Pair your Grand Seiko with a custom fabric strap

Pair your Grand Seiko with a custom fabric strap


Grand Seiko’s story starts in 1960 in Nagano, Japan, when Seiko was inspired to create a dedicated range of highly precise and beautifully handcrafted watches. The first Grand Seiko debuted in 1960, which was driven the calibre 3180 that had a 45-hour power reserve and was accurate to within +12 to -3 seconds a day.

Bolstered by Seiko’s history-making Spring Drive technology, which enables a quartz battery to power a mechanical watch movement, Grand Seiko would go on to create numerous icons, which had intoxicating cases and intricate dials that collectors find it hard to look away from.

Today, Grand Seiko releases several new models every quarter, which is a frequency that other haute horlogerie brands wouldn’t dare to attempt doing. Yet, many Grand Seiko models like the Grand Seiko “Snowflake” and Grand Seiko “Birch” have risen to cult status and are highly sought after.

While the mainline of Seiko watches are mostly stainless steel and meant to be accessible to everyone, Grand Seikos are sometimes made from precious materials like gold, platinum and titanium.

Inspired by the vast natural beauty of Japan, Grand Seikos embody the high-tech precision engineering and the lofty standards of the Japanese.

Besides the finely crafted bracelets and premium leather straps that these timepieces come with, pairing their scintillating dials and cases can, as illustrated by the following examples, endow a watch with an entirely new and unique visage.


Photo credits for header image: @rsmwatchstrap (left); @jerkchicken22; @jerkchicken22

The Grand Seiko SBGA211 “Snowflake” is designed to evoke the shimmer of the Hotaka mountains in Nagano Prefecture. You see, the Spring Drive that propelled Seiko to astronomical fame and popularity was engineered in the Shinshu Watch Studio in Nagano, which faces these lofty peaks that are capped in snow for several months a year. This is why this captivating textured dial and many iconic Grand Seiko dials are themed on idyllic Nagano. Here, @enthuseddad has paired his “Snowflake” with an RSM herringbone twill strap in icarus blue. The colour of this strap and its zigzag motifs help accentuate the flame-blued seconds hand that sweeps over its ravishing dial.

Speaking of the sweeping seconds hand, it bears repeating that a quartz-powered watch usually moves in a hacking motion, and Seiko’s patented Spring Drive is what enables this pointer to sweep ever so balletically over the snow-covered dial.

Unlike many other Seiko watches, the Grand Seiko SBGY003 “Grand Cocktail”, above, is way slimmer and shunts any display windows that might disrupt its graceful dial. The RSM reversible silk strap adds a regal feel when paired with this exquisite dress watch.

Below, the Grand Cocktail is conferred an urban feel by the outdoorsy-looking RSM canvas strap.

Here’s an attention-grabbing ensemble – the Grand Cocktail paired with a lizard leather strap.

Instantly recognisable from afar, the Grand Seiko SLGH017 “Night Birch” is themed on Nagano’s birch forest on the Hiraniwa Plateau, which is near Grand Seiko’s Shizukuishi studio where Grand Seiko movements are made. It takes its name from Grand Seiko models like the SLGH005 and SLGA 009, which have been nicknamed the Grand Seiko “White Birch” models.

@jerkchicken22 has paired his Hi-Beat Grand Seiko “Night Birch” with the RSM canvas strap, allowing the subtle patterns of strap and dial to form a subtle contrast, accentuating the bold markers and Zaratsu polish, and drawing the admirer’s attention back to the “Night Birch” dial, which was one of the most talked-about dials since the Grand Seiko “Snowflake”.

We’d be remiss if we discussed Grand Seiko without mentioning the elegant Evolution 9 Collection, which is a handsome range of sports watches.

Like the “Snowflake”, the SBGE285 is a titanium GMT watch from the Evolution 9 series that also sports a Hotaka-inspired textured dial. Above, the SBGE285 has been paired with the RSM canvas strap – a distinct and outdoorsy combination that reminds of the tool watches that accompanied famous explorers on important expeditions up mountains, to the Poles and on perilous flights.