Recently, Grand Seiko has been putting a lot of emphasis on the releases in its new Evolution 9 collection. With standout dials and amazing case designs, I quickly have become a fan of the new line. But 2022 is also a year of celebration for the 44GS. The iconic design style that we know and love from Grand Seiko is best personified by the brand’s 44GS-style watches. Today, the brand announces a special manual-wind Spring Drive model to celebrate 55 years of that special style. Meet the Grand Seiko SBGY009 55th Anniversary Limited Edition.

The 44GS is undoubtedly the most iconic Grand Seiko case. It was first introduced in 1967 and developed according to Taro Tanaka’s Grammar of Design. This is a set of nine different design rules that we have come to know as the Grand Seiko Style. Grand Seiko honors the 44GS style with a release that combines several interesting choices with the usual stunning execution. So far this year, we have seen a number of 44GS 55th-anniversary limited editions. The most eye-catching was, without a doubt, the pink-dial SBGW289. Another standout model was the quartz SBGP017 with its display case back. Today’s release, however, is something very different that comes with some remarkable details.

Grand Seiko SBGY009

Grand Seiko SBGY009 — A thinner 44GS profile

The new SBGY009 features a 40mm stainless steel 44GS-style case. It is water-resistant to 100 meters but also slim at only 10.5mm thick. The watch has a thinner profile because the brand chose to equip it with the manual-wind Spring Drive caliber 9R31. This movement has 30 jewels and provides a power reserve of 72 hours. Unlike most Spring Drive models, the power reserve indicator is not integrated on the dial side. Instead, it is neatly tucked away on the back. The movement offers extreme accuracy of ±1 second per day or a deviation of ±15 seconds per month.

By not having a power reserve indicator on the front, the brand had the opportunity to create a stunning and clean dial design. As usual, Grand Seiko uses the nature and surroundings of its production facilities as the source of inspiration for its dial designs. With the number of releases that Grand Seiko puts out, it can become rather amusing to read what the brand has come up with. But this continuous stream of new stories is also a pretty impressive achievement in itself. On top of that, it also leads to some stunning dial designs.

Grand Seiko SBGY009

The night sky above the Shinshu mountains

The dial underneath the box-shaped sapphire crystal of the SBGY009 is inspired by the Moon and the night sky above the Shinshu mountains. This dial is a deep blue color that features a beautiful sunray pattern. Reflecting the light at different angles, this pattern creates a stunning visual display. The handset comprises the two familiar razor-sharp hour and minute hands. The seconds hand is executed in gold, and it contrasts very nicely with the dial color.

The watch comes with a blue alligator strap equipped with a stainless steel folding clasp with a push-button release. Grand Seiko will produce a total of 1,500 pieces of the limited-edition SBGY009. The watch will go on sale in August for €8,200. It will be available at Grand Seiko boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide. Overall, I think Grand Seiko made some interesting choices for a dress version of the 44GS. Thanks to the manual-wind Spring Drive movement, the case profile remains nice and slim. Additionally, the execution of the dial gives it a very classy presence. I can’t wait to see this watch when it becomes available for review. It’s a nice change from the usual 44GS-style models.

For more information, visit the official Grand Seiko website, and let us know what you think of this release in the comments.