Grand Seiko extends the 9F quartz caliber with a GMT function, and releases 3 new watches with the new movement – the 9F86. This is the first time a complication has been added to the 9F caliber. One of the new watches with the new 9F Quartz GMT is the limited edition SBGN001 with a precision of +/-5 seconds a year, while the other two will be in the permanent catalog and offered in two colourways, with a precision of +/-10s a year.
The 9F is a workhorse quartz movement in Seiko’s stable, and have been in service since 1993. We reviewed the Grand Seiko SBGX069 earlier. The quartz range was extended this Baselworld 2018 with the new 25th Anniversary Editions. And now extended further with the addition of a GMT feature to the venerable 9F.
As with the regular 9F, the new caliber, dubbed the 9F86 is equipped with a backlash auto-adjust mechanism to eliminate any shudder in the seconds hand, the date changes in the blink of an eye, a twin-pulse control system allows the minute and seconds hands to extend right to the edge of the dial and high precision is ensured by the use of aged and individually selected quartz crystals.
The new GMT feature makes it an easy decision for the international traveler. The new Caliber 9F86 is based upon, and has all the precision and durability attributes of, the original 9F but incorporates a GMT function that allows the watch’s precision to be maintained when the hour hand is adjusted independently. This is made possible by new components that have been created especially for this movement.
Despite the addition of the GMT hand, the depth of the case has been increased only slightly, because of a newly designed main plate, a re-design of the gear train and the way the hands are attached, a process that is done by hand. Like the other hands, the GMT hand is mounted on an independent axis so as to ensure its smooth operation. Caliber 9F86 is presented in one limited edition and two other permanent creations in the Grand Seiko Sport Collection.
The new limited edition will offer a higher precision of +/- 5 seconds a year, and comes with a metallic charcoal dial features a unique pattern based on the traditional Quartz symbol to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Caliber 9F. It also carries the five-pointed star that symbolizes Grand Seiko’s special level accuracy and, at the 25 minute position, the dial pattern is subtly different; the symbols 9F and 25 are discreetly shown as a permanent reminder of the caliber’s anniversary. The outer rim of the dial, from three o’clock to nine, is in vivid yellow to display at a glance whether the GMT hand indicates AM or PM. This unique commemorative Grand Seiko watch is offered in an edition limited to just 800 and will be available in selected markets from October.
In addition to the limited edition, two other watches are released incorporating the 9F86 caliber. The dials are three dimensional in appearance and are edged with a two-tone ring to allow the AM or PM time indicated by the GMT hand to be read instantly and easily. Similarly, the use of Lumibrite on the hour markers and hour, minute and GMT hands delivers the enhanced legibility that the international traveler needs. These two new creations are available in January, 2019.
Grand Seiko Quartz GMT Technical Specifications
Accuracy: ±5 seconds per year (at temperatures between 5℃ and 35℃) (SBGN001) ±10 seconds per year (at temperatures between 5℃ and 35℃) (SBGN003 / 005)
Instant date change
High-torque stepping motor
Protective shield construction
GMT function / Independent hour hand adjustment function
Stainless steel case and bracelet
High definition dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Diameter: 39.0mm Thickness: 12.1mm
Water resistance: 10 bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Approximate recommended retail price in Europe:
SBGN001 Caliber 9F 25th Anniversary Limited Edition (800 pcs) €3,600
SBGN003 and SBGN005: €3,200