Grand Seiko has in recent years turned to the natural wonders and seasonal phenomena of its native Japan to inspire several of its popular limited editions, and the maison continues the theme with the latest addition to its Elegance Collection. Specifically, the textured dial of the Ref. SBGY007 “Omiwatari” draws its influence from the unique “god’s crossing” that appears in the winter on the frozen surface of Lake Suwa, near the Shinshu Watch Studio where Grand Seiko’s talented craftsmen ply their horological trade.
The pattern on the ice-blue dial is designed to mimic the undulations of the large ridges of cracked ice that appear on the frozen lake during the coldest days of winter — called “Omiwatari” in Japanese legend, and believed to be the paths trod by Shinto gods as they walk across the ice. The effect is achieved by hammering the dial’s mold to create subtle angles, edges and shadows that add visual depth. The signature razor-sharp Grand Seiko hour and minute hands display the time on polished, applied hour indices, accompanied by a sweep seconds hand in a bold, contrasting blue.
The stainless steel case measures a relatively modest 38.5 mm in diameter and 10.2 mm thick and houses, behind a sapphire exhibition caseback, the manually wound Spring Drive Caliber 9R31, which carries a 72-hour power reserve in its dual mainspring barrels. The movement is visually noteworthy for indicating that running autonomy in analog fashion on its back side and for its array of tempered blue screws. From a technical standpoint, it boasts an accuracy of +/- 1 second per day and +/- 15 seconds per month thanks to the brand’s Spring Drive technology, which combines a traditional mainspring with a quartz oscillator.
The SBGY007 is mounted on a black crocodile strap with contrasting blue stitching. It’s available in early July at Grand Seiko boutiques and select retailers, with a suggested retail price of $8,300.