Grand Seiko shows how time can flow naturally

shopping January 17, 2019 12:35

By The Nation

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The embodiment of Japanese aesthetics and artisanal techniques, Spring Drive has long been praised for its perfect glide motion second hand.



Now Japanese luxury watch brand Grand Seiko is demonstrating this technique in the exhibition “The Flow of Time” running from January 21 to 27 at Central Embassy.

The exhibition includes an installation featuring Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive movement with two Japanese artists teaming up and inviting guests to experience and explore the Spring Drive through two main elements: the Installation “Approach to Time” by Satoshi Yoshiizumi of the TAKT Project and the movie “Kizamu / Nagareru” by Shingo Abe. 

A collection of Grand Seiko watches will also be displayed and an expert craftsman will be on hand to demonstrate the assembly of the Grand Seiko movement.

The smooth movement of the Spring Drive’s second hand, which glides across the dial without a sound, brings to mind the natural flow of nature. 

Yoshiizumi’s installation features an enormous visual screen that transforms the transience of time into space into which 7 clear objects are neatly lined up. By examining the objects closely, the viewer can see more than 200 watch parts integrated with the constantly moving scenery and creating its own microcosm. The small twinkling spots of light surrounding the parts demonstrate the existence of electricity generated by the parts themselves, Walk along the 7 objects and the parts are formed into a watch movement. The complete watch movement will continue to display time even though it is sealed inside the object: this is where the flow of time never ceases to exist.

The creation process of the watch movement and how it is complemented by the moving scenery shows time in transience. The combination of the moving scenery and the object is an enormous spatial device, where you can experience the philosophy of Grand Seiko embodying the essence of time.

The movie “Kizamu/ Nagareru” by Abe presents the trail of the sun drawing an arch in the sky. The history of timepieces began by “ticking” this natural arching “movement” with time transformed from what used to “flow” to something that “ticks.” In their pursuit for better performance, mechanical watches demonstrated a higher precision with the “ticking” of time. Now time is returning to its “flowing” movement once again.

Multiple exposure captures an enormous number of moments and installs them into one photo while long exposures trap the flow of time into a single image. The collaboration of the multiple exposure and long exposure represent the return to nature approach made possible by the ultimate Spring Drive. The contrast between the “ticking time” and “flowing time” is shown in this piece.