Grand Seiko Tentagraph: The essence of Japanese beauty
Grand Seiko Tentagraph: The essence of Japanese beauty
Image: Supplied

The new Grand Seiko Tentagraph is the epitome of Dō, the Japanese philosophy meaning “The Way”. Dō is the pursuit of perfection in any given art form, from the martial art of judō to something as simple as making tea, sadō, or a folio of artful calligraphy, shodō.

A world first

At the world’s most prestigious watchmaking fair — Watches and Wonders Geneva 2023 — the only Japanese watch brand in attendance revealed the latest of its many world firsts.

The Grand Seiko Tentagraph hi-beat mechanical watch is the only 10-beat chronograph in the world with a three-day power reserve. This timepiece is the result of the dedication of the Takumi, the Grand Seiko master watchmakers who are inspired by the concept of takumi, a spiritual quest for perfection with the ultimate goal of creating the most accurate, beautiful luxury watches possible.

Dō is the way

Dō, or “the way” of doing things, is a constant, centuries-old Japanese cultural theme. It is a determination to achieve perfection in every aspect of any endeavour. It is about being intensely focused, persistent, and quietly determined; constantly seeking enhancements with no compromise until an ideal result is achieved.

Technical Takumi

The Tentagraph showcases the innovation of the Takumi, who created a hi-beat calibre that beats 10 times per second with accurate, smooth movement at high rotational speed. It also has the longest power reserve in the world at 72 hours, even while the chronograph is in use. This is achieved with a dual-impulse escapement, which transfers energy to the free-sprung balance wheel indirectly through the pallet fork and directly from the escape wheel.

Breaking the test

Highly stringent testing means that the accuracy of all Grand Seiko movements is checked in six positions at three temperatures over 17 days. For the Tentagraph, a more rigorous assessment was added over three additional days with the chronograph movement also being tested in three positions. This ensures an impressive time-of-day accuracy of +5/-3 seconds per day.

Grand Seiko Tentagraph from the Evolution 9 Collection SLGC001
Grand Seiko Tentagraph from the Evolution 9 Collection SLGC001
Image: Supplied

A natural influence

The Tentagraph, like many Grand Seiko watch designs and various aspects of Japanese culture, takes its cue from natural surroundings. Its rich dark-blue dial is inspired by the ridged contours of Mount Iwate in northern Japan, a breathtaking view enjoyed by the Takumi from their benches at the Grand Seiko Studio in Shizukuishi (designed by celebrated architect Kengo Kuma).

Nine rules for beauty

In 1967, Taro Tanaka pioneered the way Grand Seiko watches were designed with a set of rules called the “Grammar of Design”, which was first applied to the model 44GS — at the time, the most accurate manually wound five-beat watch in the world — to maximise its heavenly “glow”, or the light reflected by the timepiece. This framework was rejuvenated in 2017 by Kiyotaka Sakai into the Evolution 9 style, from which evolved The Tentagraph.

While light and shadow are considered contrasting in the West, the Japanese find beauty in their coexistence, maximising this in design from fine art to architecture. In Grand Seiko watches every detail celebrates the gradation between light and dark. The kami, or gods, are truly in every detail.

© Wanted 2024 - If you would like to reproduce this article please email us.