New: Grand Seiko Soko Editions for US markets with Editorial Commentary

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Grand Seiko made a special announcement today, and introduced the next member of the Seasons family in the Soko duo exclusively for the US markets.

Press Release with commentary in italics.

As a continuation of Japan’s twenty-four sekki (Japan celebrates the twenty-four sekki, dividing each season into six for a total of 24) that signifies nature’s ever-changing seasons, Grand Seiko introduces two new Special Edition timepieces in its Heritage Collection, only available in the United States. Each timepiece, design and movement, is a tribute to Japanese nature and expresses the natural and continuous flow of time.

Grand Seiko Soko U.S. Special Edition Grand Seiko Heritage Collection

The new timepieces celebrate sōkō, the end of Autumn, when the first frost embraces the forest. The green accent colors featured on the seconds hand and power reserve indicator epitomize the life of the Arashiyama bamboo forest in Kyoto in its peak season at the end of Autumn. Arashiyama’s bamboo forest in Kyoto, Japan is globally acclaimed for its majestic bamboo stalks and the mesmerizing slashes of light as sun filters through the densely packed grove. A narrow path paves the area where the tens of thousands of bamboo grow and is a place where one can feel the natural passing of time of the forest that has graced the region for over 1,000 years. The stroll through Arashiyama has been described as dreamlike for the soothing sound of the rustling bamboo, Arashiyama is one of the many beautiful bamboo forests in Kyoto, and they have been selected as one of the “100 Soundscapes of Japan” by the Japanese Ministry of Environment.

The vertical texture of the dials reflects the majestic stalks of the bamboo. Together, the 39.0mm timepieces pay tribute to this moment in nature, when its green hues are dramatically enlivened in the contrasting expression of “light” – silver dial of SBGA427 and “shadow” gray dial of SBGA429.

This is one of the smaller Grand Seiko watches with a Spring Drive movement. Even the very popular “Snowflake” model, which uses the same movement is 41mm. Also the new models have a display back with a very faint print of the Seikosha lion on the case back.

These remarkable timepieces display the deeply satisfying beauty created by the highest level of Japanese craftsmanship unique to Grand Seiko.

The watches will be delivered with a brushed stainless steel bracelet and an aligator strap.

The dark dial is a charcoal like darkness which is reminiscent of the dark shadows in Arayishiyama. The graining on the dial is also inspired by the layers upon layers of the bamboo forest.

While the light version, though using the same straight graining as the dark, is very bright, and indicative of the top of the Arashiyama where the light of the sun picks up on the sparkles of the first frost.

The Spring Drive 9R65 Caliber is designed, adjusted and assembled by hand, by acclaimed craftsmen and women at the Shinshu Watch Studio in Japan. Spring Drive, recognized as one of the great innovations in modern watchmaking, is a spring-driven movement with a state-ofthe-art electro-magnetic regulator that functions without an external power source.

The 9R65. This one as seen on the SBGA011 “Snowflake”. Deployant file photo.

Its sole power source is a mainspring, which drives a series of gears as a traditional mechanical watch, and delivers a precision of one second a day, a rate unprecedented for a watch powered by a mainspring. The Spring Drive movement further celebrates the passage of time as a poetic journey with every revolution of the seconds hand around the dial.

Both watches will be available only in the U.S. by July 2020, and is not a limited edition.

Grand Seiko Soko U.S. Special Edition Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Specifications

Caliber 9R65

Driving system: Spring Drive Accuracy: ±1 second per day / ±15 seconds per month (average) Power reserve: 72 hours Number of jewels: 30


Stainless Steel case Dual curve sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating Screw see-through case back Diameter: 39mm x Thickness 12.5mm Bracelet: Stainless Steel Band material: crocodile leather with three-fold clasp push button release

Recommended retail price in USD: $5,000



  1. Thank you for the report, Peter. I’m surprised how much I like the ‘shadow’ grey dial on a leather strap.

    These watches are likely to be far more serene to contemplate than actually walking through the bamboo forest, given the sheer number of tourists there (in pre-Covid days)!

    A real shame they’re not available locally.

    • I have always loved the forests of Arashiyama when I was there. If you go early, about 7am, its ok…not too many tourists. I have ridden there by bicycle and enjoy the morning there. Sigh, to be able to travel again.