Grand Seiko brightens up our morning by introducing no less than 4 new references in their Elegance collection. Not only do they come up with a new hand-wound movement (caliber 9S63), they also introduce you to their new 39mm case design.
Let’s have a closer look.
Grand Seiko Elegance Hand-Wound
This news hit us early this morning (4:20am local time). A new movement is a big thing, as always, and especially when it was already 8 years ago since the last hand-wound Grand Seiko movement was introduced. Today, Grand Seiko unveils their caliber 9S63 movement. A movement with a small seconds hand at 9 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock. The new Grand Seiko Elegance watches with this caliber 9S63 movement have a 3-days power reserve. Grand Seiko claims an accuracy of -3 / +5 seconds a day with this new movement, more strict than the -4 / +6 chronometer certification. The competition is still strong though, with Rolex offering -2 / +2 and Omega with their 0 / +5 seconds a day deviation.
Grand Seiko Elegance Dials
The new Grand Seiko Elegance references (SBGK002, SBGK004, SBGK005 and SBGK006) also have a slim case design, with a thickness of 11.6mm. But what makes them really special, as it often does for Grand Seiko, are the dial configurations. The rose gold models (two out of four references) will have the Urushi lacquered dial. Interestingly, Seiko introduced this lacquering technique first on one of their Presage models, as you can read in our article from last November. We also explain the Urushi lacquering technique in that article for you.
The amber coloured dial on the rose gold Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK002) should remind us of the trees that grow around Joboji, a town under the famous Mt. Iwate. Talking about this mountain near the Shizukuishi Watch Studio, it’s the pattern of the Mt. Iwate that has been used for the stainless steel Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK005. The other rose gold reference (SBGK004) of the new Grand Seiko Elegance models, has a deep jet black lacquered dial colour. The fourth Grand Seiko Elegance model, with reference SBGK006, has a yellow gold case and a white dial. Grand Seiko indicates that this model will be added to the collection in July this year. No word on the dial, but it appears to be enamel.
The dials have a slight dome and the central minute hand and power reserve indicator hand are bent to match the curve of the dial.
The cases have received the famous Zaratsu (mirror-blade) polishing technique as most Grand Seiko watches do. It enhances the curves of the case and gives them this perfect shine. The downside, as some of you owners might know, is that every scratch on a Zaratsu polished surface hurts like there’s no tomorrow and this can be only fixed in the Grand Seiko workshops in Japan.
Three out of the four new Grand Seiko Elegance references are a limited edition. The 18-carat rose gold watches with Urushi dials are limited to 150 pieces each, while the stainless steel reference with its blue Mt. Iwate pattern dial is limited to 1500 pieces. The yellow gold reference that will be added in July 2019, will be part of the permanent collection. In all honesty, I would have done this differently. Make all of the gold watches limited editions and the stainless steel model part of the permanent collection. But, in the end, I also realize that limited editions work best for brands these days. The downside for the brand is that if a beautiful watch like the stainless steel model with blue Mt. Iwate gets serious demand, they could have done more business when there were more than 1500 pieces. The gold watches will probably have limited demand due to their price point already. On the other hand, it will also allow Grand Seiko to come up with new dial versions of the steel version for this new Elegance hand-wound collection. Which I sincerely hope they do. The three limited editions will be available as of March. It makes us wonder what more they will have in store for us then during BaselWorld next month. We are excited!
In any case, here’s the overview of the new Grand Seiko Elegance references and their prices:
SBGK002 – 18-carat rose gold case, amber colour Urushi dial, limited to 150 pieces, €31.400,=
SBGK004 – 18-carat rose gold case, jet black colour Urushi dial, limited to 150 pieces, €31.400,=
SBGK005 – stainless steel case, blue Mt. Iwate pattern dial, limited to 1500 pieces, €7.400,=
SBGK006, 18-carat yellow gold case, white (enamel?) dial, regular collection, €20.700,=
As of now, these watches are also on the official Grand Seiko website.