To conclude our series of posts featuring the 44GS Historical Collection from Grand Seiko, we introduce the white gold limited edition SBGW043. The SBGW043 is limited to only 70 pieces for the world of which only one came to the United States, and is exclusively sold at AZ Fine Time. This model differs from the steel SBGW047 not only because of the precious metal, but also because of its blue accented second hand and GS logo.
The 44GS series pays tribute to 100 years of watchmaking for Seiko, and also to their original 44GS which debuted in 1967. The manually wound SBGW series are exact replicas of the original from 1967, having the same case shape, size, dial design and also replicate the piece by having a manually wound movement. This of course is not going to be the same movement, but the latest and greatest from Seiko, using their in house designed and manufactured 9S64 movement.
We previously discussed the 9S64′s components such as the Sprong 510 mainspring, the Spron 610 hairspring, and MEMS manufacturing process and how they contribute to making such a finely tuned movement. An even bigger contribution to this movement is the fact that all of these pieces are assembled by some of the most talented watch makers at Shizuku-Ishi watch studio in Morioka Japan.
The craftsmen who assemble these movements have all achieved excellent results at the National Watchmakers Skill Competition in Japan are required to have long term experience in the field. One of the most difficult tasks in watchmaking is adjusting the balance. The adjustment is performed completely by hand and requires delicate strength control. This cannot be done by machine. With the use of customized tweezers, the adjustments can be made to .03mm thick hairspring, and regulated to perform with excellent accuracy.
After assembly, the watches are then put through a thorough 17 day testing process which was created to surpass the rating found in chronometer grade. The testing not only involves more strict guidelines on the accuracy (-3 to +5 Sec a Day vs -4 to +6), but also involves testing in 6 positions compared to 5 (12:00 upright being the additional), 2 temperature variations rather than 1 (8-38 & 23-38°C) and of course the 17 days of testing vs 15.
After an over 1,000 hour process to certify Grand Seiko quality, the original inspiration of creating the ideal watch has come to reality. The 44GS goes through an incredibly labor intensive process not only for the movement, but also the fit and finish. The elegant 37.9mm white gold case is finished in the pure mirror “Zaratsu finsih” to give perfect reflection with no distortion. The hands and indexes are diamond cut and polished in the same technique giving great legibility, but also an incredible glimmer.
With only one of this model in the US, it’s rarity only complements its beauty. The MSRP on the SBGW043 is $18,500. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 and check us out on AZFineTime.com
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See our video review below…
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