Monochrome Watches
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The Ice Blue Grand Seiko 44GS Hi-Beat SLGH013 (Live Pics & Price)

Innovation inside and out, emblematic design, ice blue textured dial...

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |
Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat Calibre 9SA5 SLGH013

Multiple elements define Grand Seiko’s style, all gathered under an important set of rules known as the Grammar of Design. The instrument behind this series of guidelines was a watch known as the 44GS, a sharp and unmistakably GS watch born in 1967, and one that will set in stone what the brand’s creations will be for the future. We’ve seen multiple releases this year celebrating the 55th anniversary of the 44GS, such as the Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ255 and, considering today’s matters, the Hi-Beat Automatic SLGH009. The latter, a limited edition, introduced GS’ latest automatic movement within an all-time classic design. And today, it’s time for this Calibre 9SA5 to join the permanent 44GS collection, with the new SLGH013 and its striking ice blue textured dial. And there are a few other things to know!

Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat Calibre 9SA5 SLGH013

The 44GS is a watch that can be considered instrumental in the history of Grand Seiko. It was, when released in 1967, the first model to apply designer Taro Tanaka’s Grammar of Design. His vision was global and covered the process of the creation of an entire watch. The mission of Taro Tanaka was simple and complex at the same time, and it was to give Grand Seiko a true Japanese identity while retaining classic watchmaking codes. With such importance, the 44GS still a great source of inspiration for the brand’s designers. And it now comes with innovation inside and out, with this new SLGH013.

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Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Hi-Beat 36000 GMT 44GS 55th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGJ255
The 1967 Grand Seiko 44GS

The inspiration behind this new Heritage model is rather obvious, at least for the case. Everything in it screams 44GS, with this angular shape, strong shoulders, an almost absent bezel and a dial that follows all the principles of the brand since the 1960s. As for the colour and texture, it’s again rather classic and typical Grand Seiko, as it is said to have “the texture of the snow that starts to melt in Spring on Mt Iwate, the imposing 2,038-meter-high peak that overlooks the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, where all Grand Seiko mechanical models are made.” But if the recipe is known, the result remains nevertheless highly attractive.

Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat Calibre 9SA5 SLGH013

The case of this new Heritage 44GS model comes with no surprises. The shape is timeless, sharp, and angular and the proportions are also well known. A 40mm diameter, a rather pleasant 11.8mm height, and a fairly controlled L2L of 47.2mm. Specifications; comfortable 100m water-resistance, screw-down crown, box-shaped sapphire crystal on top, see-through sapphire crystal on the caseback. Finishing; excellent as usual with Zaratsu (distortion-free) polished accents and brushed surfaces.

Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat Calibre 9SA5 SLGH013

What’s new, however, in this SLGH013 is the use of Ever-Brilliant stainless steel… but not only for the case, as the bracelet also relies on this specific material, which is a first for a Grand Seiko watch from the standard collection. As a reminder, Ever-Brilliant steel is a high-grade alloy with a brighter tone, a high level of corrosion resistance and better durability. It results in a watch with great lustre and shine, which is even reinforced by the splendid polished parts all around the case.

Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat Calibre 9SA5 SLGH013

The dial of this 44GS Hi-Beat SLGH013 plays on trends, with its ice blue colour – a discreet, rather metallic and ever-changing colour that isn’t too blatant. It’s here combined with a stamped, fine texture that adds depth and plays greatly with the ambient light. Detractors will say that it’s nothing really new from Grand Seiko, but still, the watch does make an impact and that dial alone justify to consider this model… The blue colour is accentuated on the central seconds, which is blued steel. Hands and markers are, as always, executed with great care and are razor-edged. All are polished and faceted, which improves legibility in all angles – at least during the day, as there is no lume on this model.

Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat Calibre 9SA5 SLGH013

Under the sapphire caseback is a movement that has quite some arguments too, the modern Calibre 9SA5. Equipped with a proprietary escapement, the Dual Impulse, it came to market mostly with the White Birch SLGH005 and made some noise with its innovative geometry. In addition to its high frequency of 5Hz, this escapement also departs from the classic lever escapement, with a solution that is close to what’s found in Omega’s Co-Axial system – more on this GS innovation in this article. This 9SA5 is also thinner than previous movements, and now comes equipped with two barrels for a solid 80h power reserve. Last but not least, the overall design and finishing have been redefined to make the view through the caseback far more appealing.

Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat Calibre 9SA5 SLGH013

As said, the Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat SLGH013 is worn on an Ever-Brilliant steel bracelet. A 3-link construction, it combines mostly brushed surfaces with polished accents. It measures 19mm at the lugs and is closed by a classic three-fold clasp with push-button release.

Availability & Price

The new Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS Hi-Beat Calibre 9SA5 SLGH013 is released as part of the permanent collection and isn’t limited in production. It will be priced at EUR 9,300. For more details, please visit

9 responses

  1. ” redefined to make the view through the casebook more appealing” Huh? In what way? looks identical to the white birch. Just curious.

  2. @Stefan – yes, it’s entirely the same as the White Birch, but redefined compared to older movements, such as the 9S65 and all movements of this family.

  3. would love to see a head to head comparison of this 44Gs with evolution 9 in particular with the white birch. really curious how they compare. some differences in the case design, dial, bracelet width, hands etc

  4. It’s a pity that Seiko remains the most boring Japanese brand. They just re-iterate. Every new introduction is mwhe. Not accurate enough, always the same case-shape and some marketing babble on “inspired by the sun coming up in spring on lake bladibla”. But looking the same as the previous 17 iterations. And getting more and more overpriced. But more than US/€ 2000 for any of them is way overpriced.

  5. What i can say is that their product is good and manageable it worth the price and it has comfort

  6. All that was elegantly said about your Seiko grand fails me as no mention of the hand type which I believe falls under the Daphine and dagger type. I believe with all your fanfare about these marvelous features this one was left out. Sorry to geek you. Respectfully.

  7. To Bas: well then, you are lucky enough that this is not Seiko. It’s a totally different company.


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