Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

Seiko’s Galante brand was sold in Japan for nearly 8 years before it made its first presence in the US market.  Introduced in 2005, the Galante series focuses on bold and unique designs, that cater to the fashionable and the “more then egoist” crowd, who still appreciate outstanding craftsmanship and mechanics.  AZ Fine Time became the 1st authorized dealer for Galante in the states last year, with our first piece being the SBLL021, the FC Barcelona Limited Edition.  Earlier this year, we saw our first Spring Drive GMT variation in the SBLA079, or the Blue Rose Limited Edition.  Today, we are proud to bring you the first Spring Drive Chronograph model the SBLA081, otherwise known as the Snow Leopard Limited Edition.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

As stated in the name, the watches inspiration comes from the illusive snow leopard, not only in color of the design, but also in elegance and intelligence.  The motif of white is expressed throughout the watch including the strap and dial, which represents the cool, calm and distant nature of the snow leopard.  Black accents are found for the roman numerals 6-12 and every the even numbers on the 24 hour chapter ring for the GMT feature.  There are also 2 shades of grey accents, the darker acting as guidance lines from the polished GMT hand to the 24 hour counter as well as the sub dials, and the lighter shade used for the unusual font of the even numbers on the 24 hour counter.  The roman numerals from 1-5 are white resting atop a vibrant mother of pearl layer expressing unique beauty, symbolic of the snow leopard.  The dial itself uses a radial finish in the center, while the rest of the portion with the black roman numerals has a very subtle granite texture to it.  The center seconds for the chrono is also unique, with more granite texturing to is silvery hand, creating a semi-sparkly effect.  As you will find on many Galante models, the dual sided continuous second hand at 9:00 is curved, as well the indexes the hands are gliding over.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

There are 4 diamonds making up the 8:00 marker.  These diamonds are in reference to the snow leopards intelligence, symbolizing 8 multiple intelligences.  The theory of multiple intelligences suggests that all people have different types of intelligence and breaks it down into eight categories.  These eight categories are bodily/kinesthetic (meaning physically coordinated or learning well through physical activity), musical (for the musically inclined),   mathematical/logical (meaning good with numbers), verbal/linguistic (for those good with reading, writing, speaking, etc.), spacial/visual (for those who are good at creating mental images to execute a plan), interpersonal (knowing how to work well with other people), intrapersonal (for those who know and can control their own emotions and thoughts), and naturalist (or knowing nature such as plants, animals, etc).  The significance of the diamonds implies that the one to wear this Galante possesses multiple intelligence’s

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

The case size is large at 44.4mm wide and 18.8mm thick.  The cases design is the signature of the Galante brand, using four “pillars” (one at each of the cases lugs) in part of its assembly.  The screws at the top of each pillar are what hold the case together, aside from giving it the unique design element.  Throughout the series of Galante, you will find variations of case sides, mostly faceted and very distinct.  The SBLA081 features what they call a “Coin Edge V Cut”.  This extravagant layout has rounded edges giving a similar appearance to what would be a coin edge (like you might typically see on a bezel), but in a much larger scale.  The “V cut” aspect is between each rounded edge, giving it the shape as described, a v cut facet between each groove.  What adds compliment to this elaborate case design is the Zaratsu finish, giving it a mirror finish throughout the entire piece that can only be achieved by hand.  Only a handful of craftsman are capable of accomplishing this technique.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

