Time and Date
Grand Seiko released a collection of blue dial models for its 60th Anniversary. It comprises a 44GS hi-beat automatic, ladies watches and 2 Quartz models.
Grand Seiko SBGP015 60th Anniversary Quartz
Case and Dial
The stainless steel Grand Seiko SBGP015 measures 40 mm in diameter and 12.4 mm in thickness. An attractive deep blue ceramic bezel matches the same color of the dial while providing a glossy polish with high scratch resistance.
The markers as well as the hour and minute hands are coated with LumiBrite so as to increase the legibility of the time even in low light conditions. It has 20 bar water resistance, magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m and a screw-down crown for better water proofing.
The applied indices are tall and nicely finished, in typical Grand Seiko fashion. Together with the hands, they are a clever mix of brushed and polished surfaces and beveled edges. The finishing combination creates a strong reflective spectacle also performed in the case of the watch. Straight lines from the Grammar of Design with sharp edges are accentuated with Zaratsu polish, creating mirror finishing without distortion on polished surfaces.
The 60th anniversary is also celebrated with a new quartz movement. Caliber 9F85 has a time difference adjustment function that allows the hour hand to be adjusted without stopping the seconds hand and thus preserving its high precision when the wearer changes time zones. This new caliber makes its debut in two 60th anniversary designs. The movement is accurate to ±10 seconds per year.
Priced at USD 3,800, the watch is part of an emerging trend bumping up the prestige and prices of the high-end quartz category. Grand Seiko would want to rely less on its Spring Drive dominance and also capture an audience that wants the usability of Quartz timepieces. An investment in improving the Quartz series with 9F movements will help it stay competitive in this category.
While Grand Seiko reigns in Japan as the high-end mechanical movement manufacturer, its neighbor Citizen has a reputation for its stellar eco-drive Quartz watches. Citizen’s AQ4020-54Y is a close competitor with arguably a superior movement, solar quartz with an accuracy of ±5 seconds per year. It uses a fascinating paper dial – washi, that sits below a transparent crystal dial, which makes the indices and logo look like they are floating. That said, the Grand Seiko SBGP015 has a more accessible size at 40 mm, and a modern twist with the inclusion of a blue ceramic bezel. The watch will be available in April 2020 as a limited edition of 2,000.