Recently when in California I had the opportunity to visit the relatively new Beverly Hills Grand Seiko Boutique on Rodeo Drive. This was the world’s first Grand Seiko Boutique that was opened in November 2017. The other Seiko Boutiques around the world carry Seiko branded products as well as Credor and some also have Galante models. There is also the Seiko Premium Boutique in Ginza and this store does not carry general Seiko models but in addition to Grand Seiko also carries Credor and Galante.
The Beverly Hills Boutique only carries Grand Seiko models, but can also supply Credor pieces on request. The store is physically quite small, at half of a normal sized store in the building, but they do have a nice selection of GS models. They had the usual standard GS model lineup as well as a number of special pieces.
The more unusual pieces included the new 9S models that were released at Baselworld this year. There was the the SBGH267 blue dialed stainless steel model as well as the SBGH266 gold Special model.
In addition to these there was the SBGW251 platinum version of the original GS Cal. 3180 inspired models that were released last year. The weight of the Pt case is very apparent as soon as you hold the watch. The carved dial is a nice touch but this is much shallower than the originals and does not have the same feel.
To promote the SBGW251 the store also had an original 3180 model on display. This was the most common variant with the raised logo text but it was nice to see an original model and a nod to the history behind the reissues.
There was cases with the new diver models and the ceramic chronograph pieces that each showed the case construction. It is nice to see the case design being highlighted for these pieces. The recent Seiko SBGJ227 High Beat Peacock model was also on display in a case at the end of the store. There were also cases with Spring Drive models, mechanical models and the quartz models.
The one model that I did really like was the recently released SBGT241G LE that celebrates the 25th Anniversary edition of the 9F calibre. This model has a textured dial that states GS9F and is stylistically inspired by the original Seiko quartz logo.
While we were visiting the store received a couple of calls from customers requesting models like the MM300 so they redirected them to the New York or Miami boutiques who carry the Seiko branded pieces as well. It will be interesting to see how the boutique succeeds in promoting the Grand Seiko brand to the American market.
On the way out I was given a bottle of GS water as it was quite warm in the store and this was appreciated.