I will start by admitting that I have never before owned or paid attention to a Grand Seiko or anything parallel or above it from that manufacturer. I will admit also to being somewhat sceptical of reports about the extreme high quality of the GS product. Today I took delivery of my Seiko Galante GMT . I am almost speechless. The second I laid eyes on it in the Laski Customs office near Bangkok, where I collected it upon its arrival from Tokyo I was barely able to speak. Fortunately (Or otherwise) I have returned to my apartment in Bangkok and paused to examine the watch more closely and take a few photos and have recovered the power of speech. OK to some it is an ugly pig of a watch. Yes I do get that. But the very important thing for me is that my Swiss watches look Swiss, my German watches have a distinct Teutonic aura. Anything designed in Italy must have that Italian, Latin almost feminine flair, as is the crucial difference between a wonderfully made German sports car and the idiosyncratic wonder of the Italian counterpart. This watch is no clone, it is no wannabe Rolex or wannabe anything. It styling puts me in mind of Japanese art, Japanese cartoons. The feel makes me think of Haiku rather than any western literature. IT is above all other things original and very Japanese. Ok some will never live with that and that's fine. Personally I see the beauty in it because of the totality of its Japaneseness, that and something else. Craft. Craft is also very important to me. The watch is crafted magnificently. The detail finish is outstanding the architecture of the structure is logical and has great beauty from any angle. It is possible at all points in the watch to see a relationship between one aspect and another. As for function it tells the time, the GMT function works well , similarly to a Rolex GMT in operation. It is accurate, very accurate. But I don't care any more about all of that than I do about value for money. If a watch is too expensive, then no-one buys it, if people buy it, then it must be cheap enough, otherwise they wouldn't.
The Galante sits majestically on the wrist . It is big and fat. It is unashamedly Asian, it makes no apology for being so. It makes no stylistic references to anything born outside of its island of creation.
I love it . It is a keeper. If Seiko make more truly Japanese watches and make them as well as this one, i will be looking to own another.