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News: Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 Day

From impressive to fabulous - a new pink case and a new lovely dial
by Dan-Andrei Kluska on June 21, 2017

Seiko introduces a new addition to the Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 day Power Reserve line that was first introduced last year at Baselworld. Using the same Spring Drive calibre as the previous models, the new timepiece is inspired by the night sky in the mountains that surround the Micro Artist Studio. The studio, situated at Seiko’s facility in Shiojiri in central Japan, is the birthplace of the Drive Minute Repeater, Sonnerie and Eichi watches for Credor.

Spring Drive 8 Day Power Reserve: SBGD202 front

The Zaratsu technique has the advantage of achieving a highly polished surface without flattening the edges.

 

Now rendered in pink gold, the new Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 Day maintains the same dimensions and finishes as the original platinum version. At 43mm in diameter and 13.2mm in height, the watch is no doubt portlier than the average dress watch but the short lugs do give the impression of a smaller size. The case construction is balanced and the polished finishes are top notch. All the surfaces are polished using the Zaratsu technique. This newly developed method permits a mirror finish without the edges flattening.

The case comes in a beautiful 18k pink gold shade and offers 100m / 10bar water resistance. As one would expect, the new pink gold variant will also be noticeably lighter than the original platinum version.

The night sky dial is impressive by any measure, whether visual or technical. The dial’s beauty can be compared to a starry night in the summer. The shining stars are gorgeous and appear striking on the black dial. Producing the dial is no straightforward task and requires several manufacturing steps. First, the dial is black plated via galvanic coating. Next, it is lacquered and covered with gold dust. By repeating the process several times, the imagery of the night sky on the dial achieves a three-dimensional effect.

Spring Drive 8 Day Power Reserve: SBGD202 dial

The starry night effect is obtained using several layers of paint and gold dust.

 

The dial is adorned with applied gold baton indexes and the Grand Seiko logo, also in gold. The dauphine gold hours and minutes hands are classical in design. Using diamond cut technique and mirror polishing, the hands are manufactured to achieve the best contrast and visibility possible. Even in lower light conditions, the visibility is enhanced by the reflection of light off the hands’.

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 Day is powered by the manual winding Calibre 9R01. Using 3 barrels, the movement boasts up to 192 hours of power reserve. The barrels are the reason for the movement’s size of 37 mm in diameter and, in turn, the large size of the case. To handle all that power, the barrels utilise rubies to minimise friction. In total, the movement has 56 jewels.

The spring drive movement is a hybrid system: using mechanical energy to drive the hands and to generate energy for the quartz oscillator. By removing the balance wheel and the lever escapement, the mechanical losses are minimised and a better accuracy is achieved – ±0.5 second per day (±10 seconds per month).

The Calibre 9R01 is visible through the case back. The movement’s surface is horizontally brushed with rounded anglage for the rhodium plated bridges. The jewel sinks are hand polished and the screws are flame-blued.  The finishing is attractive and will certainly appeal to enthusiasts of the brand.

Spring Drive 8 Day Power Reserve: SBGD202 back

The “missing” balance and escapement will appear unusual to the uninitiated, but the finishes are lovely.

 

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 Day Technical specification and price:

The approximate recommended retail price in Europe: €52,800, available on the International market from September.

Spring Drive 8 Day Power Reserve: SBGD202
Movement: Calibre 9R01
Driving system: Manual winding
Power reserve: 8 days (192 hours)
Accuracy: ±0.5 second per day (±10 seconds per month)
Power reserve indicator
Independent hour hand adjustment
Number of jewels: 56 jewels
Number of parts: 307
Outer diameter: 37.0mm, Thickness: 7.1mm

Case Specifications: 18k rose gold case
High definition box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Screw see-through case back
Water resistance: 10 bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Diameter: 43.0mm, Thickness: 13.2mm

Strap and buckle: Crocodile strap with 18k rose gold buckle with three-fold clasp with push button release

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