Grand Seiko SLGW002/003 Watches Debut New Manual-Wind High-Beat Movement

Launched at Watches & Wonders 2024 this week is Grand Seiko’s first manual-wind high-beat movement in over 50 years. Just as last year saw the 9SA5 movement used as a base to launch the brand’s first mechanical chronograph with the Tentagraph, the new SLGW002 and SLGW003 debut the Caliber 9SA4 which is a heavily redesigned manual-wind iteration of the 9S base. 

According to Grand Seiko, just about 40% of the 9SA5 was redesigned in order to create this new 9SA4 manual-wind movement. Of course it still operates at 5 Hz and retains the major advancements found in the base caliber like the Dual Impulse Escapement, twin barrels, free-sprung balance, and overcoil hairspring.

Because this is Grand Seiko, there was a lot of attention paid to how a manual-wind movement should feel in a tactile sense. This level of attention is, unfortunately, not something to expect from every brand out there, but Grand Seiko always understands the assignment. A good example of this is the movement’s “click” (the part that holds the ratchet wheel and prevents the mainspring from being unwound) which is done in the shape of a wagtail bird which is found in Morioka close to the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi. Naturally this click is meant to evoke a bird pecking when in motion which is just delightful. 

There is also a power reserve indicator on the case back which lets you know how much of the 80-hour power reserve remains. Grand Seiko rearranged the gear train in order to gain more efficiency which results in 15% fewer crown rotations needed when compared to winding the 9SA5 by hand.

Part of the Evolution 9 collection, these two watches are designed to evoke the original 44GS from 1967. These are pure dress watches so the case size is pretty ideal measuring 38.6mm wide and 9.95mm thick (30 m of water resistance) in either titanium or rose gold. This new Evolution 9 dress watch case has some unique design changes like slimmer, longer indexes and smaller more narrow lugs. Finally, that beautiful white birch dial is carried over from the SLGH005 and is a perfect choice for this piece.

The Grand Seiko SLGW002 is done in a red gold case and is a limited edition of 80 pieces with a price of $45,000 while the titanium SLGW003 will be a standard production model priced at $10,700.

To learn more, visit Grand Seiko, here

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