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Grand Seiko - Spring Drive 20th Anniversary

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 20th Anniversary

Seiko celebrates the 20th anniversary of its Spring Drive movement with new models in the Grand Seiko Elegance colelction.

In 1999 Spring Drive was launched at Baselworld and has come to be recognized as one of the most important developments in the recent history of luxury watchmaking. Today, the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive is celebrated in a new series within the Grand Seiko Elegance collection that presents an even more refined and slim profile. 

There are four watches in the series, featuring two new manual-winding Spring Drive calibers both of which have the signature glide motion seconds hand, reflecting the natural and continuous flow of time. All offer one-second-a-day precision and a long power reserve, thanks to the dual mainspring design of both calibers, and share the understated refinement and sparkle of quality that exemplify Grand Seiko’s uniquely Japanese sensibility.

Micro Artist Studio

The Micro Artist Studio made its first contribution to Grand Seiko with the 8-Day Power Reserve Spring Drive watch that was unveiled at Baselworld 2016. This same elite team of watchmakers now presents Caliber 9R02, a new movement that has two mainsprings set in parallel within a single barrel and uses the unique Torque Return System* to deliver a power reserve of 84 hours. In every external aspect, the two watches that feature Caliber 9R02 are as striking as is the performance of the movement. 

Spring Drive 20th Anniversary

Calibre 9R02 © Grand Seiko

The 38.5mm cases are of Platinum 950 and are just 9.8mm in depth. The hour and minute hands and hour markers are made of 14k white gold. The Grand Seiko name, the minute markers and all the other markings are etched into the dial, and the power reserve indicator is visible through the sapphire crystal case back, next to the barrel whose shape echoes that of the bellflower that is the symbol of Shiojiri, where the studio is located. The two bridges have edges that are highly and painstakingly polished so that their brilliance contrasts with the perfect hairline finish of the bridges.

Spring Drive 20th Anniversary

The 2 Spring Drive 20th Anniversary models in platinum © Grand Seiko

One of the two watches is offered as a 30-piece limited edition whose design expresses the beauty of the natural surroundings of the Micro Artist Studio. The dial features the “Snowflake” pattern which is inspired by the snow in the Shinshu region. The dial’s silver finish complements the hand carving on the platinum case. In addition, this limited edition has the words “Micro Artist” engraved on an 18k gold plaque set on the lower bridge. If the owner prefers, this plaque can be replaced with one that carries his or her name. This "Snowflakes" piece is priced at 78,000€, while the second platinum watch costs 58,500€. Both are fitted with a crocodile strap with three-fold clasp and push button release.

*Torque Return System: When the mainspring has been fully wound and the torque output is at its highest, approximately 30% of the available power is not needed to maintain the precision of the watch, and is in effect wasted in a normal movement. The Torque Return System uses this energy to rewind the mainspring, resulting in an increase in the power reserve. In Caliber 9R02, this system is activated for 48 hours after the mainspring has been fully wound. Caliber 9R02 is assembled at the Micro Artist Studio by hand.

Shinshu Watch Studio

The same facility as houses the Micro Artist Studio is home to the Shinshu Watch Studio where all other Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches are made. This studio also brings its watchmaking artistry to Spring Drive’s 20th anniversary party in the form of two further manual-winding dress watchest. These two timepieces also carry a new Spring Drive caliber, 9R31, which has the same dual mainspring structure as 9R02 and the same high precision rate of one second a day and delivers a power reserve of 72 hours. One case is in 18k gold and features the “Snowflake” dial while the second is in stainless steel with a sunray dial pattern. Both cases are just 10.2 mm in depth. The overall design is classically Grand Seiko; understated and refined with the sharp hands and hour markers that allow the delicate interplay of light and shadow that is an essential part of the Grand Seiko signature.

Spring Drive 20th Anniversary

Spring Drive 20th Anniversary models in yellow gold and stainless steel © Grand Seiko

The 18k gold piece is priced at 27,000€ and the stainless steel watch at 8,200€ (limited edition of 700).

The series will be available at Grand Seiko Boutiques, Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide from July, 2019.

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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