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Watches and Wonders 2024: Grand Seiko Latest Releases

Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Slgt005 Cortina Watch Featured Image

Grand Seiko refreshes its collections with these three timepieces.

Evolution 9 Collection – SLGW003

Grand Seiko_Evolution 9 Collection SLGW003_Cortina Watch

The new dress watch features a textured dial inspired by white birch bark.

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. T

he 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.

Sport Collection – SBGC275

Grand Seiko_Sport Collection SBGC275_Cortina Watch

A new creation in the Grand Seiko Sport Collection draws inspiration from the enduring lion symbol
and a beautiful Shinshu sunrise reflecting off the Hotaka landscape.

A new color-changing dial captures the shifting hues of a Shinshu sunrise against the Hotaka landscape.

The vast Hotaka mountain range rises in the Shinshu region of central Japan, where all Grand Seiko Spring Drive creations are made. The sun reflecting off this soaring landscape at dawn creates beautiful mountain scenery with ebullient colors transforming from pink to orange as the early morning progresses.

The year 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the first Grand Seiko watch powered by the 9R Spring Drive movement series, which powers all Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches. In celebration
of this milestone, a new Spring Drive Chronograph GMT inspired by this mountainous landscape in summer is born. The watch has been made possible by a new dial-processing technology that expresses the Japanese appreciation for the delicate transition of time as seen through the changing colors of summer mornings in this special place.

A new dial manufacturing technique

On summer mornings, for just 30 minutes before and after sunrise, the sun illuminates the peaks of the Hotaka mountain range in a particularly special way. The color-changing dial, which represents this momentary light show, is made possible by a patented dial-coating process to be known as “Optical Multilayer Coating.” Instead of traditional techniques to color the dial, the new technology uses a physical vapor deposition process. Several layers of nanoscale film create an effect in which the dial exhibits a different hue depending on the angle of view. Combined with the silent glide motion of the seconds hand, the transitioning dial colors bring a new dimension to the idea of the nature of time.

Showcasing the eternal values of Grand Seiko in both function and beauty

The newest Spring Drive Chronograph GMT features a powerful, angular case design inspired by the lion, a symbol of the brand since the first Grand Seiko watch in 1960. Synonymous with strength and courage, the lion represented the aim of the original Grand Seiko team to create the very best timepiece of which they were capable in terms of accuracy, legibility, durability, and beauty, and these values remain today. The lion’s presence is demonstrated in every detail of the new watch, such as the angularity of the case and the claw-like, hairline-finished lugs, which provide a point of contrast to the Zaratsu-polished surfaces.

Water resistant to 20 bar, the watch is made to ensure the highest level of performance in any sporting situation. The hour and minute hands are designed for heightened legibility, and the wide indexes further enhance the superior legibility for which Grand Seiko is renowned. The case and bracelet are made of high-intensity titanium, which is about 30% lighter than stainless steel
and has a brighter color.

The bracelet, too, is designed for comfort, with thick, H-shaped links that easily conform to wrists of all sizes. The hour and minute hands, as well as the hour markers,
have Lumibrite that glows green, while the GMT hand and the numbers on the bezel glow blue, enhancing the watch’s legibility in dark conditions.

The timepiece is powered by the Spring Drive Chronograph GMT Caliber 9R96, a specially adjusted version of Caliber 9R86. Caliber 9R96 delivers an accuracy of ±10 seconds per month, or ±0.5 seconds per day, compared to the ±15 seconds per month accuracy of the mainstay Spring Drive Chronograph GMT Caliber 9R86.

A limited edition of 700, the new creation will be available at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide in July 2024.

Masterpiece Collection – SLGT005

Grand Seiko_Masterpiece Collection SLGT005_Cortina Watch

The motion of the mechanism and its unique sound together give Kodo its signature heartbeat.

The story of the Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon unfolds with a portrayal of the other side of light and shadow.

In 2022, Grand Seiko presented its first mechanical complication, the Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon, a revolutionary watch that combined a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism as one
unit on a single axis for the first time in horological history. As such, it represented a major milestone in the history of Grand Seiko and was recognized by the international watch community when it was awarded the Chronometry Prize at that year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Today, the Kodo story unfolds with the introduction of a limited-edition timepiece inspired by daybreak; its design perfectly complements that of the first.

