New: Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Manual winding SLGW002 and SLGW003

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

The new Grand Seiko SLGW002 and SLGW003 have made a remarkable entrance at watches and wonders 2024, with its new manual winding movement. The SLGW002, a limited edition in 18k rose gold, is a boutique only 80 piece edition. The SLGW003, crafted from Brilliant Hard Titanium, offers a more accessible yet equally sophisticated option.

Press release with Commentary in italics.

New: Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Manual winding SLGW002 and SLGW003


Both models feature the new manual hi-beat movement, Caliber 9SA4, which is a significant evolution from the brand’s previous movements, offering an impressive 80-hour power reserve and a precision of +5 to -3 seconds per day. The ‘White Birch’ textured dials, inspired by the serene beauty of white birch trees, are a nod to Grand Seiko’s nature-influenced design philosophy. With a case size of 38.6mm and a slim profile of 9.95mm, these watches are designed for comfort and wearability. In comparison, the SBGW231 with the 9S64 movement measures 11.7mm thick.

The new movement has a lot going on. There is much more attention to detail and aesthetics with this new movement. The gold model is priced at US$45,000 and the titanium at $10,700. Personally, I find this movement to be the best looking manual winding movement released by GS to date, with the exception of Credor shared movements; and seems accessibly priced in the titanium model. The finishing is more traditional as compared to the spring drive 9R31 found in the SBGY007. If compared with the 9S64, mechanical manual winding, the new 9SA4 looks much better and I think will likely cannibalize sales of the Elegance line models like the SBGW259 $8300, and SBGK007 $6,900. The SLGW003 has a much superior movement for a $2,400 price premium. It also measures under 10mm, 1mm slimmer than the SBGW259. My only gripe is that we are seeing the same white birch dial already used in the SLGH005G – a new dial pattern or color would make this new release even more popular. Or perhaps it won’t take long before we see a string of colors and dial patterns with this new movement – which maybe great for customers after all.

Press release

Manual winding, high-beat precision, and 80 hours of power.
Introducing a new dress watch in the Evolution 9 Style.

Today, the ritual of winding a watch is one of life’s pleasures. The simple act of turning the crown taps into the senses to forge a deeper connection with time’s natural flow. In the 1960s and ’70s, manually wound 10-beat Grand Seiko creations were manufactured in the pursuit of better rate stability and higher precision. This year, for the first time in more than 50 years, Grand Seiko announces a new hand-wound high-beat movement, the Caliber 9SA4. It is the third movement to join the latest generation of the mechanical Caliber 9S platform, which was born in 2020 with the automatic Caliber 9SA5 and then followed just last year with the Tentagraph Caliber 9SC5 chronograph.

A thoroughly redesigned and reconstructed movement based on Caliber 9SA5.

As with Caliber 9SA5, the new 9SA4 beats 10 times per second while achieving a power reserve of 80 hours when fully wound thanks to its highly efficient Dual Impulse Escapement and two barrels. Both movements use the Grand Seiko Free-sprung Balance and a hairspring with overcoil. As a result, Caliber 9SA4 benefits from the rate stability, resistance to outside interference, and high performance that have long characterized Grand Seiko’s high-beat movements. And, as with other Grand Seiko mechanical movements, 9SA4 is tested in six positions at three different temperatures over 17 days to ensure it meets the Grand Seiko Standard.

Though the new Caliber 9SA4 has many of the same characteristics as 9SA5, nearly 40 percent of the base movement has been redesigned and reconstructed with careful consideration given to the tactile, aural, and visual sensations experienced during winding. The movement’s click, the part that holds the ratchet wheel to prevent the unwinding of the mainsprings, and the click spring, have been tailored to perfect their feel and sound, and the crown stops when the movement is fully powered. The click is in the shape of a wagtail, a bird recognized as special to Morioka, a city close to the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, where this and all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are crafted. Thanks to the redesign of the movement, the bird-like pecking motion of the click is visible to enjoy through the sapphire crystal case back during the hand-winding process. Together with the delicate finishing of the movement inspired by the Shizukuishi River, Caliber 9SA4 not only showcases the very best of Grand Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking capabilities but also captures the beauty of the studio’s natural surroundings.

A power-reserve indicator on one of the movement bridges tells the watch’s state of wind. The movement achieves a higher winding efficiency thanks to a rearrangement of the gear train and redesign of the parts, so that Caliber 9SA4 achieves a power reserve of 80 hours with 15 percent fewer crown rotations than are required to achieve the same power for Caliber 9SA5 when winding it by hand. Thanks to its svelte movement, the latest birch-inspired mechanical watch is 38.6mm in diameter and achieves a slimness of 9.95mm.

A dress watch in the Evolution 9 Style

Caliber 9SA4 will make its debut in a new dress watch belonging to the Evolution 9 Collection, whose design represents a continuation of the Grand Seiko Style that reaches back to the iconic 44GS of 1967. Only this time, the Evolution 9 Style itself has been further refined to create a watch that instantly communicates the charm, elegance, grace, and subtlety one would expect of a hand-wound dress watch.

Several aspects of the design have been revisited – from the prominent, grooved indexes, which have been slimmed down and elongated, to the multifaceted lugs, which are now narrower and have a smaller surface area. The watch’s center of gravity has been lowered to ensure the comfort and stability for which Grand Seiko’s Evolution 9 creations have become renowned.

The case and clasp are made of Grand Seiko’s Brilliant Hard Titanium. The alloy is brighter than traditional titanium, causing the case’s Zaratsu-polished surfaces to appear even more radiant and achieving a sparkle of quality and beauty befitting a Grand Seiko dress watch. Brilliant Hard Titanium makes the watch not only light but also highly resistant to corrosion and scratches while commanding a hardness double that of standard stainless steel.

A dial reflecting the beauty of nature

The new creation’s dial is inspired by the slender white birch trees that thrive in northern parts of Japan and that grow in profusion near the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi. The exquisite pattern echoes the beauty of the birch tree’s bark with its intricate, multi-dimensional texture. Combined with the watch’s elegant design and the movement’s high precision, the new creation offers a refined experience of the nature of time.

A limited edition in 18k rose gold

A limited-edition creation with a case and clasp made of 18k rose gold will also join the Evolution 9 Collection. The watch shares the same dial color and pattern as the Brilliant Hard Titanium version, but it carries the star mark that signifies its hour markers are crafted in gold. Just as with the Brilliant Hard Titanium creation, its case, indexes, and hands all reflect the Evolution 9 Style but are redesigned for elegance.

Both watches will be available beginning in August 2024, with the rose gold version as a limited edition of 80 exclusive to the Grand Seiko Boutiques. The Brilliant Hard Titanium version will join the mainstay Evolution 9 Collection and be available at both the Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide.


About Author

Comments are closed.