Grand Seiko has been on a proverbial roll in recent years and, based on recent releases, shows no signs of stopping. With the launch of the Evolution 9 collection, which redefined the design codes set down by the Grammar of Design in the late-1960s, the brand reaffirms its capability of making very good sports and tool watches. A fitting example of the latter kind is the SLGA015 from last year, a large and robust dive watch sporting a black dial inspired by the Kuroshio Current. New for 2023 is the introduction of a blue dial version known as the Grand Seiko Diver 200m Spring Drive Blue Ushio SLGA023.
From the outside and the mechanical side, it’s identical to the aforementioned SLGA015. This means that, at 43.8mm in diameter and 13.8mm in height, the high-intensity titanium case remains quite sizeable. It follows the guidelines of the Evolution 9 philosophy, with a faceted profile and brushed and Zaratsu-polished finishing. It’s topped by a unidirectional rotating bezel fitted with a blue ceramic insert and a traditional diving scale. The screw-down crown is protected from impacts by a pair of guards seamlessly protruding from the lugs. It has a bevelled sapphire crystal on top, with a solid caseback around the back.
Following the already quite cool black dial from last year, this blue Ushio dial is really something else! The blue Ushio pattern evokes the sense of tidal changes in the oceans surrounding the coast of Japan and really seems to shift if you move it around under sunlight, at times appearing almost liquid. It’s finished with large applied indices and hands filled with LumiBrite. At 9 o’clock, there’s an additional indication for the power reserve with a bi-coloured scale, with an outlined date window on the opposite end.
Power comes from the Grand Seiko 9RA5 automatic Spring Drive movement, produced in-house, of course. This is regulated to run within ±0.5 seconds of deviation per day, or ±10 seconds per month, which remains an impressive feat of engineering. The power reserve is very generous as well, with 120 hours of autonomy once fully wound. The finishing is very ‘Grand Seiko‘, with a subtle frosting on the plates and bridges, bevelled edges and blued screws throughout.
This profound Blue Ushio version of the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Spring Drive 5 Days, reference SLGA023, comes on a solid high-intensity titanium bracelet with a folding clasp and push-button release. It will retail for EUR 12,300 and will be available from Grand Seiko boutiques and selected retailers worldwide from 1 August 2023.
For more information, please visit Grand-Seiko.com