Yesterday, Grand Seiko unveiled a jewellery timepiece during the Seiko summit that officially kicked off the 140th-anniversary celebrations of the brand’s foundation. Housed in a platinum case and powered by the brand’s hyper-precise Spring Drive calibre, the green garnets, diamonds and mother-of-pearl capture the natural beauty of the Mishaka pond in Shiojiri. Limited to just 15 pieces, the Spring Drive 8 Day Jewelry Watch SBGD207 is another creation of the elite Micro Artist Studio.
Micro Artist Studio
As its names indicates, the Micro Artist Studio is a small studio of highly specialised craftsmen working on small-scale projects largely by hand. Tucked away in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture in central Japan, in 2016, the Micro Artist Studio made its first watch for Grand Seiko, a Spring Drive watch with an innovative calibre that offered an 8-day power reserve (calibre 9R01). Last year, Grand Seiko released its first jewellery Spring Drive model (SBGD205) inspired by the winter mornings in the Shinshu region. Both the 2020 jewellery model and this 2021 model belong to Grand Seiko’s high-end Masterpiece Collection, a family of exclusive platinum (and rose gold) watches that include the Kintaro Hattori 160th-anniversary model (SBGZ005) we reviewed last year.
The deep appreciation of nature professed by the Japanese is reflected in the locations chosen by Grand Seiko for its watchmaking studios. The palette of the new Grand Seiko Masterpiece reflects the myriad shades of green reflected in the still waters of Mishaka Pond, not far from the Micro Artist Studio.
The base of the dial is 18k white gold, and the central part is set with a green sliver of iridescent mother-of-pearl surrounded by a chapter ring of green baguette-cut garnets, representing the hours, and diamonds. The gemstones are expertly set between a thin pair of rails in a horizontal position to catch the light evenly. The hours and minutes are framed by another ring of precious diamonds and garnets but in a contrasting brilliant cut. The sharp faceted profile of the hands and the Zaratsu distortion-free mirror polish are hallmark Grand Seiko features.
The latest Masterpiece Collection Jewellery SBGD207 has a diameter of 43mm and a thickness of 13.5mm. Like other watches in the Masterpiece Collection, the case is crafted in platinum 950, an alloy that is 95% pure platinum mixed with other metals to increase its hardness. To achieve the hallmark Zaratsu mirror polish on platinum, which is softer than stainless steel and takes ten times longer to polish, a new method of Zaratsu polishing had to be developed for platinum. Extending the jewellery theme beyond the dial, the crown is also set with a diamond.
Spring Drive 8-Day Power Reserve
Developed in 2016 by the Micro Artist Studio, the manual-winding Spring Drive calibre 9R01 improved the 72-hour power reserve of other Spring Drive movements more than two-fold to offer eight days (192h) autonomy thanks to the incorporation of three barrels, linked in sequence. Coupled with the impressive accuracy rate of ± 0.5 seconds per day, calibre 9R01 is the top-performing Spring Drive movement. The sapphire caseback reveals the large one-piece bridge with the silhouette of Mount Fuji (at 10 o’clock) and the power reserve indicator.
Availability & Price
The Grand Seiko Masterpiece SBGD207 comes with a green crocodile leather strap with a triple-folding platinum clasp to match the colour scheme of the dial. It is limited to 15 pieces and will be available in Grand Seiko Boutiques in May 2021. The retail price is EUR 195,000.
More information at Grand Seiko.