Considering the long span of human history, wristwatches are a relatively new addition to the fashion scene. Though they’ve been around for about a hundred years, the wristwatch boasts a pretty illustrious history. Queen Elizabeth I was one of the first known women to possess one, gifted to her by lifelong friend and would-be suitor Robert Dudley in 1571. Once they got the "royal seal" wristwatches became a symbol of style, not merely timekeepers but mini-masterpieces that showcase extreme craftsmanship, tradition, technology and innovation.
An Insider's Look at The Nature of Time Experience
When UK’s largest luxury wristwatch retailer, Watches of Switzerland and Japanese timepiece pioneer Grand Seiko decided to extend their partnership with a limited-edition experiential boutique The Nature of Time Experience in SoHo, New York, WhereTraveler was honored to get an inside look. The gallery coincides with the reopening of the Watches of Switzerland retail stores in the iconic SoHo neighborhood embracing the new normal with a greater emphasis on the individual guest experience: more innovative, highly immersive, meticulously personalized and safe.
The Nature of Time Experience features the largest collection of Grand Seiko timepieces in the world in addition to eight immersive and educational “zones” for guests to learn about the brand’s master craftsmanship. Using innovative technology, one zone explores the precise detail that goes into each of Grand Seiko’s mechanical, quartz, and Spring Drive movements. And later this summer, visitors will have an opportunity to experience true Japanese hospitality, called Omotenashi, in the Den of Lions or the downstairs Takumi Lounge—a VIP room modeled after the beautiful bars of Ginza.
The highlight of The Nature of Time Experience are the timepieces themselves. The gallery displays all boutique collections, the recently released Watches of Switzerland exclusive Toge Special Edition GMT, the complete “Japan Seasons” collection, limited edition 60th anniversary pieces, and—for the first-time ever—rare watches made exclusively for the Japan market. All watches showcased at The Nature of Time Experience are available for purchase.
A passion for horology and the collecting of fine timepieces has been known to be a pastime mostly represented by men. Possibly because men have far fewer fashion options than women. A man might own a fine suit; a selection of ties; or even a collection of cuff-links, but when it comes to the personal expression of his tastes and preferences, the wristwatch is the go-to accessory. A wristwatch says a lot more about a person’s character—more discreet than a sports car, a luxury Grand Seiko timepiece is a Rover that you can take to meetings.
Grand Seiko’s Nature of Time Experience collection pays tribute to Japan’s ever-changing nature, with each timepiece reflecting the grandeur, an expression of design and movement. Japan’s twenty-four seasons are referred to as “Sekki.” From Risshun (beginning of spring) in early February to Daikan (greater cold) in late January, the Twenty-Four Seasons of Japan celebrate the passage of time as a poetic journey, as nature awakens, blossoms, matures and slowly slumbers. Based on the ancient Japanese philosophy of mono no aware—appreciate the beauty of ephemeral things—The Nature of Time Experience inspires guest to celebrate as well as contemplate nature.
Journey into Time
Visit the Boutique
Explore this experiential boutique located at 119 Spring Street in SoHo today until the end of September. The Nature of Time Experience is open to walk-in visitors, but reservations are highly encouraged due to limited capacity. As a commitment to caring for the health and well-being of employees and guests, masks and social distancing will be required. Hours of operation: Monday – Saturday 11 am - 7 pm; Sunday noon - 6 pm; 119 Spring St., 10012; 646.693.0893
Take a Virtual Tour
We invite guests to also virtually “visit” The Nature of Time Experience through interactive AR technology and videos of each zone from the comfort of their homes. Experience what makes Grand Seiko a leader in the art of watchmaking at https://grandseikonatureoftime.com.