the seiko watch corporation inaugurates its completed ‘studio shizukuishi’, designed by kengo kuma for the production of grand seiko’s mechanical watches. the studio opened its doors in shizukuishi, japan on july 20, 2020, representing a new chapter in the 60-year history of the brand. following the opening, seiko CEO shinji hattori commented: ‘the studio provides the ideal environment for our craftsmen and women to bring grand seiko’s mechanical watches to life and for the next generation of watchmakers to be trained and their skills developed. it embodies grand seiko’s philosophy, the nature of time, and is clear evidence to the world of our dedication to the art of mechanical watchmaking.’

kengo kuma seiko shizukuishi
all images courtesy of seiko watch corporation



the kengo kuma-designed studio shizukuishi not only gives the grand seiko watchmakers an enhanced working environment, but also opens up potential for future production. discussing his design for the studio, kengo kuma continues: ‘grand seiko’s view of the importance of nature is reflected in every corner of its design and construction. I greatly enjoyed the challenge of making the clean room, where watches of the highest precision are assembled, from wood. to balance natural materials with the room’s high-technology technical requirements was a new and intriguing task.’

kengo kuma seiko shizukuishi
the grand seiko studio shizukuishi



in the design of studio shizukuishi, kengo kuma incorporates an open exhibition space. here, visitors can immerse themselves in the history of grand seiko as well as explore the manufacturing characteristics of grand seiko’s mechanical watches. events will be held at which visitors can try their hand at assembling a mechanical watch themselves in a dedicated space known as the studio seminar room.

kengo kuma seiko shizukuishi
the heart of the studio is the clean room where the watches are assembled



studio shizukuishi also includes a second floor lounge which overlooks mount iwate, the inspiration for many aspects of grand seiko’s designs. the lounge contains an exhibition that explains the world of grand seiko and will also showcase the brand’s first ‘concept creation,’ a watch movement which will reveal the full extent of the ingenuity and skill of every one of grand seiko’s specialists, from designers to technicians.

kengo kuma seiko shizukuishi kengo kuma seiko shizukuishi 
the abundant use of wood fits with grand seiko’s philosophy of ‘the nature of time’

kengo kuma seiko shizukuishi
a lounge on the second floor looks out at mount iwate

kengo kuma seiko shizukuishi
the hi-beat 36000 80 hours is the first new creation made at the new studio

kengo kuma seiko shizukuishi
the watch’s dial inspired by the rich green landscape that surrounds the studio



project info:


project title: grand seiko studio shizukuishi

architecture: kengo kuma

client: seiko watch corporation

location: shizukuishi, iwate prefecture, northeastern japan

completion: july 20, 2020

photography: courtesy of seiko watch corporation