In 2020, Grand Seiko celebrated 60 years since the launch of the first watch under its label, and to celebrate the occasion unveiled an array of commemorative editions, including the GS Eagle LE Ref. SBGE263, the blue-dial SLGH003, and at least three re-creations of the first Grand Seiko. Among these many anniversary models was the Spring Drive 8 Days Jewelry Watch, a platinum watch drawing inspiration from “winter mornings in the [Japanese] Shinshu region,” and quickly catching the attention of many with its diamond- and sapphire-filled dial.
This year, Grand Seiko celebrates a different anniversary — namely, 140 years of operation for its parent brand, Seiko — and leading off the landmark year is a new haute horologerie gem-set addition to its Masterpiece Collection, the Spring Drive 8 Day Jewelry Watch Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition ref. SBGD207.
Like the 2020 version of the watch (below) and many other recent releases by Grand Seiko, the 2021 Jewelry Watch draws its inspiration from nature. For this verdant timepiece, Grand Seiko channels the green shades of trees reflected on Mishaka Pond, a body of water close to Lake Suwa near Shiojiri, Japan, and close to Grand Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio, where much of its haute horologerie timepieces are developed.
The new Jewelry Watch has a 43-mm 950 platinum 950 case, 13.5 mm thick, the surface of which is finished with a special form of Grand Seiko’s “Zaratsu” polishing which the brand says has been specially adapted for platinum. Like last year’s Jewelry Watch, this year’s also uses thick lugs, a wide bezel, and a prominent, diamond-tipped crown, all of which add a luxurious weightiness to the watch. The case is secured to the wrist via a green crocodile leather strap, itself secured via a three-fold clasp with push button release.
Glittering underneath the anti-reflective-coated, box shaped sapphire crystal is the namesake gem-bedecked dial, which instantly grabs attention with both by its vivid colors and layered construction. Two outer sectors of diamonds and green garnets are all set within an 18k gold base, and surround an inner sector of green mother-of-pearl; in total, the watch hosts 97 total diamonds and 24 green garnets.
Despite the brilliance imparted by the gems, the dial’s layout is relatively simple. Green garnets sit at each hour position, ready to help determine the time, while the diamonds add extra intrigue and showcase Grand Seiko’s expertise in gem setting. This style of outer small gems combined with inner elongated gems follows throughout the circumference of the dial, broken up only slightly by the wider garnet used at the 12 o’clock position. Passing over the vividly colored, mother-of-pearl face are two dauphine hands for the hour and minute — a signature of Grand Seiko — and a simple stick pointer marking each passing second.
Powering this Masterpiece Collection watch is a Spring Drive movement, the Grand Seiko Caliber 9R01. This manually-wound, quartz-regulated caliber is accurate to +/-0.5 seconds per day (or +/-10 seconds per month), hosts an 8-day power reserve, and has an independent hour-hand adjustment mechanism for quickly changing time zones. The movement is visible, with its expert finishing, via an exhibition caseback, its bridge evoking the silhouette of Mt Fuji and the landscape that surrounds the Micro Artist Studio. A power reserve indicator is also visible on the movement, with its scale engraved in blue up to 8.
The Spring Drive 8 Day Jewelry Watch will be available through Grand Seiko Boutiques starting in May 2021, and will be limited to only 15 total editions. As of now, pricing still may fluctuate before the official release of the watch, but the brand tentatively has it set at $185,000.
To learn more, visit Grand Seiko’s website, here.