The movement used in the Galante Snow Leopard is Seiko’s in house manufactured 5R86 Spring Drive caliber.  As we all know, Spring Drive has become coveted by collectors,  proving its proprietary “hybrid” movement  to be not only the worlds most accurate caliber driven by a mainspring, but also retains the artistry that collectors long for.  The 5R86 features a chronograph with vertical clutch and column wheel for optimal performance, GMT, 72 hour power reserve display, has an impressive 416 components, 50 jewels, and the astounding +/- 15 seconds per month accuracy rating thanks to its Tri-Syncro Regulator mechanism that replaces the traditional escapement with a quartz frequency regulated glide wheel that rotates only 8 times per second because of an electromagnet relaying the information from the quartz crystal.  This ingenious feat in watch mechanics not only is extremely precise and consistent, but is also built by hand.  Very few craftsmen in Seiko Epson’s Shinshu Watch Studio are capable of assembling these movements.  Another note you may have already noticed is that the 5R86 movement found in Galante is not the same finish as other 5R86 movements.  Galante has a unique gunmetal colored and striped rotor, with a unique ribbed pattern on the top main plate of the movement.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

The rare Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition is limited to only 100 pieces for the world.  These include a grey rubber strap with tang buckle as an option.  The white strap it comes on includes a 3 fold deployment buckle, and as another option, AZFT will also include a black leather strap with deployment buckle to give another totally new look to this timepiece.  The MSRP on this model is $9,800 and is extremely limited in the states.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph Snow Leopard Limited Edition SBLA081

Thanks for reading!  Please see our video review below…

See more pictures below…

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Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève “Petite Aiguille” Winner

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

This year at Baselworld 2014, we laid eyes upon a beautiful new release labeled as the SBGJ005.  While we knew little about this model at the time, this limited edition piece with a deep and dark green dial had us infatuated.  It was not just the design, the color, or the fact that this piece was one of the first to feature a new movement out of Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio, but also the influence of the environment surrounding Shizuku-Ishi.  The SBGJ005 pays tribute to  the 5 year anniversary of the Seiko’s introduction of the 9S85 Hi-Beat 36,000 bph caliber, by adding new complication to the already amazing movement.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

2009 marked the introduction of the 9S85, which was the first Hi-Beat caliber put into production in over 40 years.  Back in 1968, Seiko introduced their first 36,000 bph calibers in the 61GS which was self-winding, the manually wound 45GS, and the petit 19GS as a ladies model.  The consistency of the high frequency vibration allowed for precise measurement with less effect from position and shock.  A perfect attribute for Grand Seiko.  Sadly, the Hi-Beat movements of the 60-70’s faded out as Seiko’s focus targeted the introduction of their quartz technology.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

The 2 factories producing Grand Seiko in the era of Hi-Beats were Suwa Seikosha, now Seiko Epson (SE) and Daini Seikosha, now Seiko Instruments Inc (SII).  The 61GS was manufactured by Suwa, but the 45GS was produced at Daini.  Today, SII is home to Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio where all purely mechanical Grand Seiko’s are made, while SE focuses on Spring Drive and Quartz.  The 40mm wide stainless steel case design that utilizes flat surfaces and sharp angels to play off of light and shadow was inspired by Daini Seikosha’s (SII) first Grand Seiko from 1967, the 44GS.  As you may know, the case is finished in the Zaratsu polishing technique, giving it a perfect mirror finish.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

With the influence of Shizuku-Ishi/Daini Seikosha behind it, the SBGJ005 honors the past, but also has influence by the natural surroundings of Shizuku-Ishi.  Located in Morioka, the capital of the Iwate prefecture in Japan, the studio faces beautiful Mt. Iwate, which can been seen from the windows in the factory.  The dark green dial with golden accents of the 005 is inspired by the summer trees on the slopes of Mt. Iwate.  There is a subtle texture to the radial finishing on the dial,  symbolizing the ridges of Mt. Iwate.  The expression of the natural surroundings around Seiko studios is something collectors have come to love.  In a sense, the SBGJ005 is the reverse of the Snowflake SBGA011.  Both the fact it is expressing summer instead of winter, and that it is made at Shizuku-Ishi as opposed to the Shinshu studio of SE.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

