While it now benefits from a positive aura outside of its native Japan, Grand Seiko has a longer history than many might expect. In the late 1950s, a small team of Seiko’s finest watchmakers came together with a very simple yet ambitious aim: the goal was to create the very best watch of which they were capable, with the highest possible levels of precision, legibility, durability and ease of use. In December 1960, their first creation was born and was named Grand Seiko. 2020 marks 60 years of continuous activity for the brand and as such, some commemorative watches are being unveiled. Meet the Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Limited Editions, including the Heritage Hi-Beat 36000 ref. SBGH281.
Sixty is a symbolic number in watchmaking, marking the end of a revolution in both seconds and minutes. In Japan, it has an additional significance, as a moment of new energy and rebirth, as the end of a revolution and the start of a new era. This makes 2020 a most fortuitous and symbolic year for Grand Seiko with celebrations programmed throughout. To kick off the year, four new timepieces have been released, the Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Limited Editions, which include two quartz models, a women’s watch and, the most interesting of the lot, the Heritage watch with hi-beat automatic movement. All four of the new creations have dials in Grand Seiko’s signature blue colour.
The Grand Seiko Heritage Hi-Beat 36000 SBGH281
The highlight of this new Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Limited Editions is based on a well-known and highly appreciated model, which can be found in the regular collection under the references SBGH205 (black dial) and SBGH201 (silver-white dial). As such, it shares most of its habillage components and its movement with this sporty watch with its undeniable GS look and the expected precision of a fast-ticking movement.
The new SBGH281 is shaped after a famous 1967 watch known as the 44GS, which marked a major step in the brand’s history by defining the design codes to be used for the decades to come. It introduced the curved casebands, the faceted rectangular indexes (doubled at 12), the slightly recessed crown and the faceted case with highly polished surfaces, relying on the Zaratsu technique. All these elements are still used in the new Heritage Hi-Beat 36000 SBGH281 and create a superb case. This edition features a stainless steel case measuring 40mm in diameter for 13.3mm in height. The watch is worn on a 3-link steel bracelet.
The main difference between this Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGH281 and the standard models can be seen on the dial, with a deep blue colour known as the “Grand Seiko’s signature blue”. The dial is flat without the usual (and impressive) patterns. The GS logo is gold-coloured and the seconds hand is painted red. Hands and indexes, superbly executed as usual, haven’t changed.
The SBGH281 is powered by the in-house, automatic calibre 9S85, which delivers an accuracy of +5/-3 seconds a day thanks to its 5hz frequency, and a 55-hour power reserve.
The Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Heritage Hi-Beat 36000 SBGH281 will be limited to 1,500 pieces, available February 2020 and priced at EUR 6,200.
Quick facts: 40mm diameter x 13.3mm height – stainless steel case – sapphire crystals front and back – 100m water-resistant – calibre 9S85, in-house, automatic – 36,000 vibrations/hour – 55h power reserve – HMS and date – stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp – ref. SBGH281 – limited to 1,500 pieces – RRP of EUR 6,200
The Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary SBGP007, SBGP015 and STGK015
Along with the main introduction of the Hi-Beat automatic, Grand Seiko also introduces three other watches in this 60th-anniversary collection. The first one is a women’s watch, the ref. STGK015 with a stainless steel case of 27.8mm, powered by the automatic calibre 9S27. It features a steel bracelet and 56 diamonds on the bezel, and like the other watches in the collection comes with a deep blue dial adorned with diamonds for the hour indexes. It is limited to 300 pieces and priced at EUR 9,900. Available February 2020.
Also part of the Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary collection are two quartz watches. The first model is from the Heritage collection and comes in a classic 40mm steel case on steel bracelet. This reference SBGP007 is powered by a high-precision calibre 9F85 (±5 seconds per year), a new movement which features a time difference adjustment function that allows the hour hand to be adjusted without stopping the seconds hand. It has a deep blue dial with a geometric pattern engraved and a specific caseback with a commemorative medallion. The SBGP007 will be limited to 2,500 pieces and priced at EUR 3,900. Available March 2020.
Last in the Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary collection is the ref. SBGP015, a watch from the sports range. It features a steel case of 40mm with an angular design and a blue ceramic bezel matching the special blue dial. This watch is 200m water-resistant and worn on a steel bracelet. It also features the new high-precision quartz calibre 9F85. The SBGP015 will be limited to 2,000 pieces and priced at EUR 3,900. Available April 2020.
More details at www.grand-seiko.com.