The last time we had a Grand Seiko Master Craftsman in the store, his area of expertise was Spring Drive models. It was incredibly interesting watching him interact with our guests, explaining the intricacies and technology behind Spring Drive movements while he assembled and disassembled one. While he worked, he fielded technical questions from the enthusiasts watching him work. It was great watching him answer questions ranging from the lubrication specifications of the product, recommended service intervals, use of advanced materials, and his opinion of the exact inspiration for the famous SBGA011 Snowflake. Watching him perform the complex assembly of the Spring Drive GMT Chronograph movement in under 40 minutes while cheerfully answering a broad range of questions was really something to see.
This time, on Friday, April 1st, 2016, we are excited to welcome Mr. Satoshi Hiraga, a Master Craftsman who specializes in automatic Grand Seiko movements, the 9S Series. This event will feature Mr. Hiraga assembling and disassembling some of Grand Seiko’s most celebrated High Beat calibers. Mr. Hiraga, is a not just a Master Craftsman, but Grand Seiko’s Chief Watchmaker of the Caliber 9S series. He began his career with Seiko in 1989. In 1995, he was named winner of the Japan National Skills Competition in watchmaking. In 2015, Mr. Hiraga received his certification from the Japanese Government as “Contemporary Master Craftsman.” We are honored to welcome him to the store to display an afternoon of Japanese culture and fine watchmaking.
This will provide an opportunity to see up close Grand Seiko’s unique use of modern materials. Guests will be able to see several of the various proprietary SPRON alloys such as the SPRON610 used in hairsprings which enhance the anti-magnetism in the watches; the SPRON510 used for the mainspring in eight High Beat watches; the SPRON530 used for High Beat models; as well as the nickel escapement wheel and pallet fork that are engineered using MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) technology for enhanced precision and durability. Guests will be invited to ask Mr. Hiraga any questions as they watch him work.
While the official invite asks to RSVP, it isn’t required to attend the event. We hope to see a lot of Grand Seiko enthusiasts. Please feel free to bring items for Mr. Hiraga to sign. Like last time, we will be offering the book “Grand Seiko Through Three Photographer’s Eyes” with the purchase or pre-order of any Grand Seiko at the event. Japanese inspired hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served at the event. Russ and I are looking forward to hosting those who can attend!
Rob Caplan is a fourth generation watch retailer whose family owns Topper Fine Jewelers on the edge of Silicon Valley in Burlingame, California. Topper is an authorized dealer of Grand Seiko, Oris, Mühle-Glashütte, Nomos, OMEGA, Glashütte Original, Hamilton, Longines, Zenith, Ball, Bremont, and other fine Swiss & German watch Brands.
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