Grand Seiko has ushered in a new slimmer design for the Elegance Collection. The combination of a new case, a new manual-winding caliber with a small seconds’ hand and Urushi lacquer.

The watch runs on Caliber 9S63, a significant addition to the Grand Seiko family of movements. This is a new addition following an eight-year wait. Caliber 9S63 offers a small seconds hand at the nine o’clock position and a power reserve indicator at three o’clock. While these sub-dials are easy to read, they also 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.

Ref. SBGK004 18K ROSE GOLD

Available in two versions, two traditions of Japanese craftsmanship come together. The understated design aesthetic of Grand Seiko is much in evidence, as is the skill and care taken by the watchmakers at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio where the watch is made.

The cases are polished by a special Zaratsu method created to accentuate 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.

Ref. SBGK002 18K ROSE GOLD 

As for the use of 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 located under Mt. Iwate, where the mountain dominates the skyline above the Shizukuishi Watch Studio.

Through the amber colored “Suki-urushi” lacquer can be seen the subtle Mt. Iwate pattern. The black dial uses the same lacquer mixed with iron to give it its distinctive deep jet black color.

On both creations, the hour markers and the “GS” letters are decorated with the traditional Maki-e technique by Urushi master Isshu Tamura in his studio in Kanazawa on the west coast of Japan’s main island.

Ref. SBGK006 18K YELLOW GOLD

Through the application of layer after layer of lacquer, these markers are given a 3-dimensional profile. Tamura then applies the powder, either 24k gold or platinum, and polishes them by hand using his own special tools to give Maki-e its delicately shimmering appearance.

Initially, 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.

Ref. SBGK005 STAINLESS STEEL

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 new series will be available at Grand Seiko and Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide.

How much?

The two rose gold models are US$29,000, the yellow gold model is US$19,000, and the stainless-steel model is US$7,400.

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