Celebrating its 130th year in business, the Japanese jewelry and precision instruments-maker has presented its new Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Limited Edition (refs. SBGW033, SBGW040, and SBGW039) hand-wound watch, which is going to available both in Europe and North America. Looking like it’s having the legendary Patek Philippe Calatrava line of minimalistic dress watches in its fine crosshairs, the new Commemorative Edition makes a subtle, but very firm stress on the “Grand” part of Grand Seiko brand.
Being a part of the new Seiko 130th Anniversary Commemorative Collection, the new family of watches is almost an exact reproduction of the original Grand Seiko timepiece that was released in 1960.
Back then, the Japanese brand was only setting its foothold in the market of luxury timekeepers and its founder was putting all of its effort into refining the line on the daily basis. The three-hander that was issued more than 50 years ago, made it clear that Grand Seiko was there for the long haul: elegant lines, clean and easy to read dial together with nice mechanism were an indication that people at Seiko knew what they were doing, not simply tried to make an affordable “homage” to a European model.
The only major difference between the original and this new “sort-of-re-issue” is that the new model lacks the “Chronometer” inscription under the logo and the small eight-pointed star at 6 o’clock is also gone.
What’s really new here is the Caliber 9S64 hand-wound movement, which is made totally in-house.
Decorated with the understated elegance one rarely expects from Japanese designers (yes, Lexus, I am looking at you) and, being carefully fine-tuned and adjusted in 6 positions, the movement has a mean daily rate between -3 and +5 seconds per day. This is still years behind an ordinary quartz caliber, yet this mechanical movement may easily qualify for a chronometer certificate at Swiss COSC institute thanks to its accuracy and build quality.
Although the mechanism is quite thin measuring less than 5 millimeters top to bottom, the hand-wound watch is still a bit on a thicker side with thickness of 11 millimeters that is further exaggerated by its relatively small diameter of just over 38 millimeters, a de facto standard for a classic dress watch. Still, it feels really comfortable when worn with formal attire.
The timekeeper’s 35.8 millimeter case is available in three versions: stainless steel (ref. SBGW033,) yellow gold (ref. SBGW040) and platinum (ref. SBGW039.)
While the stainless steel variation is more or less affordable at its €5000 recommended retail price, the model in platinum may leave a huge hole in your budget with its heavy price tag of €23,500. Still, considering the choice of materials, it is not overpriced and is more or less on par with similarly styled timekeepers made by its German and Swiss-based rivals.
The steel version is limited to 1300 pieces and the gold and platinum watches will be issued in 130 pieces each.
See also: Seiko Ananta Spring Drive Moon Phase
Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary Commemorative Limited Edition (refs. SBGW033, SBGW040, and SBGW039) hand-wound watch specification
Price: €5000 (steel,) €15,400 (yellow gold,) €23,500 (platinum)
Movement: Manual, Caliber 9S64, 28.4 x 4.9 mm (diameter x height,) 24 jewels, 28,800 vph, in-house, Made in Japan
Movement decoration: Stripes, perlage
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Power reserve: 72 hours
Case material: Stainless steel / Yellow gold / Platinum
Bezel material: Stainless steel / Yellow gold / Platinum
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 38.50 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: 11.00 mm
Hands: Stainless steel / Yellow gold, 18-carat / Platinum
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Crocodile leather strap with stainless steel / platinum / yellow gold buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire