GRAND SEIKO 62GS AUTOMATIC SBGR095 LIMITED EDITION : HANDS ON – FEATURING SBGR091, SBGR092, SBGR094 IN 18K GOLD

GRAND SEIKO 62GS AUTOMATIC SBGR095 LIMITED EDITION : HANDS ON – FEATURING SBGR091, SBGR092, SBGR094 IN 18K GOLD

GRAND SEIKO 62GS AUTOMATIC SBGR095 LIMITED EDITION : HANDS ON - FEATURING SBGR091, SBGR092, SBGR094 IN 18K GOLD

Every year for Baselworld, Seiko introduces a new series into their Historical Collection line up.  This year, celebrating the 55th Anniversary of Grand Seiko, Seiko brought their first GS Automatic back to life in limited edition form as the SBGR095.  The 62GS from 1967 was one of the most accurate mechanical self-winding watches of its time, and the new SBGR095 is no exception.

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GRAND SEIKO HI-BEAT SPECIAL GMT 18K GOLD SBGJ007 SBGJ008 SBGJ010 REVIEW

Five years ago in 2009, Seiko had introduced its first Hi-Beat caliber in nearly 41 years.  For this five year anniversary, Seiko introduced a whole new caliber to this line up.  The 2009 9S85 caliber with 36,000 bph escapement was evolved upon adding a new complication, a GMT, and labeling it the 9S86.  With 2 production models and 1 limited edition already released, we would like to introduce you to 3 different and very “SPECIAL” models of this new Hi-Beat GMT.  Today we bring you the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Special GMT’s in 18k white, yellow and pink gold, SBGJ007, SBGJ008, and SBGJ010.

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Seiko Astron GPS Solar Limited Edition SAST029

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Limited Edition SAST029

At the end of 2013, Seiko launched a new variation of their Astron GPS Solar in limited edition form.  With only 1,200 models produced for the world, the new SAST029 features a unique color combo for the series, with white ceramic center links, white ceramic jeweled crown, as well as a blue ceramic bezel.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Limited Edition SAST029The SAST029 also has some other traits never before seen in the Astron line up.  The orange accents for the seconds, mode, and the home time sub dials hour hand make for a great “pop” on the dial.  There are also blue metallic highlights on the mode indicators satellite connection section, and around the 6:00 sub dial.  The dial also has the newer, larger hands (which can be seen on the SAST100 LE), making for easier visibility at night than previous models.  In the image above, you can see the radial sunburst pattern on the translucent black dial that lays above the watches solar panel.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Limited Edition SAST029

This new LE has a titanium case and bracelet, with the collapsed case sides found on models SAST015.  Not quite as elaborate as the SAST100, but still have a greatly detailed aspect to them.  Seiko’s proprietary “Bright” titanium allows the 47mm wide, 16.5mm thick timepiece to weigh in at only 141g, which amazes most everyone when they put the piece on their wrist.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Limited Edition SAST029As I mentioned before, the orange accents really make the SAST029 stand out, but what really makes a difference is the home time’s orange hour hand.  This makes its small independent 24 hour hand really easy to read.  Another nice touch is the watches chapter ring with difference from UTC in white with blue numerals and its ceramic bezel in blue, with white text for the city codes.  I can easily say, this is the most legible Astron GPS to date.

SAST029-16

This, as well as every Astron GPS, features the 7X52 movement with over 10 years of development and over 100 patents.  The 7X52 is the only movement capable of connecting to multiple GPS satellites, pin point your location, and update the hands all by holding the upper right button for about 6 seconds.  This piece can also connect to 1 satellite to update its second hand accuracy by holding the upper right button for 3 seconds, or will automatically do so with exposure to bright sunlight.  The piece is also solar powered, with a maximum power reserve of 2 years in sleep mode.

Seiko Astron GPS Solar Limited Edition SAST029Designed with a sporty look, inspired by sailing the sea, the SAST029 can recognize what timezone you are standing in (out of all 39), even if on a boat in the middle of the ocean.  The MSRP on the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Limited Edition SAST029 is $2,900 and can be purchased directly from our website here.  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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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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Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

To conclude our series of posts featuring the 44GS Historical Collection from Grand Seiko, we introduce the white gold limited edition SBGW043.  The SBGW043 is limited to only 70 pieces for the world of which only one came to the United States, and is exclusively sold at AZ Fine Time.  This model differs from the steel SBGW047 not only because of the precious metal, but also because of its blue accented second hand and GS logo.

Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

The 44GS series pays tribute to 100 years of watchmaking for Seiko, and also to their original 44GS which debuted in 1967.  The manually wound SBGW series are exact replicas of the original from 1967, having the same case shape, size, dial design and also replicate the piece by having a manually wound movement.  This of course is not going to be the same movement, but the latest and greatest from Seiko, using their in house designed and manufactured 9S64 movement.

Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

We previously discussed the 9S64’s components such as the Sprong 510 mainspring, the Spron 610 hairspring, and MEMS manufacturing process and how they contribute to making such a finely tuned movement.  An even bigger contribution to this movement is the fact that all of these pieces are assembled by some of the most talented watch makers at Shizuku-Ishi watch studio in Morioka Japan.

Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

The craftsmen who assemble these movements have all achieved excellent results at the National Watchmakers Skill Competition in Japan are required to have long term experience in the field.  One of the most difficult tasks in watchmaking is adjusting the balance.  The adjustment is performed completely by hand and requires delicate strength control.  This cannot be done by machine.  With the use of customized tweezers, the adjustments can be made to .03mm thick hairspring, and regulated to perform with excellent accuracy.

Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

After assembly, the watches are then put through a thorough 17 day testing process which was created to surpass the rating found in chronometer grade.  The testing not only involves more strict guidelines on the accuracy (-3 to +5 Sec a Day vs -4 to +6), but also involves testing in 6 positions compared to 5 (12:00 upright being the additional), 2 temperature variations rather than 1 (8-38 & 23-38°C) and of course the 17 days of testing vs 15.

Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

After an over 1,000 hour process to certify Grand Seiko quality, the original inspiration of creating the ideal watch has come to reality.  The 44GS goes through an incredibly labor intensive process not only for the movement, but also the fit and finish.  The elegant 37.9mm white gold case is finished in the pure mirror “Zaratsu finsih” to give perfect reflection with no distortion.  The hands and indexes are diamond cut and polished in the same technique giving great legibility, but also an incredible glimmer.

Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

With only one of this model in the US, it’s rarity only complements  its beauty.  The MSRP on the SBGW043 is $18,500.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 and check us out on AZFineTime.com

Grand Seiko 44GS Historical Collection Limited Edition 18k White Gold SBGW043

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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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Citizen Eco-Drive EYES AO9010-02A

Citizen Eco-Drive EYES AO9010-02A

Now that the Citizen Eco-Drive EYES has been launched as an official limited edition watch, AZ Fine Time is proud to say that we were fortunate enough to get our hands on a few more.  Previously, I had reviewed the black version AO9010-02E (which is also back in stock), but I did not have the opportunity to show off the white dial variation AO9010-02A.  Our 1st allotment went quick, and I anticipate the same for our latest shipment. Continue reading