Watch Reviews

Exclusive – Inside Two Seiko Studios: Making a Watch the Japanese Way

by on Nov.17, 2010, under Review

Tucked away in a seemingly remote wooded part of Japan, near the town of Morioka, sits a world-class watchmaking facility that has been quietly producing some of the world’s finest mechanical watches for over 70 years.

Called the Shizukuishi watch Studio (watch.com/eng/movie/movie_enrichingtime.html” target=”_blank”>check out a movie about this studio here), the workshop is distinctly different from any other watchmaking atelier in Europe. Each watchmakers’ desk is custom made out of a local wood called Iwayado Tansu and lacquered to a bright polish. The benches are all made to different heights – custom made specifically to the height of the individual watchmaker. Outside the studio hangs a large sign in Japanese stating “Building in Quality with Painstaking Care”.

Within these workshops, the caliber 9S watch movement series (specs here) is produced and remains the iconic mechanical caliber of the Grand Seiko collection. In the final steps of the assembly of the 9S, each balance wheel is subjected to final adjustment in a surprising way to ‘lock-in’ the accuracy of the movement.

Rather than having a balance wheel with adjustable screws or a gyromax system, Seiko uses a labor intensive process that leaves very little room for trial and error.


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