Upcoming: Grand Seiko at Milan Design Week 2018

Melvyn Teillol-Foo

Exhibition Theme: The Flow of Time

Shinji Hattori, Seiko Watch Corporation Chairman & CEO announced that Grand Seiko will be presented, for the first time, at Milan Design Week 2018 from April 17th to 22nd.

The Flow of Time: Grand Seiko at Milan Design Week 2018

Milan Design Week is the world’s premier design event consisting of the Salone del Mobile Milano and the Fuori Salone. The annual Salone del Mobile Milano is one of the largest international furniture fairs, celebrating its 57th event this year. In 2017, around 2,000 exhibitors and 343,000 people visited it from all over the world.

Grand Seiko exhibits at the parallel Fuori Salone, which is a series of events and exhibitions in the city of Milan. 

Grand Seiko ref. SBGC223

The exhibition features an installation highlighting Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive movement, the unique and innovative mechanism for high precision and a long power reserve.

Grand Seiko ref. SBGA211

Since its beginnings in 1960, Grand Seiko has achieved the highest level of precision, beauty and legibility through constant innovation but it was a exclusive Japan-Only product.

When it made its global debut in 2010, Grand Seiko received accolades for the high precision and sophisticated design because Seiko is one of the few fully integrated watch manufacturers in the world. That means it makes everything from the mainsprings to the balance wheels and watchcases.

The joke is that Seiko makes everything except the leather straps because alligators don’t grow in Japan!




A unique signature of Spring Drive technology is the perfect glide motion of the seconds hand embodying the natural and continuous flow of time. The theme of the exhibition is ‘THE FLOW OF TIME’ .

Two Japanese artists have expressed the essence of Spring Drive in an installation that invites the visitor to think about and explore the innovation that Spring Drive represents.

Spring Drive Depicted by TAKT PROJECT


Having come to life aiming for ultimate precision, Spring Drive’s second hand that flows without a tick not only brings accuracy in telling time but allows you to sense the transience of time. This is the unique presence in which such ultimate precision and an enriching feeling could co-exist.


The arrival of a new dimension in watches, after years of quest for perfection, will be presented as a space where parts made with high precision and the flow of time complement each other.


Spring Drive Depicted by Visual Content Creator Shingo Abe

The Flow of Time: Grand Seiko at Milan Design Week 2018

The sweeping second hand with supreme energy efficiency is one of the features of Spring Drive. Its smooth motion — gliding across the dial without a sound — is something that leaves an unforgettable impression on viewers.

Approach to Time

In this installation, beautifully moving second hands will collaborate with nature to create a sense of unity that could resonate with the audience.

Approach to Time



Approach to Time

  • Venue: Cubo B, La Triennale di Milano
  • Address: Viale Alemagna, 6 Milano (Cadorna area)
  • Organizer: Seiko Watch Corporation
  • General producer: Toshiki Kiriyama (TRUNK LTD.)
  • Creators: TAKT PROJECT and Shingo Abe
  • Spatial designer: Hikaru Mori

Approach to Time


TAKT PROJECT (Design Studio)

Satoshi Yoshiizumi

Established in 2013, with Satoshi Yoshiizumi as representative. Under the motto “DESIGN THINK + DO TANK,” the studio has undertaken various projects seeking to “create other possibilities” through design. It has conducted experimental independent research projects and presented the results at the Milan Design Week, DesignMiami/, Maison & Objet Paris, Hong Kong M+, and other domestic and international art museums and design events. It collaborates with various clients, taking a unique approach which maximizes the role of design in projects based on its research findings.

Shingo Abe (CG Director/Designer)

Shingo Abe

Born in 1981. Studied media arts at Tohoku University of Art and Design. After graduating, he joined the visual design studio WOW and was involved in advertising as a computer graphics designer, animator and director. Thereafter, he has collaborated with many artists not only in video but also in various media including spatial presentation using image projection, interactive works, and installations, as well as film direction for fashion shows and stage presentations.

Approach to Time


What Is Spring Drive?

Spring Drive is a technology unique to Seiko that combines the power derived from a mainspring with the high accuracy of a quartz crystal, making it possible to deliver the one-second-a-day precision that no other mechanical watches can achieve.

After over 20 years of development, Spring Drive was introduced in 1999 as a revolutionary mechanism characterized by ultimate energy efficiency and the smooth glide motion of the second hand. Since the first Grand Seiko Spring Drive model was released in 2004, the fusion of cutting-edge technology with Japanese master artisanal skills has received international acclaim.

AlphaLuxe Comment

In 2017, it was announced that Grand Seiko would be a standalone luxury company and separated from the general Seiko branding. In effect, this was like Lexus as the luxury arm of the Toyota Corporation.

Approach to Time

If you are one of the expected 350,000 visitors to Milan Design Week 2018, you should check out The Flow of Time exhibition.

All Photography Credits to Daisuke Ohki


Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)

Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He was also CEO of PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.

Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).

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