There are few brands that receive more love and respect within the enthusiast community than Grand Seiko. Yet, when having to decide between any given model from GS and a somewhat comparable model from a direct competitor, you'll often hear from people (even those who aren't hard wired to preferring brands like Rolex) that it's really close but, nah, when hard pressed, the other watch would take the win. More often than not, I'm one of those people - even though I consider GS to be one of my favorite brands period. How come?
Here are my thoughts.
3. GS is too intellectual. As I said, many love the idea of Grand Seiko, since it is a company that often derives its actual models from abstract ideas and design philosophies. And while - as with contemporary art - people like to present themselves as coinnosseurs who are in the know, secretly they prefer traditional depictions, like palm fronds, for example (**cough**), over repetitive and sometimes even pretentious explanatory paragraphs about lakes, trees and seasons. While I personally love that, many don't, even if they won't say it out loud.
4. GS is too iterative. Given the sheer iterative output across relatively few distinctive model lines, there is always a substantial chance with GS that a slimmer, smaller, better version of your favorite reference is already in the making. I can't imagine how many collectors wished they waited until last year, when we saw the repositioning of the power reserve indicator to the back of movement. Other brands don't give you that many reasons to overthink and postpone your buying descision till the cows come home.
Where does all that leave me? It leaves me waiting. Waiting for that smaller, thinner, better GMT Spring Drive on a bracelet with micro adjustment and sweaty-day extension. sigh...
Classic menswear enthusiast, shoe aficionado, collector of vintage perfumes and colognes... Oh, and I love watches. Preferably sub 40mm.