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Grand Seiko  - Limited-edition Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Spring Drive model

Grand Seiko Limited-edition Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Spring Drive model

Grand Seiko presents a commemorative model for the 50th anniversary of the Nissan GT-R and the 20th anniversary of its own Spring Drive technology.

I recently wrote about the importance of the year 1969 for world ideology and for the watch industry in particular, noting the significant arrival of the first automatic chronographs and the first quartz watch. Although Seiko had a hand in both of these achievements, its latest limited-edition model celebrates an altogether different icon that was also born in 1969. The Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R stood for the high-performance end of the Japanese carmaker’s production at the time and was hugely successful in touring car races. But the first series was only produced for four years, from 1969 to 1973. A second series came 17 years later and was produced until 2002. Then came another gap before the GT-R as we know it today was launched in 2008. At this year’s New York International Auto Show, Nissan presented the Nissan GT-R 50th anniversary edition.

Grand Seiko has taken this as a cue for its own celebratory edition, to pay tribute to 20 years of its ground-breaking Spring Drive technology. The result is a limited edition of just 200 GT-R 50th anniversary watches that will only be available until March 2020. Since the 50th anniversary car revives the “Wangan” (or Bayside) blue paint scheme used on the cars competing in the Japan GP series where the GT-R came to dominate, Grand Seiko has opted for a distinctive blue ceramic outer case to mimic the vivid blue of the car, which is achieved by a four-coat paint process with a double heat treatment. A titanium inner case and case back keep the watch lightweight and ensure comfort on the wrist. The car’s central white racing stripe is mirrored on the watch’s pearlescent white dial and white crocodile leather strap with contrasting blue stitching.

Limited-edition Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Spring Drive model

© Grand Seiko

The true star of the watch is visible beneath a transparent sapphire crystal case back. The calibre 9R96 Spring Drive chronograph GMT movement. Just like the car that the watch is named after, this movement is all about performance, maintaining an accuracy to within half a second per day with a power reserve of 72 hours. As a reminder, the COSC chronometer certification requires an accuracy to within 10 seconds per day (-4/+6 seconds per day), making the Spring Drive calibre 20 times more accurate than a certified chronometer!

An etching on the sapphire crystal case back recalls the 20th anniversary of the Spring Drive technology, while a prestigious 18-carat gold seal inserted into the oscillating weight bears the GT-R symbol in tribute to the iconic supercar.

The Grand Seiko Nissan GT-R 50th anniversary limited edition (reference SBGC229) is available at selected Grand Seiko and Seiko boutiques and retail partners worldwide with a recommended retail price of €21,600 in Europe. If that sounds a lot, consider the highly exclusive edition of just three Grand Seiko Spring Drive models based on the SBGC223 reference that were presented last year as a tie-in with the Nissan GT-R50 by Italdesign that made its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The car cost in excess of a million pounds and the watch was priced at 20 million Japanese Yen. That’s around £135,000 – more than the retail price of Nissan’s standard “Godzilla” super car in the UK!

The brand

From the very beginning, Grand Seiko has been pursuing the essential characteristics of a watch: precision, beauty, legibility. Its design reflects the unique Japanese sense of beauty. The brand will continue to reach new heights as a global brand.

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