Grand Seiko, the renowned luxury Japanese timepiece manufacturer, has partnered with Amsterdam interdisciplinary design studio BCXSY to create an installation for Design Miami/ which celebrates the brand’s strong bond to nature. Titled The Journey of Birch, the installation is an imaginative, enchanting environment influenced by Grand Seiko’s new award-winning “White Birch” timepiece which binds beauty, nature, and time together. The dial of the “White Birch” is inspired by the slender and strikingly beautiful white birch trees that thrive in the northern parts of Japan and which grow in profusion near the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, where this timepiece is made. With its intricate textures, fine detail, and delicate subtlety, The Journey of Birch is a window that opens onto the distinctive natural environment of Japan and the exquisite craftsmanship of Grand Seiko.
For many of its timepieces, Grand Seiko finds inspiration in the ecosystems that surround its watchmaking studios. For The Journey of Birch, it was imperative to incorporate both elements of the natural world and the brand’s Nature of Time philosophy, which celebrates the Japanese spirituality of time brought to life with the pride and spirit of Takumi (craftsmanship), into a fully immersive space where visitors can experience a multisensory journey of time.
Entering The Journey of Birch, visitors find themselves in a space that is an abstract interpretation of a birch tree forest; with indigo-colored panoramic murals, weaved with metallic substrate that shimmers when light hits its surface, creating a dreamlike atmosphere that feels both familiar yet surreal. The room is anchored by the centerpiece display, a three-ring clock that spans the height of the installation. Each ring has its own distinctly finished metal-rod, reminiscent of watch hands, that travels at its own interval, hours, minutes, and seconds. With the passing of time, each rod draws a circle in the sand that serves as the clock’s base. Flanking the space are crate benches, fashioned to provide seating. The materials used for the benches and crates are a reference to travel, symbolizing the journey of the white birch from Japan to Miami, and the time in which it takes to make it. The benches are also equipped with headphones, which capture the sound of the clock hands moving in the sand. The final experience is one that engages the senses – sight, touch, and sound – and invites visitors to contemplate nature and their relationship with time.
SLGH005 “White Birch”
Inspired by the beauty of white birch forests, SLGH005, recently named the best men’s watch of 2021 by the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, captures the dynamism of the white birch tree forests near the studio in Shizukuishi, where all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are crafted. To look closely at the dial is to experience the exact same feeling that the visitor to these forests receives and to be brought closer than ever to the true and eternal nature of time. Its powerful hands and grooved, prominent markers ensure perfect legibility, its Zaratsu polished, distortion-free mirror finish, and delicate hairline finish alternate give the case a quiet and harmonious glow. The case has wide lugs and a low center of gravity that ensures that the watch sits easily and securely on the wrist. The high-beat watch is powered by the revolutionary Caliber 9SA5, which offers a power reserve of 80 hours thanks to its enhanced energy efficiency.
The Journey of Birch
Organized by Grand Seiko
Direction and Design by BCXSY
Produced by Pac Team Group
ABOUT GRAND SEIKO
Ever since its first creation sixty years ago, Grand Seiko has enchanted watch connoisseurs with timepieces that offer extremely high precision, supreme legibility and a uniquely Japanese aesthetic. Grand Seiko has revolutionized watchmaking with many innovations—including the Spring Drive movement, which offers a seamless seconds-hand motion and accuracy unlike any other mechanical watch and continues to do so today. Every Grand Seiko watch reflects the Japanese spirituality of time inspired by nature. Whether elegant, traditional, or sport, expect a new understanding of “The Nature of Time” from Grand Seiko. grand-seiko.com
BCXSY is an Amsterdam-based interdisciplinary cooperative between designers Boaz Cohen (Israel, 1978) and Sayaka Yamamoto (Japan, 1984). Established in early 2007, BCXSY continues to carry out a wide range of projects, both in The Netherlands and abroad. Offering a balanced combination of two unique talents, the studio delivers one distinct narrative that is characterized by an emphasis on personal experience, human interaction, and emotional awareness. The artful intertwining of the specific and boutique with the universal and commercial is the hallmark of the BCXSY design experience. www.bcxsy.com