As we reported during Baselworld, Seiko has spun off its Grand Seiko collection into a separate, independent brand. And nowadays, you can scarcely qualify as a brand if you don’t produce your own dedicated divers’ watch. Grand Seiko has done just that, introducing its Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s watch at Baselworld 2017. The first-ever mechanical Grand Seiko timepiece for divers is also this week’s Watch to Watch.
The watch’s case, made of high-intensity titanium, measures 46.9 mm in diameter and 17 mm thick. Designed with saturation diving in mind, it features the valve-free helium-resistance technology pioneered by Seiko in some of its earliest divers’ watches, which uses an exceptionally heavy-duty case construction and an L-shaped gasket. The extended grooves on the unidirectional rotating bezel are extended for ease of use by a diver, even one wearing thick gloves. Both the case and the titanium bracelet boast clean, mirrored edges thanks to Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing technique, which is accomplished by holding the case against a rotating tin plate at a very precise angle. The bracelet attaches by means of a three-fold clasp with push-button release, and features an additional level of underwater functionality: a secure-locking, sliding extension that can change the bracelet size with the pressure changes.
The dial is made of a type of iron that Seiko says protects the movement, Seiko’s Hi-Beat Caliber 9585, from the effects of magnetism, imparting to the watch a stout 16,000 A/m of magnetic resistance. The self-winding movement boasts a frequency of 36,000 vph (10 beats per second), which contributes to the watch’s outstanding precision of -3 to +5 seconds per day, the necessary benchmark for all Grand Seiko movements. The movement has 37 jewels and a power reserve of 55 hours.
The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s comes in two versions. One, a limited edition of 500 pieces and priced at 12,300 euros, features a deep blue dial and comes with an extra-strength silicone strap in matching blue along with the titanium bracelet. The other, a permanent part of the Grand Seiko collection, is a bracelet-only model with a black dial and priced at 12,100 euros. Both will be available at retail in August 2017, according to Seiko.