While the first Kodo expressed evening twilight through the delicate interplay of light and shadow that is central to Grand Seiko aesthetics, the new timepiece uses light and shadow to evoke daybreak. The delicate time when morning light begins to reclaim the sky is emphasized throughout the design. This watch completes a portrayal of light and shadow that began two years ago.

The movement components have a silver tone, giving the new Kodo a subtle but bright appearance that accentuates the intricately constructed and layered parts. The beauty of the painstakingly hand-polished components is even more pronounced in the new timepiece. For the first time in a Grand Seiko watch movement, blue sapphires are used for the jewels, adding an unexpected detail that is in perfect harmony with the design. Carefully examined and selected, the pale blue sapphires recall a beautiful dawn.

The open-work design not only reveals the beauty of the hand-finished movement, but the open spaces themselves have been carefully considered to reflect an important Japanese cultural and aesthetic value that respects the use of empty space. The use of open space is also reflected in the lugs, which harmonize with the case and add lightness to the design.

A subtle gradation of light is expressed through the use of different materials and various types of finishing. Platinum 950 forms the watch’s inner case, while Brilliant Hard Titanium, an alloy twice as hard as stainless steel, forms the outer case, making the exterior highly resistant to scratches. The combination of the two materials creates a natural gradation and a long-lasting beauty. Some of the case parts in both metals are Zaratsu polished to a distortion-free mirror finish, while others have a hairline finish. Each process is completed by hand by highly skilled craftsmen and
women to ensure that an elegant visual harmony is revealed from every angle.

The innovative Caliber 9ST1

The watch is powered by the uniquely innovative Caliber 9ST1, in which a constant-force mechanism and a tourbillon are set as one unit on a single axis. Because there are no wheels or other
components between the two mechanisms, there is no loss or change in the torque transmitted from the constant-force mechanism to the balance wheel, which leads to a duration of approximately 50 hours for the constant-force mechanism and a highly stable amplitude for the balance. Together, these characteristics contribute to the movement’s high level of stable accuracy.

Moreover, the Grand Seiko Standard for Constant-force has been established for Caliber 9ST1 in which each movement is tested for a full 48 hours in each of six positions and at three temperatures, a duration that is double the main Grand Seiko Standard and the industry standard. Each movement is assessed over the course of 34 days to verify its accuracy.

The movement consists of approximately 340 components, but more than 100 of these are packed into the “heart” of the movement, the integrated constant-force carriage and the tourbillon carriage, which is just about 10mm in diameter. On the constant-force carriage, a single red ruby is placed on one of the arms indicating the seconds as they pass.

The new timepiece shares the same hallmark as the first Kodo, which is the dazzling visual and audible effect created by the integration of the two mechanisms. The inner tourbillon carriage rotates while the balance steadily vibrates at eight beats per second, and the outer constant-force carriage follows its rotation in exact one-second intervals. The sounds of the escapement and the
once-per-second impulse of the constant-force mechanism harmonize with this visual rhythm to create, for eye and ear, a deeply satisfying and reassuring heartbeat. There is a powerful yet gentle
charm to this sound, which is set to a 16th note or semi-quaver.

An exclusive white strap

The watch is offered with a leather strap created from a highly durable material that is specially treated in the same traditional way once used in samurai armor. But this time, a new white color
was developed specifically for the new Kodo. The white strap is made through tanning with natural materials and then carefully hand-coated with layers of white urushi lacquer to create a
deep sheen and a unique texture. A crocodile strap in charcoal grey also comes with the watch.

Made at Atelier Ginza

This creation is designed and assembled by an elite group of Grand Seiko designers and watchmakers at Atelier Ginza, a creative studio established to deliver unique and innovative mechanical
timepieces of the highest order. A logo identifying its production at Atelier Ginza is engraved on the movement.

The new timepiece joins the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection as a limited edition of 20 and will be available at the Grand Seiko Boutiques starting in December 2024.

Discover other Grand Seiko collections at our boutiques, or online.  Contact a sales representative today to learn more.