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Grand Seiko Corp. Of America Strikes Out On Its Own

Paul Altieri

Grand Seiko is on a rebranding mission. Last year the Japanese company separated its hand-assembled luxury watches from the brand company’s lower-priced Seiko brand, all in an effort to elevate the luxury watchmaker. And now, they’re taking that one step further with the launch of Grand Seiko Corp. of America.

GSA, as it will be known, will help Grand Seiko make their mark on the competitve, and luxurious, watch market in the States. “The creation of this new company is an important part of our global strategy to raise further the profile of Grand Seiko,” Shinji Hattori, SWC Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Grand Seiko made some waves last month with its announcement
Grand Seiko Corp. of America will market watches to the states

And no, this isn’t just about formalities. The new company will be an entirely separate entity from Tokyo, having its own separate identity, trade dress, marketing, sales and distribution of the watches. It’s the first independent Grand Seoko company ever, and it’s going to help the brand sell watches through the existing network of retail partners in New York, Miami and Beverly Hills.

“With the establishment of Grand Seiko Corp. of America, the company’s operations will be split into two,” said Akio Naito, Chairman and CEO of GSA. “Grand Seiko Corporation of America will market Grand Seiko and the premium collections of Seiko through the independent retail channel. It will also manage all current and future retail operations.”

Seiko watches have been long been a popular watch in America
Seiko watches have been long been a popular watch in America, and that trend doesn’t look to slow down any time soon

The move highlights what is an entirely new era for Seiko, who is looking to reach the level of prestige globally that they experience at home. Because while we’ve only been able to experience the brand’s luxury watches since 2010, they’ve been producing luxury watches at home in Japan for more than three decades. “Grand Seiko has been making remarkable progress in the USA in the past two years,” Hattori went on to explain. “The new company will be able to build on that momentum, focusing uniquely on developing Grand Seiko as a luxury watch brand and serving the needs of retail partners and our customers.”  

But wait — what about Seiko Corp. of America? They’re the ones who, since the 1970’s, who have been pushing the lower-priced but ever-popular watches here in the States. Well, it seems like they’ll continue operations as usual, but they’re getting a rebranding too — now being called Seiko Watches of America. They’ll still sell their quartz watches that range from about $200 to $500.

Grand Seiko Corp. of America will capitalize on their popularity stateside
Grand Seiko has jumped into the top 10 most popular luxury watches in the USA

At the end of the day, this is about way more than keeping up appearances, too. Seiko has proved to be a serious, and formidable competitor in the American luxury watch market. In fact, in 2018, Grand Seiko shot to the top 10 best-selling brands in the $5-10,000 range in the U.S. market (according to NPD Group).

And with the launch of GSA, we can expect to see the marketing and distribution of some incredible calibers ranging from the lower high-end range of $2,200 to a whopping $60,000. This includes the prestige watches of the Presage range as well as the highly sought after dive watches of the Prospex brand.

That’s about all we know for now, but next month GSA is planning an event in New York City where we’re expected to learn more. Until then, we’re impatiently awaiting this new chapter for this brand. As Hattori said, “exciting times lie ahead.”

Paul Altieri

Paul is the company's Founder and CEO. He is responsible for all the day to day activities from purchasing, receiving, marketing and sales. Paul is a graduate of Boston College 1979 and resides in California with his family.