The introduction of the 9S86 caliber was indeed an exciting an exciting one.  Now, the high frequency caliber is prepared for the world traveler, utilizing an independently adjustable hour hand as to not deviate the precise time keeping that the 9S86 is built for.  The 9S86 obviously has a rate of 36,000 bph, or 10 advancements of the second hand per second, but also has unique materials developed in-house by Seiko to ensure the stability and longevity, despite its high frequency.  The use of he Spron 610 alloy for the hairspring ensures a high resilience.  The use of the Spron 530 mainspring provides a 55 hour power reserve for the piece, even though the torque required is 1.5 times that of a standard 28,800 rate.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

With 37 jewels and only a select few craftsmen who can actually set the balance on the Hi-Beat calibers, the SBGJ005 has a unique rotor only found in this limited edition.  The gold toned titanium rotor is weighted with tungsten for optimal performance, but also has a high shock absorption almost 10 times that of the more commonly used brass.  The titanium is treated by anodic oxidation to create its gold tone with beautiful texture.  As you will see, the striping decoration below the rotor is beautiful, and even the barrel for the mainspring is brought to a mirror finish.  On top of all that, these also have Grand Seiko’s -3 to +5 second a day accuracy rating.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT Limited Edition SBGJ005

The SBGJ005 is limited to only 600 pieces for the world.  Some of which have already landed here at AZFT (and already found homes), with the remaining balance to arrive sometime in September.  The MSRP on this piece is $7,250.

I feel it is important to share this video filmed at our 2012 Grand Seiko Roadshow, where one of the top Hi-Beat watchmakers (Mr. Ito) proved the resilience of the Spron 610 hairspring.

 

We’d like to congratulate Seiko on winning in the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève “Petite Aiguille” (sub 8,000 francs) category in Switzelrand for 2014!  The SBGJ005 has some tough contenders, but Seiko took the award which was truly deserved.

Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève "Petite Aiguille"  SBGJ005

 

Sadly, the SBGJ005 is completely sold out, but thankfully, you can get this same design, movement and amazing quality timepiece in its sister models SBGJ001 and SBGJ003.

 

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ001 SBGJ003

 

And finally, more pictures below…

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Seiko Galante – Snow Leopard SBLA081 – Glitter SBLL023

Seiko Galante 2014

Seiko Galante 2014

This year will bring forth more of Seiko’s bold and intriguing luxury brand, Galante.   As there was only one sample to be seen at this years Baselworld Fair, we did get a sneak peak of 2 other very interesting items to be released in 2014.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chornograph "Snow Leopard" Limited Edition SBLA081

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chronograph “Snow Leopard” Limited Edition SBLA081

The 1st model to actually be seen in person is the SBLA081 “Snow Leopard” Limited Edition.  This model will be the 1st to come to the USA using the 5R86 Spring Drive Chronograph GMT movement.  The dial features black roman numerals from 6:00 to 12:00 with white roman numerals atop a mother of pearl.  You will also notice the 8:00 index is 4 diamonds as opposed to the roman numeral.  The design element theme is very fashionable as Galante is intended to be.  The strap is a white crocodile leather with a bluish grey tint surrounding the scales, which is a nice touch.

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chornograph "Snow Leopard" Limited Edition SBLA081

Seiko Galante Spring Drive Chornograph “Snow Leopard” Limited Edition SBLA081

There is a glittery granite texture to the chronographs hour minute and central seconds hand, which seems subtle in person, but ads that extra bit of flare that makes it Galante.  The case sides are also ornately designed with what is called a coin edge V shaped cut.   This model will be limited to 100 pieces for the world and will become available at AZ Fine Time this fall.

Seiko Galante "Glitter" Automatic Limited Edition SBLL023

Seiko Galante “Glitter” Automatic Limited Edition SBLL023

The next on the list of new Galante’s coming this year is the mechanical automatic SBLL023 labeled the “Glitter” for obvious reasons.  This piece is made for the “Galantist” who goes out to the night scene such as night clubs, parties, and glamorous events.  The new “Glitter” symbolizes the exciting night life.  Trendy and fashion forward, the Glitter model will have Swarovski crystals to make the large “G” on the dial.  Black and white diamonds are also accented on the dial and lugs to give the extravagant feel.  The case sides of this piece will have 23 facets, symbolizing the 23 wards of Tokyo, and will be completely finished in Zaratsu polishing.  The Glitter can easily be a chic men’s pieces, or a fashionably large women’s piece.  This will also be limited to 100 pieces for the world.  

