Thursday, April 15, 2021

"Always one step ahead of the rest"

SEIKO New range launch 2021/22 - W O W !!
Survey results first: it's fair to say that no modern watch could compete with the 1973 Seiko gold Chronometer which won you over in an avalanche. Over 1,000 subscribers casted their votes, and here is the result:
The Seiko event - the new watch range launch for a handful of premium authorised dealers - was a blast. It started with a dinner at 6:30pm last night - that finished at 11pm! It was a fairly informal event where attendees were given an opportunity to mingle, get to know each other, and chat with the Seiko staff. Dare I say, It almost felt like a family gathering.

Despite COVID, Seiko Australia had yet another prosperous year.  Seiko took the risk - early on, the decision was made to retain every single employee, keep going strong, and keep investing in marketing and relationship building. That strategy paid off handsomely. 
This morning, at 9:00 sharp, we gathered once again at Hilton for an official 'unveiling' of the new watches. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to disclose any photos (yet!) but let me assure you that you will be impressed by a number of new models. Let me just say that the new 'vintage inspired' line will be a killer. 

To my surprise, Mr Yukiaki Suganuma, the Managing Director of Seiko Australia, presented yours truly with a very special gift. Mr Suganuma - who insisted that we all call him Yuki - was very curious to learn more about YOU - our supporters and newsletter subscribers; and the way we interact and promote Seiko, to what has been described as the 'top echelon of Australian horological enthusiasts'. It didn't need much to explain the obvious: Australians love Seiko watches because Seiko is an honest product with a proven record for reliability, priced rightly and fairly. It was a pleasure to accept the present on yours and our behalf.
Of course, I could not resist but to ask Mr Yuki for a quick wrist check - he was wearing the Novak Djokovic SPB143J !! 
For a small Australian watchmaker, as well as for all watch enthusiasts, the words of Mr Shinji Hattori- CEO and Chairman of Seiko - are both inspirational and visionary:

"Dear Friend of Grand Seiko and Seiko,

This year, we celebrate the 140th anniversary of the founding of Seiko by my great-grandfather, Kintaro Hattori. I see this as an opportunity to reflect on our long history, to take stock of what he and my predecessors have achieved and to look ahead to the future.

Kintaro directed the company until his death in 1934. He became known as the "King of Watches in the East". He created a company that could produce timepieces of high quality and remarkable precision, and he guided Seiko through good times and bad to become the leading watch company in Japan. I know he would be proud of our vertically integrated production system, which covers everything from initial design to parts manufacturing and even materials development. Yet his greatest legacy was something longer lasting and more valuable than our manufacturing methods or our business model. It was his vision of the kind of company he wanted Seiko to be - one that cherishes its customers and all its stakeholders and is truly trusted by society.

Kintaro's spirit is clear in his words that Seiko should be "Always one step ahead of the rest" and in the lesson he repeated to his colleagues as they went about their duties: "Don't run but always keep going". His words still resonate and continue to inspire all of us as we face the challenges of these demanding times and aim for a brighter future.

I like to think that Kintaro would be proud of what we have achieved in recent times and of our ambitious program for 2021, which we have developed in line with his vision and spirit.

I am confident that the collections we are going to show you will live up to Kintaro's ideals, and that the coming year will mark the start of an exciting new era for both Grand Seiko and Seiko."

It will, indeed.                         

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