Grand Seiko announces four new watches in the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection. The four new watches will feature a new case design with a new manual-winding caliber. Of the four, two will feature Japanese traditional Urushi dials.
Grand Seiko SBGK002 and SBGK004: the urushi dials. Limited Edition 150 each
Urushi dialed creation, which is available in two versions, both in a rose gold case. Both versions have a pure, understated and subtle design aesthetic of Grand Seiko is evident in every detail, as is the skill and care taken by the watchmakers at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio where the watch is made.
The dials is a showcase of traditional Japanese craftsmanship: Urushi lacquer. In the SGBK002, the dial is a magnificent amber colour, made from a transparent and long lasting Urushi that comes from trees grown in and around the town of Joboji. The area lies under Mt. Iwate, the mountain that dominates the skyline above the Shizukuishi Watch Studio. Through the amber colored “Suki-urushi” lacquer can be seen the subtle Mt. Iwate pattern that reveals the watchmakers’ pride in the natural beauty that surrounds their home. The SGBK004 features a black dial which uses the same lacquer mixed with iron to give it its distinctive deep jet black color.
The cases are polished by a special Zaratsu method created to accentuate the beauty of the curved surfaces. The dials and the sapphire crystals are also curved to give the watches a classic look. The minute and power reserve indicator hands are bent so that they follow exactly the domed contour of the dials.
In both of this editions, the hour markers and the “GS” letters are decorated with the traditional Maki-e technique by Urushi master Isshu Tamura in his studio in Kanazawa on the west coast of Japan’s main island. Through the application of layer after layer of lacquer, these markers are given a three dimensional profile and a delicate yet strong presence on the dial. Tamura then applies a powder of either 24k gold or platinum, and then polishes them by hand using his own special tools to give Maki-e its delicately shimmering appearance. These processes require great dexterity as it is very challenging to give every marker the same depth, especially on a curved surface.
SGBK005 in Stainless Steel. Limited edition 1500
Another edition is in a special dial, known as theMt. Iwate pattern dial, is in stainless steel. The dial pattern is pressed onto the brass dial and the blue applied.
All three editions – SBGK002, 004, 005 are available immediately from Grand Seiko and Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide. And the SBGK006 in yellow gold will be available from July 2019.
SBGK006: Yellow Gold, permanent collection
Available from July, the same movement and case will be executed in yellow gold and will not be limited.
New movement: Caliber 9S63
The new Caliber 9S63 is the first new manual winding mechanical caliber in the Grand Seiko stable in 8 years.
The Caliber 9S63 offers a small seconds hand at the nine o’clock position and a power reserve indicator at three o’clock. While these sub-dials are easy to read, they are also discreetly unobtrusive and allow the eye to enjoy the beauty of the Urushi lacquer of which the dial is made. Caliber 9S63 has a power reserve of 72 hours and delivers an accuracy rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day.
Grand Seiko Elegance Collection: Specifications
Mechanical thin dress series
Driving system: manual-winding Vibrations: 28,880 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second) Accuracy: +5 to -3 seconds per day (when static) Power reserve: 72 hours Number of jewels: 33
18k rose gold case (SBGK002, 004) with urushi lacquer dial
18k yellow gold case (SBGK006)
Stainless steel case (SBGK005)
High definition dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating Screw see-through case back, Screw-down crown
Water resistance: 3 bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Diameter: 39.0mm, Thickness: 11.6mm
Crocodile strap with 18k rose gold buckle (SBGK002, 004) Crocodile strap with 18k yellow gold buckle (SBGK006) Three-fold clasp with push button release (SBGK005)