 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for an exclusive peak at another Galante coming soon!

 

 

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph – Line up

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Just when you thought Seiko’s Astron GPS technology couldn’t get any better, Seiko launched their new 8X82 equipped Astron GPS Chronograph!  While the chrono is a new feature, there is a whole lot more to this timepiece that makes it so special.  Power is everything, and the new 8X82 is even more efficient then its predecessor, the 7X52.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Limited Edition SSE001

Before we get in depth of the capabilities of the new Astron, we would like to introduce the 1st in the series, the Limited Edition SSE001.  This model will be slightly different than the rest of the line up.  The case size will be slightly larger then the other models at 45mm.  The ceramic bezel will be faceted, and the bracelet will be titanium, with ceramic links.  You may also notice that the dial is white, something never before seen in the Astron GPS series.  Thanks to a new type of dial that allows much more light to penetrate, new dial colors are achievable in the series.  The SSE001 will be limited to 7,000 pieces for the world and include a leather strap option in the package.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE003

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE003

You will see the same black dial as before seen in the Astron GPS, with the SSE003 being the 1st model in the series to have it.  The 003 has titanium case and bracelet, and what is very exciting is that all the new Astron GPS Chronograph models will be coated in “Diamond Shield” hard coating, making them extremely scratch resistant.  This plating technology is something we are seeing for the 1st time in the US from Seiko, but has been seen in the Japanese Domestic Market.  All models of Astron GPS Chronograph aside from the limited edition will be 44.6mm case diameter.  A big difference from the 47-48mm in the original and “Stratoshere” series.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE005

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE005

The new dial capabilities allow for a metallic blue dial on the SSE005.  Accompanied by a vibrant blue ceramic bezel, this model has been getting a lot of attention within the new line up.  This model will also be in Seiko’s Bright Titanium with Diamond Shield coating.  The functionality of the new 8X82 movement has been improved, allowing for more features, but also is more user friendly.  The GPS connecting feature is still essentially the same where you will hold the upper LEFT (as opposed to the right on the 7X52 models) button for 3 seconds for 1 satellite connection (accuracy update) and 6 seconds for GPS multiple satellite connection (to update location/timezone).  To change timezones manually without satellite connection, instead of holding down a button then using other buttons to change timezones, this is now done by pulling out the crown one click, and turning until the second hand points to you current location.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE013

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE013

The chronograph is very easy to use at it is operated like most any chronograph.  Using the upper right button will start and stop the chrono, with the lower right button used to reset.  The stopwatch will measure up to six hours and as little as 1/5th of a second.  The central seconds hand will act as your 1/5th of a second counter when activated.  The sub dials not only register the minutes and hours, but also display the satellite connection at 10:00 and your different mode displays (satellite connection, airplane mode, power reserve) at the 6:00 sub dial.   You will notice that the SSE013 pictured above has a tachymeter engraved in the ceramic bezel, instead of city codes. This model has a stainless steel case (with black hard coating), and all other steel models in the line up will feature tachymeter bezel.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE015

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE015

The SSE015 will be stainless steel case as the 013, but on the extra-strength silicone strap with 3 fold deployment clasp.  The case on this model, as well as other Astron GPS Chronographs will be finished in the mirror like, Zaratsu blade polishing technique.  The craftsmanship that goes into the exterior only compliments the technologically advanced internal components.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE017

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph SSE017

The SSE017 will have the popular color combo of black and orange, feature a stainless steel black hard coated case and come on the extra-strength silicone strap.  You will notice that all of the new Astron models have larger, heavier hands.  Thanks to more efficient conversion of light to energy, the watch is not only capable of moving the larger hands, but also add a chronograph feature, and reduce the size by 30%.  To give you an idea of how much electricity is needed to connect to the satellites, it is equivalent to 10,000 times that of a battery watch, or 300 times that of a radio controlled watch.  Very impressive to say the least.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Ladies

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph Ladies

Other exciting news on this series is that now Astron will have a ladies model.  The reduction of size has made this possible and while still a larger ladies piece, is still very much in trend of fashion.  The dial will be white mother of pearl with diamond markers, have white ceramic bezel and rose gold plated case, with white leather strap.

