In 1968, Seiko introduce their 1st 36,000 bph caliber in Grand Seiko in the 61GS. For 20 years, this rate of movement was a staple in the Grand Seiko collection. In 1988, however, the decision was made to make all Grand Seiko watches with a quartz movement. They did bring back the mechanical movements to Grand Seiko in 1998, but only in 28,800 bph. In 2009, Seiko re-introduced its 1st Hi-Beat caliber in over 21 years, the 9S85 movement. The advancements in technology allowed Seiko to tremendously improve on the resilience of the hairspring. MEMS and CAD/CAM manufacturing allowed them to build smoother, stronger, lighter and more precise escapement gears and pallet forks, and the alloys for the mainspring were able to provide enough power and torque to supply the faster rate, as well as extending power reserve. All of these factors came together to build a superior movement at a fast rate, eliminating some of the most prevalent issues of wear and tear with a 36,000 bph caliber. For the 5 year anniversary of the 9S85 caliber, Seiko has expanded the series of calibers by adding the 9S86, with new GMT feature.
To celebrate this new release, Seiko introduced 3 new models with the new 9S86 caliber. 1st, we introduce the Limited Edition, SBGJ005. The dial of the 005 is a beautiful dark green with gold accents to symbolize the summers surrounding the Shizuku-Ishi watch studio in Morioka Japan. During the summers, the trees are a beautiful green surrounding Mt. Iwate, which is visible outside of the windows of the studio. The detailed texture in the radial finished dial express the ridges of Mt. Iwate, giving a beautiful texture as only seen once before on the SBGH005. The entire line up of new Hi-Beat GMT’s will have the same textured dial.
This limited edition will be the only in the series to feature a unique titanium rotor with weighted with tungsten that covers nearly the entire movement, with openings to expose the beautifully striped and decorated caliber. The wing motif of the rotor expresses the leap to the next level of the 9S8 caliber. The titanium rotor is treated by anodic oxidation to create its gold tone. The titanium not only has high corrosion resistance, but also acts as a shock absorber which reduces the chance of distortion to the rotor and the its bearings.
For the new SBGJ005, only 600 pieces total will be made for world wide distribution. The watch expresses strength and growth (of which Grand Seiko has gone through a tremendous amount of over the last 4 years), and has a tremendous deep look to the dial. There is much meaning that goes into Grand Seiko as a brand, with the SBGJ005 expressing many great things in Grand Seiko’s history, heritage and evolution.
The next piece in the new 9S86 series is the SBGJ003. This model will have the same ridge textured dial as the SBGH005 with red GMT hand and accents. The stainless steel case on all three models is 40mm, inspired by the 1st Grand Seiko to come out of Daini Seikosha (now SII/Shizuku-Ishi), the 44GS. While it is not quite the same as the SBGW047 released last year, it is more comparable to the SBGR081/083 automatics. The case on the SBGJ series will be slightly thicker then last years automatic LE, at 14mm.
The finish is of the case exposes a significant amount of the Zaratsu blade polishing technique. This mirror like finish is considered to be one of the finest in the industry, and dates back to 1964 when Seiko first started using it on the Grand Seiko wrist watches. These also have a beautiful slightly domed sapphire crystal with Seiko’s proprietary anti-reflective coating, eliminating 99.9% of glare.
The final piece in the new Hi-Beat GMT’s is the SBGJ001. This model will have a white dial, again textured with the ridges of Mt. Iwate, and blue steel GMT hand. The texture is easiest to see of the 3 new models, as the darker colors texture tend to fade into the shadows, making them more subtle. The GMT movement features an independently adjustable hour hand, making for quick timezone adjustments without deviating the watches -3 to +5 second per day accuracy rating.
The look of the white dial with blue accents is very reminiscent of the Snowflake model, due to texture, crossed with a slight bit more silver as you would see in the SBGH001. The design on all 3 are gorgeous making for difficult decisions between the 3. Of course, the limited model will be in the most high demand for obvious reasons, but all 3 are outstanding.
For core production models (SBGJ001 and 003), the rotor will be the same as on the SBGH series. Striping can be found throughout the movements, with all the same special manufacturing methods as on the original SBGH series. The sapphire crystal case back will also have the subtle Grand Seiko Lion hologram visible at certain angles. Another beautiful and subtle detail as always found in GS. Official pricing on the SBGJ001, 003 and 005 is still being finalized.
There are also a set of Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Special’s coming this year in 18k White Gold (SBGJ007), Yellow Gold (SBGJ008), and Pink Gold, SBGJ010. These will feature a specially adjusted movement with higher accuracy rating then the Grand Seiko Standard (+5/-3 seconds per day). The Grand Seiko Special Standard models will have a +4/-2 second a day deviation rating, making them one of the highest accuracy mechanical movements available. The case size on these will be 39.5mm wide and 13.9mm thick. These are estimated to retail from $20,000-$21,000 and only 200 pieces will be produced between all 3 colors annually.
Finally, this year will also introduce a stainless steel Hi-Beat Special (non-GMT) model labeled as SBGH035. This will also have the +4/-2 second per day deviation rating and come in a 38mm case with back crocodile strap. Only 300 pieces will be made world wide, and are estimated to retail at about $7,500.
All models are currently available for pre-order. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996, or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com.
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