BASELWORLD 2016 – GRAND SEIKO SPRING DRIVE SPORT COLLECTION – SBGC017, SBGC015, SBGE037, SBGE039

BASELWORLD 2016 – GRAND SEIKO SPRING DRIVE SPORT COLLECTION – SBGC017, SBGC015, SBGE037, SBGE039

Grand Seiko Baselworld Limited Editions

Introduced in 1960, Grand Seiko has been following an unwavering path of what Seiko calls “the purest essentials of watchmaking”. This path includes a clear ideal that each Grand Seiko timepiece should follow the rules of precision, legibility, comfort, and durability.

Since Grand Seiko’s introduction, these ideals have been followed to a “T”. However, this consistent forward motion does not mean there is no room for creativity and innovation. Today, Grand Seiko is giving us a taste of the future with their latest additions.

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GRAND SEIKO HI-BEAT GMT TITANIUM SBGJ011 SBGJ013

GRAND SEIKO HI-BEAT GMT TITANIUM SBGJ011 SBGJ013

GRAND SEIKO HI-BEAT GMT TITANIUM SBGJ011 SBGJ013

After last years successful introduction of the new 9S86 mechanical Hi-Beat GMT caliber, Seiko has expanded on this line up creating their first rendition of the 44GS case design in the proprietary Bright Titanium alloy.  The first model in the line up is the SBGJ011 which features a silvery white dial with pin striping texture and blued steel GMT hand.

 

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SEIKO PROSPEX MARINE MASTER 1000M HI-BEAT SBEX001 LIMITED EDITION: HANDS ON

 

 

 

SEIKO PROSPEX MARINE MASTER 1000M HI-BEAT SBEX001 LIMITED EDITION: HANDS ON

 

SEIKO PROSPEX MARINE MASTER 1000M HI-BEAT SBEX001 LIMITED EDITION: HANDS ON

In 1965 Seiko created its dive watch to fit the needs of the divers throughout Japan.  Around 1968, Seiko introduced the 6159, their first Hi-Beat caliber to be cased in a dive watch with a rate of 36,000 bph.  The movement was important in the sense that the high frequency was not only accurate, but also created more stable precision with less effect from shock due to it’s fast motion.  For the 50th Anniversary of Seiko’s first diver, Seiko has unleashed a new limited edition 1000m diver, with its first Hi-Beat caliber to be found outside of Grand Seiko since the late 70’s.  Today, we introduce you to the SBEX001, the Prospex Marinemaster Professional Limited Edition.

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Seiko Prospex Marine Master 600m Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

Seiko Prospex Marine Master Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

At one point and time, many had hoped to see one of Seiko’s greatest innovations in one of their most coveted dive watches.  The thought of a Spring Drive movement in a Tuna Can body came to reality in a limited edition model labeled the SBDB008 in 2013.  Sadly, this piece was limited to only 300 pieces for the world and was sold out incredibly fast.  There were rumors that the SBDB008 was going to be the one and only Spring Drive Tuna, but thankfully those rumors turned out to be false.  For 2014, Seiko introduced the SBDB009 an all black version of the LE Spring Drive Tuna.

Seiko Prospex Marine Master Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

The dial of the SBDB009 is deeply recessed, with the center of the dial deeper then the outer ring for the indexes and the chapter ring on an impressive deep slope.  This allows for a very thick sapphire crystal to help in its 600m water resistance.  The crystal has Seiko’s proprietary 99% clarity coating for anti-reflective purposes and the large hands and indexes on this piece offer incredible legibility.  The minute and second hand reach out far to the seconds/minutes track on the chapter ring adding even more quick glance visibility.  All hands and indexes are applied heavily with Seiko’s LumiBright luminescent material with the exception of the whole seconds hand.  It does make up for it however, by having a luminescent dot for the tail.

Seiko Prospex Marine Master Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

The outer case or shroud on this model is DLC (Diamond Like Carbon) coated titanium.  This shrouded design was actually inspired by a letter Seiko received in 1968.  The letter was from a professional diver who lived in Kure, a coastal city near Hiroshima.  This diver worked in depths as deep as 350m and needed a watch that could resist not only the depths, but also the strong shock of being beaten against rocks on the ocean floor.  Seiko’s team was shocked, and went to work on creating a piece that could survive these harsh conditions.  After 7 years, Seiko introduced their first 600m diver watch, the 6159 in 1975.  This watch was the first to use a titanium shroud, which added greater shock resistance as well as being light weight and corrosion proof.  Most importantly, the watch could not be penetrated by helium and the new accordion style strap that remained tight on the wrist, even when the wet suit shrinks due to the pressure at great depths.  This new SBDB009 utilizes the same design elements as found on the model from 1975.

Seiko Prospex Marine Master Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

The bezel has some very special features to create a beautiful feel when in operation.  This “Triple Safety Rotating Bezel” is achieved by a special lubricating material between the case and bezel, the shrouds design that protects the bezel leaving it only slightly open from the 12:00-3:00 and 6:00-9:00 area that also allows for easy turning, and a special structure that allows the bezel to only rotate counter clockwise, ensuring the bezel will not move clockwise at all.  The shroud is made of Seiko’s proprietary Bright Titanium with DLC coating, while the inner case does contain some stainless steel.  The possibility of achieving a 600m dive watch with no helium release is reached by utilizing a special rubberized material called “L-Shaped Packing Material” in the case structure, giving it complete air and water tightness. The result is a 50.7mm wide by 16.2mm thick Professional Specifications piece, that sits great on the wrist due to its virtually non-existent lugs making the lug to lug length only 49.6mm.  A piece of this size only weighing 126g certainly adds to its comfort.

