Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of its foundation, Grand Seiko has created two special edition timepieces that pay tribute to the natural beauty of Shizukuishi, the home of Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches.
Grand Seiko SBGW263
The first model is a new platinum cased watch whose dial is hand engraved with symbols reflecting the legend associated with the name of Shizukuishi.
Legend has it that, about a thousand years ago, an old man who lived in what is now Shizukuishi started to hear a strange sound coming from deep underneath a huge old cedar tree. People traced its source to what seemed to be a bottomless cave and realized that the sound was that of water drops, “shizuku” in Japanese, dripping from the ceiling of the cave onto the rocks, “ishi,” and resonating throughout the cave and beyond.
The area became known as Shizukuishi and it is this legend behind the name that provides the inspiration for the engraving on the dial and on the hands. The hands feature a water droplet motif along their full length and each hour marker carries the pattern of water splashing onto rock.
Master engraver Kiyoshi Terui and his small team engrave all the elements on the dial by hand. Their work covers not only the hands and indexes but also the Grand Seiko name and the star mark at the 6 o’clock position. The task is very challenging as both the plates on which the indexes and the minute track are engraved are curved. These plates and the dial itself are made of 18k white gold. The engraving of each watch requires many days of this intense and highly skilled work.
The engraving may be intricate but it is also powerful. Its straight lines accentuate the legibility of the time, making this watch true to the Grand Seiko aesthetic, while the whole watch has the soft, gently angular profile that is part of the Elegance Collection’s signature.
This Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary watch in platinum is a limited edition of 20 pieces.
Grand Seiko SBGW264
This second Shizukuishi-inspired watch features the same 9S64 manual-winding caliber but the case is in 18k rose gold and the dial has an intricate yet sharp pattern that only very precise machine engraving can achieve.
The dial pattern takes the imagination to the forest of white birch trees near the studio where the watch is made. As the viewing angle changes, the dial shimmers in green and white, just as do the trees when summer sunlight catches the leaves and the white bark of their trunks and dapples the forest floor. The soft, natural feel of the watch is completed by the slim profile of the case and the curved dial whose contours are followed exactly by the hands that are shaped by hand.
The watch is a limited edition of 120 pieces. It will be available in July 2020 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and Grand Seiko Salons worldwide.
Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Limited Edition, Shizukuishi Inspired Watches
Driving system: manual-winding
Vibrations: 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second)
Accuracy: +5 to -3 seconds per day (when static)
Power reserve: 72 hours
Number of jewels: 24
Case, dial and strap
Platinum 950 case and clasp (SBGW263)
18k rose gold case (SBGW264)
Engraved 18k white gold dial (SBGW263)
Crocodile strap with three-fold clasp with push button release (SBGW263)
Crocodile strap (SBGW264)
High definition dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Water resistance: 3 bar, Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
Thickness: 11.8mm (SBGW263), 11.6mm (SBGW264)
Limited edition of 20 (SBGW263), 120 (SBGW264)
Approximate recommended retail prices in Europe: €101,000 (SBGW263), €25,000 (SBGW264)