Friday, September 7, 2018

Grand Seiko Snowflake v. Omega Planet Ocean v. Rolex Oyster Perpetual

If there's any truth at all to the expression, "the devil is in the details," it's true for Grand Seiko's Snowflake, a watch for which the details are the main event.

And if the movie line, "there can be only one," means anything, it means one watch towers above its rivals, and that watch is also the Grand Seiko Snowflake.

Rumors swirl among watch reviews and YouTube videos about how Grand Seiko holds beauty above all else. Except perhaps for precision, reliability, and perfection, because it's part of Seiko's mindset, part of Seiko's DNA that these elements are equal and inseparable. Like designing a spacecraft for a mission to the edge of the solar system, everything inside and outside of Grand Seiko must be flawless.

Perfection is a quest, perhaps never obtainable because everything made by humans is flawed just like we are, but essential to pursue nonetheless because one day the gap between imperfection and perfection will be imperceivable.

The Grand Seiko Snowflake's hands, which hover magically over the dial, were made by and for fairies to fight their battles -- and with the Snowflake's razor sharp dauphine hands, victory is as certain as the sunrise. Of that I am sure.

Which brings me to this article's main event: the Snowflake's hands. I'll let the pictures speak the words, but you'll see what I see: The precision and polish, and the unity of design are far greater with the Grand Seiko Snowflake than it is with the Omega Planet Ocean or Rolex Oyster Perpetual. When it comes to details the Grand Seiko Snowflake is number one.

Grand Seiko Snowflake, photo by Ákos Balog

Omega Planet Ocean, photo by Ákos Balog

Rolex Oyster Perpetual, photo by Ákos Balog

The Japanese quest for perfection, for harmony between what's man-made and created by nature isn't an obsession. It's an elemental part of Japanese culture and history, inseparable from Japan as breathing is from living. This quest is reflected in the ancient arts of sword making and the modern art of making watches.  And the pleasure is all ours.

Photos by Ákos Balog by way of the Grand Seiko Owners ClubÁkos Balog is the owner of  PhenomeNato Straps.

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