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March 19, 2015 RLS1503-05

Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko. A photographic exploration

Grand Seiko celebrates its 55th anniversary in 2015 and the occasion is celebrated in a specially commissioned photographic exhibition, unveiled here at Baselworld.

Since its creation in 1960, every Grand Seiko watch has shared the same commitment to the pure essentials of watchmaking. Precision, legibility, comfort and durability are the attributes that have always defined Grand Seiko and always will. However the tightly defined parameters of Grand Seiko’s character do not limit the breadth of the Grand Seiko world, which is here explored by three leading Japanese photographers. Each has captured very different aspects of Grand Seiko and their diverse visions capture the essence of Grand Seiko in images that are as intriguing as they are beautiful.

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Keiichi Tahara

Born in Kyoto in 1951. Aged 21, he went to Paris to define and refine his photographic skills. In 1977, he won the young artist's prize at the Rencontres d'Arles Festival, at the age of 26, and rapidly gained an international reputation in art photography.

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Keiichi describes himself as "a sculptor of light." In his photography, light itself is the subject, rather than objects illuminated by light. In 2014, Tahara's exploration of the beauty of light was presented in his now famous series of images entitled Window. They are printed on glass and silk and are exhibited at a retrospective exhibition in the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris.


Keiichi’s images of Grand Seiko go to the heart of the watches themselves, as he presents their components in stunningly innovative ways.

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Sakiko Nomura

Born in 1967 in Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan. She began to publish her works in 1993, mainly in Tokyo but also in Europe and Asia. Nomura’s particular focus is on portraits of people.

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Her works show us the beauty and strength of her subjects’ lives, as well as the energy that people radiate when they sit for her. Many of Nomura’s main works, including Kuroyami (Black Darkness), are at London’s Tate Modern, thanks to the great appreciation of her work by the institute’s first curator of photography and international arts, Simon Baker, who has a strong interest in Japanese photography.


Sakiko was fascinated by the people behind the Grand Seiko brand and her portraits of many different members of the Grand Seiko team reveal their individual characters.

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Yuji Hamada

Born in Osaka in 1979. His works have been exhibited widely in Japan, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Hamada’s works are based on concepts that have been carefully constructed upon contemplating the state of photography in contemporary times, and present a peculiarly Japanese poetic and minimal beauty.

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In 2011, he was the recipient of the “Flash Forward” Emerging Photographers prize, organised by the Magenta Foundation. Now based in Tokyo, Yuji’s first photobook, Photograph, was published in 2014 and was nominated for the 2014 edition of Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation Photobook Award.


Yuji’s focus was on the movement of the hands of the three technologies of Grand Seiko. Using luminescence, his images capture the different ways in which the mechanical, Spring Drive and quartz hands traverse the dials.