The new 44.6mm wide, 13.3mm Astron GPS Chronographs are scheduled to arrive this fall, and will start as low as $1,825.  All models are currently available for pre-order through AZ Fine Time, and if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com.

 

Thanks for reading!

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!

 

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA103 – SBGA105 – SBGA107

Grand Seiko 1964 Self-Dater

Grand Seiko 1964 Self-Dater

To honor the 50th Anniversary of the 2nd Grand Seiko model ever made, the 1964 GS Self-Dater (or 57GS), Seiko has introduced a new part of their Historical Collection featuring the design very similar to that of the 1964 model.  These recreations will come in 3 Spring Drive models, and 2 9F Quartz.  Today we introduce the 3 Spring Drive Limited Editions, SBGA103, SBGA105 and the Platinum 950 cased SBGA107.

Grand Seiko "Self-Dater" Spring Drive Limited Edition Platinum SBGA107

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition Platinum SBGA107

Before we get into the exacts of the new editions, it is important to talk about the ’64 model.  When they introduced the 1st “Self-Dater”, this was the 1st Grand Seiko to feature not only a date, but also to have 5 ATM water resistance, and was the 1st to implement the Zaratsu Katana Blade polishing technique.  These virtues hold true now to all Grand Seiko’s today, and this retro-remake is no different.

Grand Seiko "Self-Dater" Spring Drive Limited Edition Platinum SBGA107

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition Platinum SBGA107

It is important to know that the ’64 variation was manufactured at Suwa Seikosha, which is now Seiko Epson.  The factory that produced this model as well as all other Grand Seiko’s prior to the 44GS was the Suwa factory, and Suwa is home to the Shinshu Watch Studio, which also created Spring Drive.  The new Historical Collection models that house Spring Drive movements are going to be a 39.9mm case that is 13.2mm thick.  The piece pictured above is the Platinum 950 model SBGA107 on crocodile leather, which is limited to only 50 pieces to the world, only 1 of which will come to the USA.  This will be exclusively available at AZ Fine Time.

Grand Seiko "Self-Dater" Spring Drive Limited Edition  SBGA105

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA105

The next  model in the line up is already without question the most popular, the SBGA105 with a deep radial finished metallic blue dial.  This model has the same 39.9mm case as on the SBGA107, but in stainless steel with a stainless steel 5 piece link bracelet.  The dial color on this model is spectacular and has a huge range of color depending on the amount of light that hits the dial.  Varying from a deep dark blue to a vibrant true blue, it is the perfect color to symbolize Grand Seiko.

Grand Seiko "Self-Dater" Spring Drive Limited Edition  SBGA105

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA105

Only 500 units will be produced for the world of the SBGA105, which is truly a shame.  With such limited quantities, and such a highly demanded dial color, these models are sure to sell quickly.  The dial color isn’t even one of the best parts of this model, or the entire series for that matter.  What is truly special, is what lies on the inside.

Grand Seiko "Self-Dater" Spring Drive Limited Edition  SBGA105

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA105

All 3 models in this line up will feature the higher accuracy 9R15 Spring Drive movement.  Thanks to a specially selected quartz crystal, which Seiko grows and tests entirely in-house, this Spring Drive movement is capable of an accuracy rating of only +/- 10 seconds a MONTH, or .5 seconds a day specifications.  The accuracy and performance of Spring Drive is already uncanny to begin with.  The 1st time this movement was available outside of Japan was in the 18k gold Spring Drive Snowflakes.  Now, this movement is available in a much more reasonable price point.

