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    Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    Hi guys, I've been reading about the praises for GS and I tried to search for this topic in the WUS archives but I have not found a direct comparison between grand seiko automatic movements and swiss, say Top ETA 2892, Rolex 3135, JLC 889 or other high end swiss movements. What are the pros and cons of seiko vs swiss, and in your opinion which one is more desirable to you? Any technical or otherwise information is greatly appreciated!
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    Re: Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    Quote Originally Posted by Crunchy View Post
    Hi guys, I've been reading about the praises for GS and I tried to search for this topic in the WUS archives but I have not found a direct comparison between grand seiko automatic movements and swiss, say Top ETA 2892, Rolex 3135, JLC 889 or other high end swiss movements. What are the pros and cons of seiko vs swiss, and in your opinion which one is more desirable to you? Any technical or otherwise information is greatly appreciated!
    I'm not sure direct comparisons can be faithfully made. Not sure about the JLC but the ETA and Rolex movements are machine assembled with a little bit of hand finishing by way of adjustment and regulating.

    The GS, on the other hand, is assembled completely by hand. Seiko has a handful of their best watchmakers, select the best parts; assemble the movements; make the necessary adjustments and regulate each watch to Seiko's own 'chronometer' standard which is slightly tighter than COSC.

    Al the watches you mention are fine examples of superior timekeeping machines. But, if I was going to spend the kind of money these watches cost; I would be buying the GS, simply because of how it is made

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    Re: Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    This thread from the Public Forum may answer some of your questions:

    As good as it gets: Grand Seiko 9S85 versus Omega AT 8500
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    Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    Thanks for the reply guys. Honestly between a plain ETA and GS movement, my impression is that the GS beats it hands down, both in accuracy and finishing. I read the link posted, but it was more comparing the cases than the movements for the AT and GS. That post did mention an amazing accuracy of 0 in 72 hrs for the GS.

    Are there specific reasons why a GS movement can be regulated to tighter specs than cosc? As in their use of a special balance or etc?
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    Re: Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    Quote Originally Posted by Crunchy View Post
    Thanks for the reply guys. Honestly between a plain ETA and GS movement, my impression is that the GS beats it hands down, both in accuracy and finishing. I read the link posted, but it was more comparing the cases than the movements for the AT and GS. That post did mention an amazing accuracy of 0 in 72 hrs for the GS.

    Are there specific reasons why a GS movement can be regulated to tighter specs than cosc? As in their use of a special balance or etc?
    My guess is that because the GS is hand assembled from cherry picked parts. Each part is inspected for perfection before being used and any that go into the timekeeping portion of the movement are also adjusted. Following this trough the netire movement right to the balance and you get a movement that is as near mechanical perfection as possible.
    Then the watchmaker/assembler further improves performance by regulating it in 6 positions as well as a set of temperatures.

    The ETAs and Rolexes etal are assembled from stock parts by machines(machines cannot select the best parts from the others). They are not adjusted along the way as this is a task that only human master watchmakers can do.
    Once the movement is assembled; then the watchmakers regulate them in 5 positions and temperature. If the movements meet the COSC specs than no adjustment is likely done. If they don't meet the specs; a little more time is spent adjusting the parts that are accessible.

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    Re: Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    This is very strange statement. You mean Grand Seiko parts have large uncertainty of uniformity? Do you have some inside source or just your guess?


    Quote Originally Posted by Pawl_Buster View Post
    My guess is that because the GS is hand assembled from cherry picked parts. Each part is inspected for perfection before being used and any that go into the timekeeping portion of the movement are also adjusted.

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    Re: Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    Quote Originally Posted by dkbs View Post
    This is very strange statement. You mean Grand Seiko parts have large uncertainty of uniformity? Do you have some inside source or just your guess?
    Where did I say that? What I said was that the parts are hand picked...the best of the best. This is done by the trained eye of Seiko's best master watch makers. Even the unchosen parts are of a higher grade and quality than the next level down the Seiko tree. I doubt very much that there is much uncertainty of uniformity at all. Parts are most likely chosen because they are the best match with mating parts already chosen.
    It has been reported numerous times with pictures of the workers in the studio and even videos produced by Seiko.

    Search this forum and/or any other dedicated Seiko forum and you will find everything I have said to be true.

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    Re: Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    Quote Originally Posted by Crunchy View Post
    Hi guys, I've been reading about the praises for GS and I tried to search for this topic in the WUS archives but I have not found a direct comparison between grand seiko automatic movements and swiss, say Top ETA 2892, Rolex 3135, JLC 889 or other high end swiss movements. What are the pros and cons of seiko vs swiss, and in your opinion which one is more desirable to you? Any technical or otherwise information is greatly appreciated!
    I've got the JLC master control (calibre 899) and the GS SBGM029 (blue dial GMT, calibre 9S66).

    One important advantage of the Grand Seiko is the power reserve of 72h vs ~40h for the JLC. Both use single barrel mainsprings. The difference is in the proprietary SPRON alloy used in the GS mainspring.

    My JLC master control uses a free sprung variable inertia balance wheel. Compared to a regulated balance wheel, this has better stability of rate and inherent positional accuracy. I don't know what type of balance wheel my GS uses.

    I don't test my watches' accuracy but both seem equivalent to me.

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    'I reach for my watch from the bedside table and consider the dial - its rectitude, its innocence - then I understand the position of the hands and that, yes, rush-hour traffic will already have begun.' - Deborah Eisenberg, The Flaw in the Design

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    Re: Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    It really depends. The high end seiko movements in the GS line are FAR beyond the high grade ETA movements, fully in house, hand finished and assembled, not mass produced by machines and sold to anyone with a few hundred dollars. GS wins by a country mile here.

    Compared to rolex, well rolex movements are great at what they do, they keep going and going, they are tough and reliable. However a GS movement is far more beautiful, more interesting, seemingly much more carefully and lovingly produced than rolex. Also the SD and high beats are far superior technically. So again GS wins for me.

    Now, compare GS to similar swiss movements which are fully in house, hand assembled etc such as JLC/patek etc. Its a dead heat for me. Swiss vs Japanese is not an issue IMO, throw in German movements too, also stunningly produced by GO, ALS etc. Id choose the watch i liked best based on aesthetics considering the movements equal. Price of course plays a role and GS priced compared to a swiss maker with a similar level movement will be far lower and far better value.
    Last edited by kylemacca01; March 3rd, 2013 at 07:41.
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    Re: Grand Seiko vs Swiss movements

    Because you especially said "cherry picked parts. Each part is inspected for perfection". So I guess you must have some inside story about Grand Seiko parts failure rate.

    We can do some calculation. Grand Seiko automatic annual production is about 2000. Could you give us some hint about what kind of failure rate of Grand Seiko balance wheel? 2000?200? 20?



    Quote Originally Posted by Pawl_Buster View Post
    Where did I say that? What I said was that the parts are hand picked...the best of the best. This is done by the trained eye of Seiko's best master watch makers. Even the unchosen parts are of a higher grade and quality than the next level down the Seiko tree. I doubt very much that there is much uncertainty of uniformity at all. Parts are most likely chosen because they are the best match with mating parts already chosen.
    It has been reported numerous times with pictures of the workers in the studio and even videos produced by Seiko.

    Search this forum and/or any other dedicated Seiko forum and you will find everything I have said to be true.
    Mirabello1 likes this.

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