Cherry picking: Grand Seiko’s new watch marks the beginning of spring

We’ve taken a shine to a pretty-in-pink Grand Seiko timepiece

Grand Seiko Elegance SBGY026G watch with pink flower in gloved hand
Elegance SBGY026G watch in rose gold, £24,350, by Grand Seiko
(Image credit: Photography: Marloes Haarmans; Set Design Elena Horn)

Marking the beginning of spring in the Japanese calendar, cherry blossom season – and in particular, hana-ikada, when the blossoms are scattered by the wind and come to rest on the surface of a river – is a particularly glorious spectacle. This fleeting moment is given a horological spin by Grand Seiko in the Elegance SBGY026G watch, which reinterprets the classic aesthetic established by the Japanese watch brand in 1967. 

Grand Seiko Elegance SBGY026G watch

This new timepiece stays faithful to the design codes that have come to epitomise the Grand Seiko style after a chief designer noticed that the watches that stood out most in a Tokyo mall store were imbued with an extra brilliance.

To create this, he emphasised shadow as much as light, noting that the gradients between black and white brought a richness to a polished surface. By eschewing a three-dimensional curved design, the multi-faceted case, dial and hands make an elegant contrast against the flat surfaces.

In this new version, an embellished dial in blush pink acts as a feminine foil for the clean lines, sharp angles and gleaming expanses.

A version of this story appears in the May 2023 issue of Wallpaper*, available now in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today

Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.