Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011 And New SBGA089, SBGA090, SBGA092

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

I write this article today for two reasons… 1. The Snowflake has been the No. 1 selling Grand Seiko out of the entire line up.  I have been privileged enough to own this piece now for a year and a half, and wanted to share my personal experience with this amazing timepiece. 2. I want to introduce a new very special Snowflake that will be coming exclusively to AZ Fine Time in the USA.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

With the Snowflake being a part of my collection for sometime now, I feel it is only appropriate to sing it the praise it deserves.  This piece has become my everyday wear, and I almost never remove it from my wrist.  It has been through thick and thin (and sometimes I feel I abuse it), but still manages to be by far my favorite piece I own with no exceptions.  I currently own 19 watches, most have not seen my wrist in a long time.  There is nothing but pride when I wear my Snowflake, and for many good reasons.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

We were 1st introduced to the Snowflake during our 1st Grand Seiko Roadshow back in 2010.  At the time, we had only seen pictures of the model and never had the watch hands on.  Master watchmaker from Shinshu Watch Studio, Junya Kamijo, was in store building a Grand Seiko Diver.  We noticed on his wrist the pure white dial and asked him to show off the beautiful timepiece.  He did not speak very much english, so he had another gentleman from Japan (Kosuke “Reggie” Kiryu) explain how the piece had acquired the nickname “Snowflake” at the factory.  The watches inspiration was, in fact, the winters of the Suwa Nagano region of Japan (where Shinshu watch studio was located).  The dial resembled the snow fall in Suwa.  Since it is in central Japan, with less humidity, the snowfall is light and airy and leaves snowdrift patterns as also seen in the alps surrounding.  The titanium case is to make it as light as a snowflake, and blue second hand and text is to give it the cold feel.  There was much pride in this piece and since one of the top Spring Drive watchmakers considered it his favorite, it was hard for the rest of us not to.  Ever since then, I had been drawn to this piece and decided it was a must to have in my collection.  Apparently, I was not the only one.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

In my experience, my Snowflake has managed to maintain only gaining 1 second every seven weeks or so.  It has been this way since I purchased it well over a year ago.  There has been no change in its 72 hour power reserve, still maintaining perfectly.  The most incredible part as that there has been no love lost since I first purchased the piece.  I still find myself staring at its mesmerizing gliding of the second hand, as well as the beauty of the dial and finish on the case and bracelet.  The “honeymoon period” of this watch has not gone away, nor do I think it will.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

As a brief overview of the watch itself, it is a 41mm proprietary Seiko alloy of titanium, that is not only lightweight, but also has an incredible finish allowed by this alloy.  The Zaratsu katana blade polishing technique is incredibly impressive and comes to a mirror finish.  It is highly unusual to see titanium in this quality of finish. The 9R65 Spring Drive movement utilized is truly unique and extremely high quality.  The uni-directional flow of Spring Drive is something incredibly unique, and something no one else in the industry has achieved.  At its new MSRP of only $6,300, it is truly an amazing value.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

With the popularity of the Snowflake SBGA011, a new, very special Snowflake has emerged.  The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake Special has officially been announced, and will be delivering exclusively to Arizona Fine Time in the US towards the end of August.

Grand Seiko Snowflake Special 18kt Gold, - SBGA089, SBGA090, SBGA092

Grand Seiko Snowflake Special 18kt Gold – SBGA089, SBGA090, SBGA092

Only one each of the SBGA089 18kt White Gold, SBGA090 18kt Yellow Gold, and SBGA092 18kt Rose Gold will be coming stateside, and AZFT is extremely proud to have all 3 exclusive.  These new 39mm case with black leather straps will have a very special attribute never before seen in the US market.  The Spring Drive 9R15 movement is an even higher accuracy rating than typical Spring Drive at only +/- 10 seconds a month deviation.  The quartz crystals utilized in the Tri-Synchro Regulator have been specially aged, tested and hand picked to ensure the highest quality.  Since there are very few of these crystals available, this model will be extremely limited availability.  To show the uniqueness of this piece, Seiko has an 18kt gold GS medallion on the rotor of the 9R15, which will be visible through the exhibition case back.

