Grand designs: Grand Seiko Elegance ‘Asakage’ and ‘Yukage’

Grand Seiko unveils a duo of timepieces inspired by the light and shade of traditional Japanese architecture

Watches & Jewellery 14 Sep 2021

While Japanese architecture has taken many shapes and forms over the centuries, it’s often typified by its distinctive wooden structures with dramatic sweeping roofs. Like many forms of age-old design it is a construction born just as much out of nature and need as aesthetics, with the overhanging eaves of the buildings protecting the wooden support structures from the country’s humid climate.

As a result, the outside light can only enter horizontally and it is left in the hands of the architects to create functional and unique layouts that skillfully illuminate the inside living space. This has led to intriguing interplays of brightness and shade, achieved in part through the use of shoji, moveable paper screens that can be artfully placed to diffuse light in different ways.

Grand Seiko has drawn inspiration from this practice for a new duo of timepieces in its Elegance collection, exclusive to Europe. The SBGW267 evokes the ‘asakage’, or morning sunlight, that warmly and softly illuminates the room when rising. This is reflected in its radiant silver-coloured dial, with a delicate graduation that plays with the light. ‘Yukage’, or the glow of dusk, inspired the SBGW269, with its handsome dark-brown dial and matching calfskin strap. Both watches feature a slightly curved dial with a special washi pattern, featuring a fibre-like texture. As beautiful on the inside as out, they come powered by the precise Calibre 9S64 hand-wound movement, impeccably finished and viewable through the sapphire-crystal caseback.