship from these Japanese watchmakers, you can expect to find a price that’s on the higher end.

However, when compared to luxury brands such as Rolex or Audemars Piguet, a Grand Seiko is actually on the more affordable side. You can find a stunning Grand Seiko watch for around $3.000 and most Grand Seiko watches won’t cross the $6.000 mark.

Now, $6.000 for a watch is still a lot of money, but compared to the luxury watch market in general, Grand Seiko is actually on the more affordable side.

How Much Can You Expect To Pay For A Grand Seiko Watch

Just like with any watch brand, there is no one price that fits all. But generally speaking, a Grand Seiko watch will cost between $2.200 and $7.000.

Grand Seiko CollectionCaliberCost
Grand Seiko Heritage CollectionMechanical (9S)$4.529
Grand Seiko Elegance CollectionMechanical (9S)$5.992
Grand Seiko Sport CollectionSpring Drive (9R)$7.836
Average price of every Grand Seiko collection

The cheapest a Grand Seiko watch will come at is in the low $2.000’s, but Grand Seiko also offers watches around $15.000. The numbers in the table above are just averages to give you an idea of the costs.

It’s actually surprising that you can purchase such a great watch for a little over $2.200.

Does A Grand Seiko Hold Its Value

Although Grand Seiko is a luxury watch brand, most people will look over that because of the popularity of the more affordable Seiko watches. Most people probably don’t even know the difference between Seiko and Grand Seiko.

With that being said, the people that do know the difference will likely also know what an extreme step-up a Grand Seiko is. They will know and appreciate the incredible timepieces made by Grand Seiko, and they will probably know that these watches are worth something.

Now, a Grand Seiko watch isn’t as easy to sell as a Rolex watch, simply because it’s a little less known, but that doesn’t mean that a Grand Seiko watch doesn’t hold its value.

This is a watch brand with lots of history and innovations behind it, making every piece almost a collector’s item. Aside from that, the quality of these watches is also top-notch, meaning you have a quality piece of history.

And generally, these types of watches will hold their value. They might even go up in value as well. If you have an old Grand Seiko, chances are the value of the watch has increased.

Is A Grand Seiko Worth It

Whether a Grand Seiko watch is worth it really boils down to you. Is an expensive luxury watch worth it to you?

This can come down to many factors. Firstly, since these are expensive luxury watches, let’s take a look at finances. You really have to be able to afford one of these watches. A watch is simply not worth going into debt to.

Secondly, if you really want the watch, and have the money for it, then by all means go for it. But if you’re not 100% in love with the watch, it might be best to look at some other options.

One thing to keep in mind with Grand Seiko watches is that these are of incredible quality. And on top of that, pretty much every Grand Seiko watch is made with a more ‘simplistic’ design when compared to the more flashy Swiss luxury watches. This makes a Grand Seiko watch extremely easy to wear, as it will simply never look out of place.

Whether or not a Grand Seiko watch is worth it really just comes down to you as a person. But when we’re speaking purely from a price to quality ratio, a Grand Seiko watch is more than worth it.

This is a watch that can hold its own against the likes of Rolex or Omega, but for a more affordable price. Yet, a Grand Seiko is arguably more advanced with its Spring Drive technology and gliding motions. But more on that a little later on.

Is A Grand Seiko Considered To Be A Luxury Watch

What is and what isn’t a luxury watch could always be a little unclear. Some brands many think to be a luxury watch brand actually aren’t (such as TAG Heuer, many people don’t see this as a luxury watch brand. Read this article for more info!), and then there are cases like Grand Seiko, where the term luxury definitely fits into place but most people don’t know of it.

Grand Seiko watches are considered to be luxury watches. A Grand Seiko watch houses in-house movements, is hand-made with extreme care and attention to detail, and is made with high-end and exotic materials.

For a full-on article on what makes a watch a luxury watch, you should go to this article here, but we’ll briefly cover some of the points here and see if they apply to a Grand Seiko watch.

One of the most important factors for a watch to be a luxury watch is that it is made with in-house movements. You really don’t want to be paying multiple thousands of dollars for a watch with the same movements as a $100 watch. That would feel like a rip-off.

Luckily, Grand Seiko makes its own movements and it even has the innovative Spring Drive technology. On top of that, each Grand Seiko is hand made, another pro for a watch to classify as a luxury watch.

Luxury watches are also made with more exotic or more expensive materials. High-end stainless steel, yellow gold, or titanium are just a few examples of high-end materials used for the casings of Grand Seiko watches, which definitely fall under the exotic or more expensive category.

The glass material used in Grand Seiko a watch is a sapphire crystal, which again falls under the best quality materials available. Safe to say that the materials used for Grand Seiko watches classifies them as luxury watches.

Is A Grand Seiko Better Than Swiss Luxury Watches

Now that you know that a Grand Seiko is classed as a luxury watch, how do they fit in with the better known, Swiss luxury watches?

A Grand Seiko watch is on-par with the popular Swiss luxury watch brands. Both Grand Seiko watches and other luxury watches are hand-made with in-house movements, made with high-quality materials.

Just like a Rolex or Omega, a Grand Seiko is hand-made with luxurious materials such as titanium or yellow gold. However, where a name like Rolex or Omega is immediately noticed, a Grand Seiko lacks in that regard. A shame, really, as Grand Seiko actually outperforms some of these watches in certain regards.

Especially in the movements department. With the Grand Seiko Spring Drive movements, it’s safe to say that a Grand Seiko is even better than most, if not all Swiss luxury watch brands.

And that’s simply because a normal quartz or automatic watch will never be as accurate as Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive movement. Although the difference will be slight, it is there, and when we’re talking about luxury products with premium price tags, every detail counts.

In terms of quality, a Grand Seiko lacks nothing. It might even outperform some of the other luxury brands. The large differences, however, are in the price tags. A Grand Seiko watch is very affordable compared to other luxury watch brands.

Paying around $5.000 for a quality timepiece is the standard for a Grand Seiko watch. $5.000 for many other luxury watch brands would mean an entry-level watch, at best.

Overall, a Grand Seiko is a watch that deserves more attention. If you’re a watch enthusiast, definitely give these watches a try. You might not get the same recognition as you would with a Rolex or Omega, but you will have a quality timepiece that looks and functions amazingly!

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