In celebration of 100 years of Seiko watch-making, the Japanese watch brand recreates a Grand Seiko classic timepiece of the 1960’s.
In 1967, the Grand Seiko 44GS was launched it established a new look for the collection as it was the first Grand Seiko watch to embody and express the design ideas that a young designer had recently defined for the brand.
When the very first Grand Seiko watch was created in 1960, its sights had been set on the purely functional goals of precision, practicality and comfort, and its appeal rested on the engineering excellence of the movement.
In the early 1960’s, a young university graduate who had recently joined the company saw that this focus on movement engineering was not enough. As he studied the watches on display at the Wako luxury specialty store in Tokyo, he realized that Seiko needed to create watches which sparkled more brilliantly and he determined to set a style for the brand.
He invented the “grammar of Seiko design” and the 44GS was the first watch designed to this new specification. The distinctively sober, but sparkling, look of Grand Seiko was born. The razor-sharp edges to the hands and hour markers are signature characteristics of Grand Seiko.
The “Grand Seiko Style” is at once typically Japanese and yet unique to Seiko. In its serenity, it reflects the subtle and restrained sense of beauty that Japanese culture values most highly. However, this calm quality to the design is complemented with a very strict insistence in every detail on the pure essentials of watchmaking: precision, durability and legibility.
The combination of these ideas is at the heart of the Grand Seiko aesthetic. The watches gleam brightly and yet are restrained and refined. At the cornerstone of the “Grand Seiko style” is the aesthetic consciousness in Japan of the beauty of light.
The Japanese treasure the subtle gradation of the infinite number of shades between light and dark. This is why, for example, Japanese forms such as folding screens and shoji (paper screens) are made of what seem to be simple, straight lines and flat surfaces, but in fact are constructed in such a way that they make possible a wide variety of shades of interwoven light and dark depending on the place and the time.
The radiance of every Grand Seiko watch is also attained through this unique Japanese aesthetic consciousness, and consequently while simple, is highly distinctive with its distortion-free polishing adding sharpness to every light reflection.
The new Limited Edition replica of the 44GS is as faithful as can be to its predecessor. It uses a hand-winding movement, carries the emblem on the case back and is the same size. In the stainless steel execution, the dial, hands and indexes are identical.
There are four models in the collection. All use the 9S64 caliber, first launched in 2011. It is a high accuracy 8-beat caliber (+5 to -3 seconds a day) with a 72 hour power reserve and 24 jewels. Three pieces are in gold (white, yellow and rose) and one is in stainless steel. The cases are 37.9mm in diameter and the sapphire crystals have Seiko’s proprietary anti-reflection coating on the inner surface.
Thanks to the precision of Seiko’s latest machining and polishing techniques, to hold and to study the new 44GS is to experience the quiet perfection of traditional craftsmanship re-invented for a new era. The craftsmanship and skill of the polishing create the clean edges and perfectly flat surfaces of the Grand Seiko case.
Model: Grand Seiko 44GS Replica Limited Edition
Versions: SBGW043, 044, 046, 047
Driving system: Manual winding type
Vibrations: 28,800/hour (8/second)
Power reserve: over 72 hours (when fully wound)
Jewels: 24 jewels
Loss/gain Mean daily rate: -3 to +5 seconds
18K White Gold (SBGW043), 18K Yellow Gold (SBGW044), 18K Rose Gold (SBGW046), Stainless Steel (SBGW047)
Diameter: 37.9 mm, Thickness: 11.5 mm
Water resistance: 3 Bar
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Glass: Box shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on inner surface.
Crocodile with buckle 18K White Gold (SBGW043), 18K Yellow Gold (SBGW044),
18K Rose Gold (SBGW046), Stainless Steel (SBGW047)
Approximate recommended retail price range in Europe
18K White Gold (SBGW043): Euro 20,000
18K Yellow Gold (SBGW044): Euro 19,000
18K Rose Gold (SBGW046): Euro 19,000
Stainless Steel (SBGW047): Euro 5,700
Limited edition: 700 pieces of SBGW047; 70 pieces each of SBGW043, SBGW044, SBGW046