At first glance, it might seem like a most unlikely coupling. The extreme sleekness and sophistication of a Seiko Spring Drive watch, paired with Godzilla—the original Japanese radioactive antihero inspired by a genre of Japanese film known as Hibakusha Cinema. But the two do share a common history.
The huge (originally 50 meters, now more like 100) radioactive reptile made its first fearsome appearance in the movie Godzilla way back in 1954 after being aroused from the ocean depths by atomic weapons testing by the US military. He put in his first appearance in Ginza, which happens to be the birthplace of Seiko. Not entirely happy with being rudely awoken, Godzilla destroys the famous clock tower which rises above the Wako store, where Seiko first opened in 1952. Since then Godzilla has been destroying cities and thrilling cinema audiences for 65 years and 30 movies.
Meanwhile, the remarkable achievement that is the Seiko Spring Drive movement is celebrating its 20th anniversary. To commemorate the anniversary Grand Seiko wanted to showcase a new sports watch, capable of withstanding an extreme sports environment while still retaining the legendary precision of the Spring Drive movement.
This new limited-edition watch incorporates the essence of the radioactive monster in several ways. The strap looks like it’s been borrowed straight from the hide of the creature itself, while the red sunray dial represents the monster’s heat ray beam that shoots from its mouth immediately eviscerating everything in its path.
The strong angular high-intensity titanium case, which is certainly eye-catching, is also said to bring to life the ‘magnitude’ of Godzilla, and while that particular rationale may be more tenuous it certainly makes for an eye-catching case. The curve of the lugs and the low center of gravity of the case has been designed to ensure maximum comfort.
Years in near-obsessive development, Seiko Spring Drive is a watch technology that can truly be called unique. The movement generates energy like every other luxury mechanical watch but combines this with an electronic regulator to deliver a level of precision that ordinary mechanical watches cannot match. The Spring Drive movement was possible because Grand Seiko is one of the few manufacturers with mastery of both electronic and mechanical watchmaking.
The new 44.5mm Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th Anniversary Limited Edition is fitted with the Caliber 9R15 movement featuring high shock and temperature resistance. Using a quartz oscillator, the watch has been adjusted to have an enhanced precision of 0.5 seconds a day and a power reserve of 72 hours. Fittingly for a sports watch, it’s been designed for high visibility in all sporting situations. The hands feature Lumibrite while the hour markers and bezel, as well as the high definition sapphire crystal with anti-glare coating, make the watch extremely easy to read.
Turn the watch over and on the see-through caseback there is yet more Godzilla and Seiko symbolism. The caseback is stamped with the scene where Godzilla destroys the clock tower in the original movie released in 1954. Fortunately, in real life, the clock still stands to this day at the main intersection of the Ginza district and is a well-known icon of the city. The artwork was created by Shinji Higuchi, co-director and special effects director for the movie 2016 movie “Shin Godzilla”.
The watch itself is available now as a limited edition of just 650 pieces. sold at selected Grand Seiko and Seiko boutiques and certain retail outlets around the world. In Europe, the Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th Anniversary sells for €12,700.