The watch is a Credor, a brand made by Seiko and barely known outside Japan or enthusiast circles. Credor offers a simple time-teller for $61,000 or a minute-repeater model that chimes the hours for an impressive $440,000.
Seiko is bringing these and a “budget” chiming watch – the Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie for $200,000 – to Australia for just three days from March 2 to mark the opening of Seiko’s first brand boutique here, in Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building.
The six-figure Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater is made to order and is so finely engineered that only three are produced in a year. It comprises 660 hand-polished parts while Credor’s “simple” model, the Eichi ll, boasts a porcelain dial and hand-painted numerals with an otherwise completely uncluttered face.
Seiko’s Australian group marketing manager, Stuart Smith, told watch-next.com that bringing the Credor brand here was “an alert to the high-end – it shows that our expertise goes well beyond the positioning we’re best known for, watches up to two or three thousand dollars.”
Conceding that such pieces are not for the average buyer, Smith said Seiko was enjoying successive years of growth in Australia, particularly on a per-head basis, with higher priced watches featuring prominently.
“Since 2012 we’ve been selling an increasing number of higher-end pieces and we see real potential at the premium end of the business. This has attracted more attention from the Japanese.”
The boutique will offer a range including Grand Seiko and other models that have until recent years only been available in Japan, along with limited edition and special order timepieces.
This is something enthusiasts will welcome, with collectors having long placed such watches as the Credor in the top echelon of timepieces alongside the likes of Patek Philippe. Yes, they’re that good.
Bani McSpedden is watch editor of The Australian Financial Review and of watch-next.com
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