This year commemorates 10 years of the use of Seiko‘s in-house designed and developed Spring Drive movement found in Grand Seiko, known as the 9R caliber. To celebrate this, Arizona Fine Time is hosting our 5th annual Grand Seiko Roadshow, where Master Spring Drive Watchmaker Mr. Ikukiyo Komatsu is being flown in from Shiojiri, Japan, to build a Seiko Spring Drive 9R caliber right here in our retail store for all to see. If you are in the Phoenix area on December 5th from 3-7pm, please feel free to stop by and indulge in complimentary sushi, Asahi beer, and Yamakazi single malt whiskey, and to see an expert assemble the worlds most accurate movement powered by a mainspring. Also, we are proud to bring you a hands-on look at a limited edition model made to honor the 10 year 9R anniversary, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA109.
2014 marks the 10 year anniversary of the revolutionary Spring Drive movement in Grand Seiko. The appearance of the 9R caliber truly pushed the envelope for accuracy not just in any mainspring driven watch, but then combined with the fit, finish and build quality of GS, started a whole new level of watchmaking. To pay tribute to the introduction of Spring Drive into Grand Seiko in 2004, Seiko has released a limited edition model dubbed the SBGA109.
The SBGA109 will be in the same 41mm titanium case and bracelet as found on the now iconic “Snowflake” model, as well as the hands and indexes. The dial will also be a pure white, yet the texture is completely different. Both the second hand and power reserve hand are in blue steel, with a different power reserve display texture as compared to the Snowflake.
You can see the texture is a weaved square texture exposing little frames which contain small “GS” logos. They, of course are very subtle, and at different angles of light become more noticeable. The weaves condense from the 12:00-6:00 portion of the dial as well as from 9:00-3:00, creating smaller rectangular frames, without GS logos. This gives the dial a far more complex look and reduces the amount of logos, creating a very interesting look. The railway track type minutes and seconds counters at the outer edge of the dial is a great touch as well.
Grand Seiko is know for their subtle details and the SBGA109 is no exception. Some may recall last years 9F 20th Anniversary model SBGX103 with small GS Lions found scattered throughout the dial, with the lion at the 20 minute marker facing the opposite direction as the rest. The SBGA109 is similar, but with only one lion, located at the frame nearest the 10 minute marker. This, of course, will signify the 10 year anniversary of the 9R Spring Drive caliber.
The movement featured in the SBGA109 is one that we are quite excited to see more of… The high accuracy Spring Drive 9R15. This will have the same +/- 10 second a month accuracy rating as the new “Self-Dater” Limited Edition models. A notable difference in the 9R15 vs. the 9R65 is the 18k gold GS Lion medallion on the rotor and instead of having radial sating finish on the rotor, it is coated in striping.
The 9R 10th Anniversary Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA109 is slotted for delivery this fall, and has an estimated retail of $7,000. There will be 700 pieces made for the world with less than roughly 3% of production coming to the US market.
The 109 will not be the only anniversary model for 10 years of the 9R movement. The slightly smaller 40.5mm stainless steel SBGA111 will also be released this fall. The case is slightly more faceted, has oyster type bracelet and the 9R65 movement as opposed to the 9R15. While we did not see this piece hands on, this will provide a chance to be a part of the 10th anniversary of the 9R Spring Drive, at an MSRP of $5,000. This model will be limited to 1,500 pieces for the world.
Both models are currently available for pre-order at AZ Fine Time. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com.
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