As a special tribute to one of the most popular Grand Seiko’s in the line up today, the SBGA011 “Snowflake”, Seiko has introduced a series of limited production models in 3 shades of 18k gold. Available in white, yellow or pink gold, with the very special 9R15 caliber, only one of each color came to the US market and can exclusively be found at AZ Fine Time. Today we bring you the white gold, SBGA089.
The Snowflake was made to pay tribute to the winters of Spring Drive’s hometown and birth place, the Suwa Nagano region of Japan. In Suwa, the Shinshu Watch Studio manufactures and assembles Spring Drive movements. The winters in this central region of Japan produce light and airy snowfall, which creates snow drifts on the ground and mountainous area. The dial of the snowflake is made to mimic this, but still retain the subtlety and beauty you find in Grand Seiko. From a distance the dial appears to be a plain white, but up close, the intricate details can easily be seen.
The concept of Spring Drive conceived in 1977 by a young engineer at Seiko’s Suwa plant, Yoshikazu Akahane. The thought of a perfect watch, having the craftsmanship and details of a fine mechanical but the accuracy of the best quartz, was something Akahane became devoted to. After 28 years, 600 prototypes and 230 patents, Seiko’s Spring Drive was finally introduced to the market in 2005.
The Spring Drive caliber found in this special Snowflake is the rarely seen 9R15. This caliber is only used in limited edition/production type models as its Tri-Synchro Regulator utilizes a specially selected quartz crystal that endures vigorous testing and aging to ensure it is of the finest quality. These rare quartz crystals are what provide the 9R15 with an even higher accuracy compared to the 9R65 found in most Grand Seiko’s. The 9R15 is rated to only +/- 10 seconds a month deviation as compared to the 9R65’s +/- 15 seconds a month (equivalent to 1 second a day). As you will find with the 9R65, the actual accuracy of the 9R15 is likely to be much better than its rating. This is the 1st and only 9R15 caliber to come to the US market. This movement, which is manufactured completely in house, has a 72 hour power reserve and an 18k gold medallion on the rotor to express its uniqueness.
The SBGA089’s 18k white gold case is slightly smaller than the SBGA011’s case at only 39mm wide but the same thickness of 12.5mm. The finish is brushed at the lugs but mostly composed of the impeccable Zaratsu “Blade” polishing technique, giving the mirror like finish that is truly stunning in person. The hands and indexes also utilize this polishing technique on their multifaceted, diamond cut design, which gives a brilliant sparkle from every angle.
As I mentioned before, only 1 of each color of gold came to the US market and are exclusively sold at AZ Fine Time. The MSRP for the white gold SBGA089 is $19,000. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through our site. Stay tuned for our reviews on the yellow gold SBGA090 and pink gold SBGA092.
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