Grand Seiko The Elegance Collection sets a new course
Grand Seiko announces a new slim design in the Elegance Collection, combining a new case, a new manual-winding caliber and Urushi lacquer.
This new design series consists of three limited editions. The two Urushi dial executions are in 18k rose gold cases and are editions of just 150 while the third, with its blue Mt. Iwate pattern dial, is in stainless steel and is an edition of 1,500. All three are available from March, 2019. In addition, a fourth creation, with an 18k yellow gold case, will be added to the permanent Grand Seiko collection in July. This series will be available at Grand Seiko and Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide.
Urushi lacquer dial Ref. SBGK002 and blue Mt. Iwate pattern dial Ref. SBGK005 © Grand Seiko
Caliber 9S63 is a significant addition to the ever growing Grand Seiko family of movements. It has been eight years since the last manual-winding mechanical caliber in Grand Seiko and it has been worth the wait. Caliber 9S63 offers a small seconds hand at 9 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock. Easy to read, these sub-dials are also discreetly unobtrusive and allow the eye to enjoy the beauty of the Urushi lacquer of which the dial is made. Caliber 9S63 has a power reserve of 72 hours and delivers an accuracy rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day.
The blue lion mark and tempered screws can be seen through the sapphire case back of SBGK005 © Grand Seiko
Two traditions of craftsmanship
In this new Urushi dialed creation, which is available in two versions, two traditions of Japanese craftsmanship come together. The cases are polished by a special Zaratsu method created to accentuate the beauty of the curved surfaces. The dials and the sapphire crystals are also curved to give the watches a classic look. The minute and power reserve indicator hands are bent so that they follow exactly the domed contour of the dials.
The dials also showcase a second form of Japanese craftsmanship, Urushi lacquer. The amber color dial is made from a transparent and long lasting Urushi that comes from trees grown in and around the town of Joboji that lies under Mt. Iwate, the mountain that dominates the skyline above the Shizukuishi Watch Studio. Through the amber colored “Suki-urushi” lacquer can be seen the subtle Mt. Iwate pattern that reveals the watchmakers’ pride in the natural beauty that surrounds their home. The black dial uses the same lacquer mixed with iron to give it its distinctive deep jet black color.
Urushi lacquer dial Ref. SBGK004 and 18k yellow gold case SBGK006 © Grand Seiko
The hour markers and the “GS” letters are decorated with the traditional Maki-e technique by Urushi master Isshu Tamura. Through the application of layer after layer of lacquer, these markers are given a three dimensional profile and a delicate yet strong presence on the dial. Tamura then applies the powder, either 24k gold or platinum, and then polishes them by hand using his own special tools to give Maki-e its delicately shimmering appearance.
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.Find out more >
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