Grand Seiko "Self-Dater" Spring Drive Limited Edition  SBGA103

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA103

The final model in this series of Spring Drive “Self-Daters” is the SBGA103, with radial silver dial and blued second hand.  This model recreates the original the most in this series, and has a very complex dial, which is easy to see in any lighting.  The sapphire crystal utilized in this series has an even deeper dome than most core models of Grand Seiko, which also adds to its vintage appeal.  Of course, the sapphire is coated in Seiko’s proprietary anti-reflective coating, giving a distortion free view of the dial.

Grand Seiko "Self-Dater" Spring Drive Limited Edition  SBGA103

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA103

You can certainly distinguish the case design is completely unique as compared to other models of the GS line up.  The wider, more square, lugs of this model contribute more to its unique design, which combines a small amount of satin finish with a large amount of Zaratsu.  This model holds special value in the sense the Self-Dater was the 1st to use this technique, and the quality speaks for itself.  The mirror finish will be found on the bezel, front of the lugs, case sides, and in 2 pieces of each link set.

Grand Seiko "Self-Dater" Spring Drive Limited Edition  SBGA103

Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA103

The Grand Seiko “Self-Dater” Spring Drive Limited Editions are scheduled for delivery sometime in July.   The estimated MSRP’s will be $34,500 for the Platinum SBGA107, and $6,500 for the steel SBGA103 and SBGA105.  These models are currently available for pre-order through AZ Fine Time, but are sure to sell through quickly.  As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com.

 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more Grand Seiko goodness!

 

See more pictures below…

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005 Arizona Fine Time is extremely proud to announce the epic return of the incredibly rare, unbelievably unique, and one of the most collectible timepieces in Seiko’s history, the Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition!  After nearly 2 years of waiting, asking and hoping, Seiko USA was finally able to track down, and bring back the monumental Spacewalk back to AZ Fine Time.  This is one of our all time favorite pieces and allow me explain why…

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005

The Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk was the 1st watch in the world to be custom made from scratch, specifically for space travel.  There, of course, are many watches made and modified for space travel, but this is where the Spacewalk differs.  Starting in 2002, Seiko started researching how to make a mechanical timepiece work flawlessly in space.  The emphasis was solely on functionality, and testing of prototypes began at NASA with microgravity and vibration tests.  All of which were successful.  The next step followed at the Aerospace Lab at USC, where they tested the prototypes in radiation, lack of atmosphere, rapid changes in temperature, and in vacuum chambers.  After all of this testing, all the prototypes stayed in perfect sync, showed no signs of deviation, and the test was considered to be a huge success.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005 A man named Richard Garriott was a big part of the Seiko Spacewalks existence.  Richard’s father, Owen Garriott, was an astronaut (who actually brought Seiko watches with him to space) which lead Richard on his pursuit to become an astronaut himself.  Not only that, but he lived in a neighborhood surrounded by NASA employees.  Naturally, Richard wanted to follow in his fathers foot steps, but due to issues with his vision, was not qualified to become an astronaut.  While attending college, Richard designed video games, as what seemed to be a hobby, but ended up making a fortune in the process.  With the success of his games, Richard was able to pay off college and even start his earliest investments, one of which was Spacehab.  Through the rest of his life, Richard was an adventurer, going canoeing in the Amazon, meteor hunting in the Arctic, reaching the bottom of the Atlantic to see the Titanic and even gorilla tracking in Rwanda.  This, however, did not satisfy his dreams of going to space.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005 His later investment was one that would actually bring him to space.  Space Adventures is the company that helped him accomplish his dream.  After being politely turned down by NASA when asked if he could purchase a seat on the shuttle at any cost, Richard turned to the Russian Federal Space Agency where he was politely told “”no” , but that it would require a lot of time and money to even see if he could go.  From there, Richard spent incredible amounts of money to reach his ultimate goal.  In total, he paid over $30 million to go to space.  This would make Richard the 1st second generation space traveler in the USA.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005 Once Garriott went to Russia for his near year long training, the production Spacewalk watch went with him.  Accompanying him through all his tests including rotating chairs, tilt tables, hyperbaric chambers, vacuums, and centrifuge training  (simulating 9g re-entery), the Spacewalk proved its perfection.  The entire design was made to withstand all the extreme rigors of space, be perfectly functional and keep perfect time.  You will see the Spaewalks bullhead design putting the extra large crown and pushers at the top of the case.  This allows for ease of use while wearing the gloves of your space suit, and still be comfortable on your wrist while wearing without.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005

