The Seiko Group is a typical Japanese conglomerate… Meaning that under the same umbrella (but not under the same brand), you’ll find watches ranging from about EUR 200 to more than half a million euros. Grand Seiko is often seen as the group’s top watchmaker, but we have to keep in mind Credor, an even more confidential and exclusive brand that is capable of creating a grande sonnerie watch. And while GS has already demonstrated its ability to create metiers d’art watches, it’s now time for Credor to show that artistic crafts are also its thing. The result? This unique GBBY983, a hand-engraved watch with automaton… Probably not what you were expecting to see today, right?
To make it clear, there’s nothing in common between a Seiko 5 and a Credor watch, except the fact that the shareholders on top are the same. Credor might be an entity of the Seiko Corporation, it surely has skills that no one else in the group can apply to watches. In the past, the brand has shown impressive mechanical mastery, with the creation of Spring-Drive-powered minute repeater or grande sonnerie watches. And there’s of course the Eichi series, an ultra-elegant and high-end enamelled watch. And now comes this…
Usually, such unique engraved pieces with automatons are the apanage the most emblematic Swiss brands (e.g. Vacheron Constantin or Patek Philippe) but the GBBY983 “The Dream of the Butterfly” Art-Piece watch is done in Japan, by some of the most talented craftsmen employed by Credor. Specifically here, the work done on the dial must be credited to Kiyoshi Terui, a metal engraver awarded with the Yellow Ribbon medal for outstanding craftsmanship. He joined Daini Seikosha in 1993 and has since been one of the top engravers employed by the Seiko Group. His latest realization is this butterfly-themed watch, which also happens to have an animated dial.
The 950 platinum case of 38.8mm is rather simple in terms of design and execution, leaving space for the work done on the dial side and on the movement’s bridges. Made of solid white gold and fully engraved by hand, the dial is actually a rotating plate that can be actuated by the crown at 4 o’clock, starting an animation with 6 yellow gold butterflies (also engraved by hand) flapping their wings. Time is indicated by the mean of two blued steel hands. Surprisingly, and despite the animated dial, the thickness of the Credor GBBY983 is fairly controlled, at 11mm.
The back, revealing the calibre 6890, is equally decorated. All bridges are adorned with free-hand engravings, showing so-called wisteria flowers that bloom. Two butterflies, one in black, one in white, are also part of the movement’s decoration. The movement is hand-wound and runs at 3Hz, with a 37h power reserve.
The Credor GBBY983 “The Dream of the Butterfly” Art-Piece is a unique piece that is priced at JPY 49,500,000 (approx. EUR 360,000). Surely, not a watch we were expecting to see coming… But this shows that artistic skills are not only made in Switzerland but Japanese watchmakers also know how to create such impressively decorated watches. We just need to open our eyes more often… For more details, visit www.credor.com.