This year, the primary assignment for Grand Seiko will be the expansion of the Evolution 9 concept, which now finds its way into more than just the Heritage Collection. It’s now time for the Sports collection to evolve and move into the 21st century, with newly defined design codes, a thorough study on ergonomics and refinement, as well as innovative mechanics. This year, five new watches will be released in the Evolution 9 Sports collection, including two classic GMTs, two bold chronographs and the present watch, a large and robust dive watch. Here’s the new Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Diver Spring Drive 5 Days SLGA015.
As we explained in this in-depth article, Evolution 9 is all about the evolution of the classic Grammar of Style defined by the brand in 1967. While maintaining the founding elements, the brand has decided to up its game in terms of refinement, comfort on the wrist, the precision of the movement, mechanical audacity and legibility. We’ve seen this strategy being deployed with watches such as the White Birch, and it’s now time for the sports models to be updated. And, of course, that means there’s a dive watch in the 2022 package.
The watch in question, known under the reference SLGA015 (always easier than the long and not very charming names of GS), is a typical big block of a dive watch the Grand Seiko way. Measuring 43.8mm in diameter and 13.8mm in height (objectively thinner than I expected), it’s a watch that feels big on my small wrist. No debate; it’s a bold dive watch. Yet, it’s pretty comfortable since the case is made of high-intensity titanium, making it light and well balanced.
The shape of this new Spring Drive 5 Days Diver 200m SLGA015 follows the principles of the Evolution 9 collection. The lines are more curved, less angular and with more refinement in the construction. Visually, it makes the watch rather appealing but also more comfortable, as the curved profile benefits the ergonomy. Also, Grand Seiko explains that the centre of gravity of all Evolution 9 models has been moved down, meaning that the weight of the watch is closer to the wrist. Also, the watch is now equipped with a classic crown at 3 o’clock, which screws down and is recessed between two protective shoulders.
As for the equipment, you’ll find classic specifications. The SLGA015 features a unidirectional titanium bezel with a glossy black ceramic insert. The latter has an engraved, white-filled 60-minute fully graduated scale and a luminous pearl at the 0 mark. A domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating protects the dial, and the caseback is screwed solid titanium. All in all, it’s a classic dive watch with 200m water-resistance and 4,800 A/m magnetic-resistance. Even though the brand does not mention this, it seems that the SLGA015 features all the necessary features to be ISO 6425 compliant, including a small luminous dot on the inner flange next to the date.
The dial of this Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Diver 200m plays with textures, as do many watches from the brand recently. The black base has an embossed pattern that depicts “the oceans that surround the Japanese archipelago (…) crisscrossed by water currents of great power. One such is the Kuroshio Current, also known as the Black Stream“. The dial has a wave-like texture, only visible at certain angles that doesn’t disturb the readability. On top of it are large, raised applied markers and the hands also contrast nicely with the dial. All elements are filled with luminous material, and the display consists of central H-M-S, a date and a power reserve indicator.
The SLGA015 is worn on a solid high-intensity titanium bracelet with brushed surfaces. It is closed by a complex folding clasp, with a push-button release, a safety lock element, and it features a diving extension.
Under the closed back is Grand Seiko’s latest Spring Drive movement, the calibre 9RA5. First unveiled in 2020 in yet another dive watch, it is the next generation of calibres with two barrels for 120h of power reserve, new electronics for improved accuracy (±0.5 seconds per day or ±10 seconds per month) and overall a slimmer profile that increases the comfort of the watch.
Availability & Price
The Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Diver 200m Spring Drive 5 Days SLGA015 is presented as part of the permanent collection and will be available from August 2022. It will be priced at EUR 11,800.
For more details, please visit www.grand-seiko.com.