Whenever Grand Seiko presents a new watch, you’re almost certain to be treated by a finely crafted dial inspired by nature. We’ve seen it time and time again, with watches like the White Birch, the Lake Suwa, or the Shunbun. The carefully crafted dials often have textures and colors to represent the gentle ripples in a lake under a breeze, ice forming on a mountaintop in winter, or the blooming Japanese cherry blossom trees. Grand Seiko’s latest, a European-only limited edition released in honor of the opening of the Grand Seiko Paris Vendôme Boutique, wants us to take a moment to reflect, meditate, and cleanse our minds. The Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGY027 “Karesansui” takes inspiration from traditional Zen gardens and transfers this to the rather splendid dial. With that in mind, let’s get straight into the details!
The case used for the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGY027 is made from stainless steel and measures a comfortable 38.5mm in diameter and 10.18mm in height. The finishing is what we’ve come to expect from Grand Seiko, with polished and brushed sections alternating one another. A domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating covers the front, while a second one covers the back. The knurled crown is finished with the GS logo in relief and is used to wind and set the watch. With 30 meters of water resistance, this should be considered a splash-proof watch.
The light-grey dial of the SBGY027 is inspired by traditional Japanese Karesansui gardens, where beds of sand are combined with rocks, pruned trees and bushes, water features and moss, to imitate the essence of nature. The sand is carefully raked into delicate ripples to represent the flow of water. In Japanese culture, gardens are used for meditation. The ripples on the dial are reminiscent of the ripples in the sand of a Karesansui garden and radiate from the center outward in a wave-like pattern. Surrounding the dial are faceted and Zaratsu-polished hour indices. Time is indicated by the polished and faceted hour and minute hands, with a dark grey needle-like seconds hand. A fine minute track is printed in black, with the applied GS logo and brand name in black finishing of the dial.
Underneath the transparent caseback, we see the Grand Seiko Calibre 9R31 we know from other models including the SBGY002, SBGY003, and the SBGY008. This hand-wound movement comes with the brand’s Spring Drive technology and is manufactured in-house in the Shinshu Watch Studio. This movement combines mechanical and quartz technology into a highly accurate hybrid caliber. The deviation is regulated to be no more than ± 1 second per day, far exceeding the standards of traditional mechanical movements. It also comes with a convenient power reserve display on the back, which shows a running time of up to 72 hours.
The Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGY027 “Karesansui” is presented as a European-only limited edition of 100 pieces, exclusively available at the new Grand Seiko Paris Vendôme Boutique and selected authorized dealers. Worn on a black calfskin leather strap with a folding clasp, it retails for EUR 9,200 and will be available from January 2023.
For more information, please visit GrandSeiko.com.