For the 100th Anniversary in watchmaking for Seiko, one of the most unique case designs for the brand was brought back to life in limited edition form for 2013. The 44GS, originally released in 1967 has been reintroduced looking identical to the original, but with the state of the art technology on the inside. This gorgeous design will be implemented in the brand as 4 limited edition manual wind models, and 2 automatics. These very special timepieces are scheduled to come in sometime in early August, but we couldn’t wait to share some of the details before their arrival.
The truest remake to the original is going to be the 4 manual wind variations utilizing the 9S64 caliber, which has a 72 hour power reserve due to its Spron 510 mainspring, the ultra-durable Spron 610 alloy (see demonstration HERE), and Grand Seiko standards of -3/+5 seconds a day deviation rate. These models will be 38mm wide and 11.5mm thick with a deeply domed sapphire crystal. The SBGW047 (far right) will be stainless steel and limited to 700 pieces for the world. The SBGW046 (rose gold), SBGW044 (yellow gold) and SBGW043 (white gold) will be limited to only 70 pieces of each for the world, with only 1 of each shade coming to the US market. We are proud to say, all 3 models in 18kt gold will be exclusively sold at AZ Fine Time in the US market. MSRP for the steel at the newly lowered pricing is set at $5,150. The white and rose gold will be $18,500 and the yellow gold $17,500.
Along with the manual wind variations will be 2 new automatics in the 44GS series. The SBGR081 (silver dial) will have a blue accented second hand and total production count of 1,200 pieces for the world. The SBGR083 (black dial) is going to have yellow gold accents and a total production count of only 700 pieces across the globe. They both are 40mm wide, 13.4mm thick, and use the 9S65 self-winding caliber, which are made (along with the 9S64) completely in-house by Seiko at their Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio in Morioka, Japan.
The entire design of these models stay true to the original in many ways. While the manual wind variations retain more of the original design and are near exact, both keep true to the inspiration of the impressive 44GS design. All 6 variations will have closed case-backs with individual serial numbers.
The case design of these pieces are incredibly intricate and well thought out. The ideals in creating this design were to make a comfortable shape, that expresses the true beauty of craftsmanship while playing on light and shadow. The aesthetic values of these pieces highlight Japanese tradition. The term “Seiko Style” was derived from utilizing these Japanese styles that have been long implemented in their culture for years. The traits of this style mostly utilize straight lines and flat surfaces, which play beautifully with light and shadow. You may recognize some of these traits in fusuma (sliding doors), folding screens, fans and Shoji screens (paper sliding doors).
With this incredible design, the use of the immaculate Zaratsu katana blade polishing technique is highly visible. The brilliant sparkle of Grand Seiko is something that can only be truly appreciated first hand and with the new 44GS variations, the wearer gets to experience more of it. Thanks to the dominant flat surface of the case, the mirror finish truly shines. The incredibly labor intensive process of Zaratsu is not only utilized on the case and bezel, but also on the hands and indexes allowing them to glimmer and reflect small amounts of light, making for easier legibility in the dark.
We truly look forward to receiving the new Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection models here at Arizona Fine Time. Very few quantities will come to the US, and a vast amount of our allotments are already reserved by anxiously awaiting customers. If you are interested in pre-ordering any of these models or have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996.
Here is a video from Seiko showing some of the beauty behind the 44GS…
Thanks for reading!