The 48.7mm wide, proprietary, High-Intensity Titanium case is very strong, but 40% lighter than steel weighing only 92.5g.  In order to develop this case, Seiko had to 1st create a new CNC machine in order to manufacture it, and they did so completely in-house.  This allowed for the hollowed out case design that eliminated weight, but also allowed for a large legible dial.  The case is completely air-tight, which is essential because of the vacuum of free space.  In order to achieve this air tightness in extreme temperatures ranging from -4°F to +158°F, Seiko had to develop a new rubberized material for its gasket.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005

The dial arrangement was very well thought out for easy legibility.  Your continuous running seconds are located at 6:00, with chronograph counter minute and hour sub dials on the upper half of the dial.  The power reserve indicator is located right next to the date at 3:00, using a fuel like indicator reading from full to empty.  The colors for the dial and bezel were to simulate the view of Earth from space, using the bronze colored bezel to symbolize the land, blue accents to symbolize water, and the white to symbolize the clouds.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005

The strap attachment for the Spacewalk is a Ballistic nylon strap with titanium buckle and velcro fastening.  The piece comes with 2 straps, one for normal wear, and one for outside of a spacesuit that can adapt to normal wrist size.  The use of this material is for its strength and also for ease of use.  The strap used by Garriott (the one for the spacesuit) worked perfectly, and was very easy to take off, put on, and adjust.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005 Seiko’s Lumibrite material was used for the darkness of space, giving greater legibility in the dark than ever before.  This natural lume applied to the specifically designed hands and indexes are applied in additional layers, which makes it about 3 times brighter than normal.  There is even a luminescent ring around the second hand sub dial allowing you to see its position in complete dark.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005

In Oct. of 2008, Garriott finally went on his private space mission.  For the movement on his custom watch, the 5R86 Spring Drive movement was utilized.  Quartz was not considered safe, and mechanical is not as reliable, so ultimately, the hybrid known as Spring Drive was chosen for its supreme accuracy, durability, and consistency on Garriott’s mission.  The features include chronograph, GMT hand, 72 hour power reserve indicator and date.  With 416 components, 50 jewels, and and an unbelievable accuracy rating of +/- 15 seconds a month, it is an impressive movement.  Even more impressive, is that the Spacewalk not only functioned perfectly on the 4.5g entry, kept full 72 hour power reserve with the lack of gravity, functioned perfectly (both in time keeping and chronograph function) for 5 hours and 38 minutes outside of the spacecraft  while on the wrist of a Russian cosmonaut, and also withstood the potential 17,500mph re-entry.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005

As you can see, the Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk SPS005 required an abundance of research and development from the ground up, which is one of the things that makes it so unique.  The Spacewalk was awarded Sports Watch of the Year at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève  in 2010 and one of the pieces that actually went to space, No. 6 of 6 actually in space, sold at Antiquorum auction for $45,600 with proceeds from the lot going to the two charities Richard Garriott supports, the Nature Conservancy and the Challenger Center.

Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk Limited Edition SPS005

The Seiko Spring Drive Spacewalk commemorative edition is limited to only 100 pieces (thought to have been completely sold out) and retails for $28,000, making it still the most expensive Seiko product to ever hit the US market.  Once again, the legendary Spacewalk is available at AZFT.  As always, 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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