We don’t typically associate the words ‘Grand Seiko’ with fast cars; the name itself conjures an almost royal formality. But that is about to change, what with the Japanese watchmaker launching a limited edition of custom-order watches in a collaboration with carmaker Nissan.
Car lovers of the high-brow variety may raise a brow at Nissan, but street and track drivers know one Nissan fully deserves lauding — the Skyline GT-R, launched in 1969. As it’s about to turn 50, Nissan invited Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Italdesign to develop a concept car marking its jubilee. (Quite coincidentally, Italdesign turned 50 this year.)
The result is the GT-R50, pushing 720 horses out of a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V6 with GT-3 spec turbochargers, intercoolers, the works. The exterior of the car is a sexy black-and-gold beast, and the interior is decked out in Alcantara leather and carbon fibre. Up to 50 of these will be produced, priced at a million buckaroos each. Not exactly chump change.
To mix it up a little, Nissan decided to partner Grand Seiko to create a custom-order watch in order to commemorate the GT-R’s 50th. The brand basically souped up a Grand Seiko Sport model, the SBGC223G in ceramic and titanium, tuning it into a watch that definitely matches the GT-R50’s style. Rose gold replaces the titanium elements of the case and the bezel’s 24-hour indicator ring has been converted into a tachymeter ring to match the speedster instincts of the watch. Grand Seiko has cleverly slipped in applied numeral indices in between the standard 12-hour markers on the dial to show the second-time-zone function.
The dial itself is in carbon fibre and minor elements have been changed to give it a dashboard feel. The power-reserve display definitely resembles the fuel-tank indicator and the minute track in a gradient of gold adds an ethereal impact on the dial as the light falls on it. A custom oscillating rotor that’s visible through the caseback bears the GT-R logo on it, a nod to the powerful automobile this watch is made for. Interested parties can even hit up a special design configurator webpage in order to build your own watch. Grand Seiko will review your custom build and decide if they can create it. All custom Grand Seiko builds are available only at Wako, the Seiko Flagship Salon in Ginza 4-chome.
If you think that’s too much of an effort for a custom-order GS timepiece, the price may have you hopping. At ¥20,000,000 (just over S$240,000), it’s more expensive than what the non-anniversary GT-R costs in the USA. However, each custom timepiece will be unique and exclusive, meaning you’ll be the only one in the world to possess that particular configuration. You can’t put a price on individual expression, especially if you’re planning to get the GT-R50.
Self-winding Spring Drive calibre 9R86; hours, minutes, second time zone and chronograph; 72-hour power reserve
46.4mm (diameter) x 16.2mm (thickness); rose gold and ceramic case, customisable; 100m water resistance; unique pieces
Rose gold and ceramic bracelet, customisable