One of the most exciting introductions from Seiko this year is their commemorative replica of a vintage Grand Seiko design from 1967, the 44GS. The 44GS Historical Collection SBGW047 was introduced as a very special limited edition to celebrate 100 years of watchmaking for Seiko. The SBGW047 is the stainless steel version which is an exact replica of the original 44GS from 1967, with the exception of the internals which utilize Seiko’s latest technology for a manually wound caliber.
As with the original 44GS, this limited edition is encased in a 37.9mm wide and 11.5mm thick body. Back in 1967, the 44GS was one of the 1st Grand Seiko’s to focus on exterior design, using traditional Japanese aesthetics to contribute to its construction. The use of flat surfaces and straight lines allow the case to play with light and shadow, and with the broad flat surfaces of the case sides finished in the mirror like Zaratsu polishing technique, it does exactly that. The majority of the case is finished with Zaratsu, but another great detail is the small amount of vertical brushed finish above the 12:00 and below the 6:00.
Aside from its beautiful finish is its element of design that has become known as “Seiko Style”. The flat surfaces are not only found on the case, but also the dial, hands and indexes. The dial is a slight off white tone with a very subtle silver attribute that really only becomes noticeable in the light. The hands of the 44GS have a thin flat surface in a brushed finish that is complimented by sharp angles on the sides finished in Zaratsu which add to the legibility. The indexes have broader flat surface than most others in the line up along with a double wide index at 12:00. The indexes are diamond cut at multiple angles and also finished in Zaratsu, giving them the gorgeous sparkle that is most comparable to a diamond. The deeply domed sapphire crystal shows no distortion and uses Seiko’s proprietary clear coating that eliminates glare.
The movement found inside the SBGW047 is Seiko’s completely in house manufactured 9S64 caliber. Because the 44GS from 1967 originally housed a manual hand wind movement, Seiko felt it was only appropriate to use their latest variation of hand winding caliber to keep the nostalgia from its initial vintage piece.
The 9S64 has many modern attributes that put it in a class of its own. One of the most intriguing attributes is the use of their in-house developed and manufactured Spron 510 mainspring alloy. This alloy allows this manual wind caliber to run for 72 hours from a full wind, all off of only one spring. The other benefits of the alloy are that it is extraordinarily durable and maintains a longer life without losing strength. Spron is also more shock resistant, resilient and provides more torque than other mainsprings.
The case back is closed and looks identical to the original model. It has the Grand Seiko medallion in the center, and will be engraved with each individual serial number out of the 700 pieces they produced for the world. The US market received a very small amount in comparison to how many were produced for the global market. Needless to say, this piece will only be gracing the wrists of a lucky handful of customers across the country.
The SBGW047 retails for $5,150. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 or inquire by email on the AZ Fine Time site. Stay tuned for our reviews of the extremely rare 18k variations of this piece, the SBGW043, SBGW044 and SBGW047 over the next few days.
See our video review below…
See more pictures below…