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Grand Seiko - Elegance Lady Automatic

Grand Seiko Elegance Lady Automatic

The new women’s watches unveiled by Grand Seiko at Baselworld are available in shops this month.

These days, Grand Seiko’s reputation needs no introduction. The brand’s standards are among the most demanding, with innovative and reliable calibres that offer remarkable precision, meticulous assembly and impeccable finishes. But with its Heritage and Elegance models, and even more so with the Sport line, Grand Seiko is better known for its men’s timepieces. There’s no getting around the fact that its women’s watches enjoy far less visibility.

Could Baselworld 2019 mark the start of a new direction for Grand Seiko, with a renewed push to attract female clients? The number of models for women unveiled this spring in Basel would certainly point in that direction. Last year, for the 20th anniversary of the Calibre 9S, Grand Seiko introduced just one ladies’ watch at Baselworld. It was a limited edition of 50, inaugurating the Calibre 9S25, a new movement specifically designed for women’s watches. This luxury timepiece in 18K rose gold set with diamonds featured a silver lamé dial representing Japan’s snowy peaks.

Steel and gold  

Any ladies who missed the chance to buy one of those will have another opportunity this year, as Grand Seiko has announced no fewer than five new models. There’s a much wider choice, with watches in steel, as well as yellow, white and pink gold, in different sizes. There’s also greater availability, since these aren’t limited editions. The pricing, which starts at EUR 5,400, is aimed at a broader audience.

Lady Automatic

Lady Automatic, stainless steel © Grand Seiko

The two steel models come in a diameter of 27.8 mm, with a matching steel bracelet.  The cases, finished to the high standard for which Grand Seiko is known, are polished using the Zaratsu procedure, which produces clean edges and mirror-polished surfaces. Two dial options are available: the first, in a silvery champagne colour, is decorated with a weave pattern and 11 diamond markers (0.08 ct). At the 3 o’clock position is a date window. The second dial, in mother-of-pearl, is punctuated by long, slender faceted markers.  Both models share the same hour and minute hands with a central ridge and bevelled edges, and a blued steel seconds hand. These watches, perfect for everyday wear, are available for between 5,400 and 5,800 euros.

Lady Automatic

Lady Automatic, yellow, white and red gold models © Grand Seiko

Although the size difference isn’t immediately obvious, the three gold models are slightly larger, at 28.7 mm. Fitted with a crocodile leather strap, they have the same mother-of-pearl dial carved with a diamond-inspired motif, over which sweep hands in the same colour as the case. There are diamonds set into the 12 indexes (as on the steel model, there is no marker at 3 o’clock, but instead there’s a double index at 12), around the bezel (55 stones weighing a total of 0.73 ct) and on the crown. The white gold watch is priced at EUR 30,000, with the other two 1,000 euros less.

Lady Automatic

© Grand Seiko

New automatic calibre 

Last but not least, these new ladies’ watches are driven by the new automatic calibre 9S27, which is very similar to the 9S25 calibre of 2018, and which compares favourably with the highly regarded movements inside the men’s Grand Seiko watches. It incorporates the most advanced Grand Seiko technologies, including a balance spring made from Spron 610 alloy which is highly resistant to shocks and magnetism. The pallet, pretty flower-shaped escape wheel and precision components are manufactured using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), which makes them very light and extremely precise, with tolerances of one-thousandth of a millimetre. The 9S27 calibre, which measures just 4.49 mm deep, is entirely designed, assembled and adjusted by hand in the Grand Seiko workshops. It offers a precision of -3/+8 seconds per day and a 50-hour power reserve. The movement finishes can be admired through the sapphire case back.

Lady Automatic

The Calibre 9S27 and its flower-shaped escape wheel © Grand Seiko


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