Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT – SBGJ001 – SBGJ003 – Limited Edition SBGJ005

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ003

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ003

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ003

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ003

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ001

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ001

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ001

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ001

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ003

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ003

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Special 18k Gold SBGJ007 SBGJ008 SBGJ009

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Special 18k Gold SBGJ007 SBGJ008 SBGJ009

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special Stainless Steel SBGH035

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special Stainless Steel SBGH035

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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See more pictures below…

 

 

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition 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.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition 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.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

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 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

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.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

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.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

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.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA111

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA111

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.

 

Thanks for reading!