Seiko Prospex Marine Master Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

I mentioned the design of the strap and its use on the 1975 diver the 6159.  This is still adopted in the Tuna’s design today.  Many may remember last years SBDB008 coming with the same polyurethane strap as most of Seiko’s divers.  While this was some what of a disappointment, it was still very functional for diving.  The SBDB009 however did feature an upgrade on the strap, now utilizing Seiko’s Extra-Strength Silicone material providing about four times greater tear resistance, superb flexibility and an ultra smooth and soft feel.  The accordion style design is still there, providing the same functionality on the polyurethane with the inside of the strap gripped to hold onto your wrist.

Seiko Prospex Marine Master Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

Inside this insanely sealed case lies one of Seiko’s most innovative movements, the Spring Drive 5R65 caliber.  This unique mechanism uses a mainspring as its sole power source with both hand-winding and self-winding capabilities.  The energy from the mainspring not only moves your traditional gear train, but also powers an electronic regulating system that would replace a traditional escapement.  The frequency from a quartz crystal (of which Seiko grows in-house), is almost 8,200 times faster then that of a common escapement, making it of course substantially more precise.  The frequency from these crystals goes to an integrated circuit (also developed in-house) that translates that frequency to an electromagnet.  The electromagnet basically regulates a wheel that turns freely in one only direction (unlike a balance wheel that rocks back and forth on a hairspring) telling the wheel to only turn 8 times per second.  This makes the mainspring unwind at an unbelievably precise pace and move as fluid as time itself, creating a second hand that glides as opposed to a sweep.  This smooth uni-directional motion allows for the smooth gliding second hand, incredible accuracy and a significant reduction in stress on the movement.  Seiko’s proprietary alloy Spron 510 that is used for the mainspring material also provides a 72 hour power reserve off only one mainspring, which can be monitored on the dial.  The display of the power reserve will reflect tightness of the mainspring, with a full power reserve expressed with the hand all the way down showing tightness, and all the way up in the red section meaning it is near fully expanded.

Seiko Prospex Marine Master Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

As a great dive watch should, the SBDB009 provides excellent legibility in the dark.  LumiBright’s glow can last up to 10 times longer then conventional luminous paints, has a stronger glow intensity, is non-radioactive (so safe for people and the environment),the quality of glow can be sustained over a long period of time.

Seiko Prospex Marine Master Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009

The Seiko Prospex Marine Master Professional 600m Spring Drive Tuna Can SBDB009 retails for $4,200.    It can be viewed on the AZ Fine Time site HERE and can be ordered by calling us at 1-800-486-3996.

 

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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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Citizen Attesa Direct Flight ATD53-3091

Citizen Attesa Direct Flight ATD53-3091

Continuing our introduction to the newest addition to the AZFT lineup, Citizen Attesa, we bring you one of their less complicated models, ATD53-3091.  The needle indication Direct Flight model is a simple three hand, with great features displayed in simplistic form.

Citizen Attesa Direct Flight ATD53-3091

This Attesa’s range of features include being radio controlled, solar powered (due to Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology) and perpetual calendar.  The RC feature is very easy as the watch will automatically attempt to connect to the radio signals around 2am automatically (as long as you have it near a window).  You can check to see if your connection was successful by pushing the lower right button.  If you hold down the lower right button for 2 seconds or more, the watch will then attempt to receive signal manually.

Citizen Attesa Direct Flight ATD53-3091

The Direct Flight feature makes for easy time zone adjustments by pulling out the crown one click.  From there, the watches second hand becomes a city code indicator.  Turning the crown will change the city codes, and the hands/date will adjust automatically to the appropriate time.  The 26 city codes are large and easy to read on the bezel, which is very convenient.  The daylight savings can also be adjusted by pulling the crown out to the second click and turning the crown to turn daylight savings on or off.

Citizen Attesa Direct Flight ATD53-3091

This model has a sporty but elegant design at 42mm wide, only 9.7mm thick, and weighing in at only 84g, is extremely comfortable.  The weight is due to the use of Citizen’s proprietary Super Titanium, which is about 40% the weight of steel, stronger and has low nickel content, making for less or no allergy problems. The  fit and finish is very intricately done and has a wide variety of styles.  The center links are a brushed horizontal finish, while the outer links are vertical.  This gives the appearance of 2 tones on the same metal.  There is also a sunburst brushed finish on the front part of the case, while the tips of the lugs are vertically brushed.  On top of that, they have small amounts of a high polished finish that give the watch a beautiful and distinct shine.  To protect this beautiful finish, Citizen’s proprietary Duratect coating is applied, making the watch about 4 times harder than it would be without it.  To add to its durability, it also has a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

Citizen Attesa Direct Flight ATD53-3091

Some other incredible attributes of this piece are its power reserve, lasting up to 2 years in the dark in sleep mode before needing to be recharged.  This, along with all other Attesa’s, has a shock detection and needle correction feature, making sure that the second hand always line up perfectly with the indexes.  To add to its ease of wear, the watch has a micro-adjustable clasp that can be done without tools and even while on the wrist.  This allows for 3 different adjustments easily, should you have a change in wrist size due to temperature or any other reason.

Citizen Attesa Direct Flight ATD53-3091

Since Attesa is only available in small quantities and styles, these models will not be listed on the AZFineTime.com site.  We are the 1st and only official dealers of this line in the US, and are very happy to finally have them here in our store.  If you are interested in this model or the 4 other models available in the line up, please call us at 1-800-486-3996 or inquire by email through our site.

Citizen Attesa Direct Flight ATD53-3091

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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.

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