An Award-Winning Grand Seiko Watch Sold at Auction for P26.5 Million
One of the watch industry’s most prestigious awards, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) award ceremony took place at the Théatre du Léman in Geneva with some 15 watches winning awards for specific categories. Five discretionary prizes were also handed out to a range of other horological achievements, as well as a Grand Prix award given to the best overall watch among all categories.
Grand Seiko’s Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon won the Chronometry Prize as the best in the high precision timekeeping performance category. This is Grand Seiko’s first true mechanical complication watch with a tourbillon. The Caliber 9ST1 movement made horological history by combining a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism as one unit on a single axis.
Kodo, or ‘heartbeat’ in Japanese was the name chosen after the unique motion of the two mechanisms and the sound of the rhythm it makes. The inner tourbillon carriage rotates smoothly as the balance steadily vibrates at eight-beats per second, and the outer constant-force carriage follows its rotation at exact one-second intervals to create a 16th note rhythmic feel.
These components are painstakingly finished by hand using a variety of techniques, which is a hallmark of a Grand Seiko but the use of this movement broke the glass ceiling for the brand as it enters into the realm of haute horology dominated by Swiss watchmakers. The case uses both Platinum 950 and Grand Seiko’s Brilliant Hard Titanium to achieve a long-lasting beauty and finish, adding to the beauty of the watch.
The award was recently accepted by Akio Naito the president of Seiko Watch Corporation and Grand Seiko’s movement designer Takuma Kawauchiya who designed and assembled the winning watch.
Seiko Watch president Akio Naito (L) and Takuma Kawauchiya, the Grand Seiko movement designer, at the GPHG
“Everyone at Grand Seiko is incredibly proud of this honor tonight, as Kodo is the first mechanical complication watch from the brand in its 62-year history,” Naito said during the acceptance. “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the members of the jury who recognized this achievement by a team of our engineers and watchmakers, led by Takuma Kawauchiya.”
This watch broke a record when one of the 20 Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon watches were sold at the recently concluded Phillips Auction for a record price of US$478,000 under lot 100. It is the highest-ever price for a Grand Seiko sold at auction.
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