Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary year has brought a number of noteworthy timepieces and two entirely new in-house movements. One of those movements — the automatic Caliber 9SA5, which debuted in a gold-cased replica of the first Grand Seiko watch from 1960 — now finds itself installed inside a new steel case, behind a shimmering blue dial. Here is what you need to know about the SLGH003 Limited Edition, the model that Grand Seiko says “completes” its 60th anniversary celebration.
The aesthetics of the Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Limited Edition SLGH003 are derived from those of the SLGH002 model in yellow gold released earlier this year, itself hearkening back to the classic 44GS from 1967. In the modern watches, the hour hand has greater volume and the indexes are more prominent, echoing those elements on the very first Grand Seiko from 1960. This model’s dial is in “Grand Seiko blue” and is a accented by a red seconds hand. The 40-mm case is water-resistant to 100 meters, magnetic-resistant to 4,800 A/m and finished in Grand Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing.
The aforementioned Hi-Beat Caliber 9SA5, an evolution of the groundbreaking 9S mechanical caliber introduced in 1998, ticks inside, behind a sapphire caseback. Noteworthy for combining a 36,000-vph frequency with a lengthy 80-hour power reserve, the self-winding movement also delivers a precision rate of +5 to -3 seconds per day. It achieves these results thanks to three technical advances. The first is an in-house-developed dual-impulse escapement, in which the wheel transmits power directly to the balance for increased efficiency. Another is a newly developed free sprung balance that is more resistant to shock and friction than its predecessor and uses an overcoil rather than a flat hairspring to improve isochronism, Finally, Caliber 9SA5’s innovative, horizontal gear train allows the overall movement to be 15 percent slimmer than existing Grand Seiko Hi-Beat calibers.
Caliber 9SA5 stores its 80-hour power reserve inside two barrels, arranged in sequence, and its date change is virtually instantaneous. It also features high-end finishing and aesthetic flourishes inspired by Grand Seiko’s native Japan. The movement’s bridge has a a gently curving outline inspired “by the shapes of Mt. Iwate and a bend in the Shizukuishi River,” which runs near the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, the watchmaking atelier where the caliber is made.
Limited to only 1,000 pieces, the watch is mounted on a stainless steel three-link bracelet whose three-fold clasp, operated by safety push-buttons, is emblazoned with an 18k gold badge bearing the Grand Seiko initials. Its price is $9,700.
For more from Grand Seiko’s 60th Anniversary collection, click here.
|Grand Seiko Watch Corporation, Shizuku-ishi Watch Studio, Iwate Prefecture, Japan
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date
|Hi-Beat Caliber 9SA5, automatic, 36,000 vph frequency, 80-hour power reserve, dual-impulse escapement, free sprung balance, horizontal gear train, high-end finishing
|Stainless-steel case with sapphire exhibition caseback, Zaratsu polishing, box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, water-resistant to 100 meters
|Bracelet and clasp:
|Stainless-steel bracelet with triple-folding clasp
|Diameter = 40 mm, height = 11.7 mm