Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake 18k White Gold Special SBGA089

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake 18k White Gold Special SBGA089As a special tribute to one of the most popular Grand Seiko’s in the line up today, the SBGA011 “Snowflake”, Seiko has introduced a series of limited production models in 3 shades of 18k gold.  Available in white, yellow or pink gold, with the very special 9R15 caliber, only one of each color came to the US market and can exclusively be found at AZ Fine Time.  Today we bring you the white gold, SBGA089.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake 18k White Gold Special SBGA089The Snowflake was made to pay tribute to the winters of Spring Drive’s hometown and birth place, the Suwa Nagano region of Japan.  In Suwa, the Shinshu Watch Studio manufactures and assembles Spring Drive movements.  The winters in this central region of Japan produce light and airy snowfall, which creates snow drifts on the ground and mountainous area.  The dial of the snowflake is made to mimic this, but still retain the subtlety and beauty you find in Grand Seiko.  From a distance the dial appears to be a plain white, but up close, the intricate details can easily be seen.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake 18k White Gold Special SBGA089   The concept of Spring Drive conceived in 1977 by a young engineer at Seiko’s Suwa plant, Yoshikazu Akahane.  The thought of a perfect watch, having the craftsmanship and details of a fine mechanical but the accuracy of the best quartz, was something Akahane became devoted to.  After 28 years, 600 prototypes and 230 patents, Seiko’s Spring Drive was finally introduced to the market in 2005.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake 18k White Gold Special SBGA089

The Spring Drive caliber found in this special Snowflake is the rarely seen 9R15.  This caliber is only used in limited edition/production type models as its Tri-Synchro Regulator utilizes a specially selected quartz crystal that endures vigorous testing and aging to ensure it is of the finest quality.  These rare quartz crystals are what provide the 9R15 with an even higher accuracy compared to the 9R65 found in most Grand Seiko’s.  The 9R15 is rated to only +/- 10 seconds a month deviation as compared to the 9R65’s +/- 15 seconds a month (equivalent to 1 second a day).  As you will find with the 9R65, the actual accuracy of the 9R15 is likely to be much better than its rating.  This is the 1st and only 9R15 caliber to come to the US market.  This movement, which is manufactured completely in house, has a 72 hour power reserve and an 18k gold medallion on the rotor to express its uniqueness.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake 18k White Gold Special SBGA089The SBGA089’s 18k white gold case is slightly smaller than the SBGA011’s case at only 39mm wide but the same thickness of 12.5mm.  The finish is brushed at the lugs but mostly composed of the impeccable Zaratsu “Blade” polishing technique, giving the mirror like finish that is truly stunning in person.  The hands and indexes also utilize this polishing technique on their multifaceted, diamond cut design, which gives a brilliant sparkle from every angle.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake 18k White Gold Special SBGA089As I mentioned before, only 1 of each color of gold came to the US market and are exclusively sold at AZ Fine Time.  The MSRP for the white gold SBGA089 is $19,000.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through our site.  Stay tuned for our reviews on the yellow gold SBGA090 and pink gold SBGA092.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake 18k White Gold Special SBGA089

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See our video review below…

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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…