America’s largest luxury watch show returns to the Big Apple this fall! The second edition of WatchTime New York will be held at Gotham Hall on October 14-15 (click here for event details and to purchase tickets) and will feature a plethora of luxury watch brands. Among them is Japan’s Seiko, whose horological highlights will include its Grand Seiko Spring Drive Sports Collection in black ceramic cases.
The collection consists of four new references, each a limited edition and each powered by a Seiko Spring Drive GMT automatic mechanical movement; two include a chronograph function. All four new models are housed in a five-part case with an inner case made from high-intensity titanium and an outer shell and bezel made from zirconia ceramic — a material that Seiko says is stronger and tougher than any other fine ceramic. The case is also 25 percent lighter than stainless steel despite being seven times harder than that material on the Vickers scale, and is highly resistant to scratches. The black ceramic cases — which are 46.4 mm in diameter and water-resistant to 100 meters — are a first for the Grand Seiko line.
Many of the traditional hallmarks of the Grand Seiko collection are present on the new models, including the clear ridges on the case facets, the diamond-cut hands and markers, and the gold lion emblem on the movements’ winding rotors. The Spring Drive movements powering the watches are Seiko’s 9R16 (in the GMT models, Refs. SBGE037 and 039) and 9R96 (in the GMT/chronograph models, Refs. SBGC015 and 017). They hold a power reserve of 72 hours and deliver a high level of timekeeping accuracy (+/- 0.5 seconds per day and +/- 10 seconds per month). The movement is visible through a screwed, see-through sapphire caseback.
The dark green dial of the Spring Drive Chronograph GMT model, Ref. SBGC017, is enhanced with a “fir tree” motif that symbolizes the Onbashira festival, an event held every six years in the Japanese town of Suwa, in Nagano Prefecture, near the Seiko atelier where the watch is produced. The centerpiece of the festival — a tradition believed to have continued uninterrupted for 1,200 years — is the carrying of huge fir trees down a mountainside to a shrine, where they are erected at the four corners to symbolize the shrine’s renewal.
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Ceramic Limited Editions are mounted on crocodile leather straps with three-fold, push-button-release steel clasps. The green-dial Ref. SBGC017 is limited to 600 pieces, while the other chronograph, Ref. SBGC015, is limited to 500 pieces; both are priced at $13,000. The two GMT models are limited to 500 pieces and priced at $10,000.
If you’re interested in finding out how the new Grand Seiko Black Ceramic watches, and other new Seiko watches, look and feel on your own wrist, click here to reserve your spot at WatchTime New York 2016.