If you are interested in reserving one of the 18kt Snowflakes, highly recommend acting fast.  Due to the recent price decrease, these will be the least expensive 18kt gold pieces to ever hit the US market.  Please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 with any questions or check out AZ Fine Time to see more.

Thanks for reading!

See our video review below…

See more pictures below…

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k SBGH019 & SBGH020

What watch do most people think of when they hear 18k gold?  Probably a Rolex President, or maybe a Patek Calatrava.  There are many brands that utilize the precious metal to make for an even more impressive (not to mention more expensive) addition to their roster.  One brand that many might not often affiliate with 18k gold is Seiko, but for good reason.  Seiko doesn’t make many 18k gold pieces. In fact, most gold tone pieces in their current line up are only gold plated.  While this is the case at most stores across the globe, AZ Fine Time is not like most stores, and is proud to announce the release of the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special in 18k gold.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k White Gold SBGH019

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k White Gold SBGH019

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special is actually going to be available in 3 different shades of gold (white, yellow, and rose).  So far, the white gold (SBGH019) & yellow gold (SBGH020) are the 1st to arrive, and the rose gold (SBGH022) to be coming soon.  While this is not a limited edition of any particular number, they will be a limited production model with less than 2oo being made between all 3 shades per year.  Not only will it be very small production, but the US allotment is very thin.  So thin, that the white and yellow gold we have received are the only ones available in the country!

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k White Gold SBGH019

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k White Gold SBGH019

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special is labeled in the name to be “Special”.  So, what makes it special?  18k in a Seiko is incredibly unique, but not unheard of.  The term “Special” used in the name is not in reference to the gold, but towards the movement.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

The Grand Seiko standard was established in 1966 to serve as a new grading system since the term Chronometer was no longer allowed to be used outside of Swiss timepieces.  Today, the GS standard rating is higher than Swiss Chronometer at -3/+5 sec a day deviation as opposed to the Swiss of -4/+6 sec a day.   What makes the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special so special, is that Seiko has taken their incredible 9S85, 36,000 bph movement and tweaked it, to have a -2/+4 sec a day accuracy rating.  Not only beating Chronometer grade, but also beating their own GS Standard rating.  This makes the movement one of the most accurately rated fully mechanical watches in the world!  To help show off the uniqueness of this movement, Seiko has added an 18k Grand Seiko medallion to the rotor, which is the only watch to bear this in the US market.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k White Gold SBGH019

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k White Gold SBGH019

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

I say that the 9S85 movement is incredible, and it truly is.  You can not find many watches using a 36,000 bph movement but Seiko was actually one of the 1st to make them back in 1968.  In 2009, Seiko introduced the 9S85 utilizing the latest technology to make the near perfect Hi-Beat movement.  The hairspring material Spron 610, was developed in house by Seiko to withstand the high oscillation rate of the movement.  Spron 530 is used for the mainspring and was also developed in house by Seiko to provide the extra torque needed and supply a 55 hour power reserve.  MEMS (Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems) is used for the manufacturing of the escapement gear and pallet fork which allows Seiko to pay finer attention to detail in construction of the parts, making them smoother and longer lasting.  Please feel free to read more HERE.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k White Gold SBGH019

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k White Gold SBGH019

The cases are beautifully finished using a beautiful combination of brushed and Zaratsu polished cases.  The mirror finish of the Zaratsu definitely sparkles like a diamond, especially on the hands and index markers on these pieces.  It is something that no picture could ever do true justice for.  Only a precious metal could compliment such a precious movement.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special 18k Yellow Gold SBGH020

The dial appears to be a plain silver or white, but in person, is incredibly detailed.  There is a metallic trait to it, but in most lights looks to be white.  The dial also has a sunburst pattern that is hard to make out in most pictures, but can easily been seen when on the wrist.  Subtlety is something Grand Seiko is best known for and the Hi-Beat Specials are no exception.

The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Specials are very unique and only the finest craftsmen at Seiko’s Shizukuishi Watch Studio are qualified to assemble them.  Since there will be so few made, and even far less available in the US market, these pieces are sure to be collectors items.  At a retail price of $27,000, they are quite expensive, but reasonable compared to it’s closest competitors.  Even the competition can’t keep up with this highly accurate Hi-Beat!
I hope you enjoyed the look into one of the finest Seiko has to offer.

Please see below for all the pictures…