Since its debut in 1998, Grand Seiko’s Caliber 9S has been the backbone on which all Grand Seiko mechanical watches rest, giving rise to a full series of movements with different functions, escapements, and complications; these include the innovative Caliber 9SA5 with its Dual-Impulse Escapement and Grand Seiko’s first mechanical chronograph, the Tentagraph. To celebrate 25 years of Caliber 9S and its significant contribution to the brand’s mechanical watchmaking, Grand Seiko has just unveiled two new limited-edition GMTs in its Sport and Elegance collections, Ref. SBGJ275 and Ref. SBGM253 respectively. Both timepieces draw inspiration from the skies over Mt. Iwate in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture, where all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are hand-assembled by skilled artisans.
Cased in stainless steel, the sporty appeal of this model (Ref. SBGJ275) is harmoniously complemented by the blue dial that is reminiscent of the tapestry of clouds seen at daybreak, when the stillness and humidity in the air meld to form dense overlapping clouds. The shade of blue is inspired by the sky over Mt. Iwate, the peak visible from the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi. The rotating bezel with the sapphire crystal in blue and white amps up the design appeal while allowing for a total of three time zones to be read at once.
The clear sapphire crystal caseback offers a view of the titanium oscillating weight, made to display a light shade of blue through anodic oxidation. This process of oxidation involves a surface treatment in which metals are subjected to electrolysis so as to generate artificially an oxide film; based on the thickness of the titanium oxide film, various colours can be produced according to the light refraction index. This is the first time that a Grand Seiko mechanical watch with water resistance of up to 200 metres has featured an exhibition caseback. The watch is powered by the 9S86 high-beat GMT movement that allows for stable accuracy, thanks to its 5Hz frequency.
The more understated of the two, this model (Ref. SBGM253) that is part of the Elegance collection has a classic appeal, enhanced by the mirror-finished bezel and case, and the gently curved lugs with a distortion-free mirror finish, achieved through Zaratsu polishing. The sunray dial flaunts a pale blue that’s also inspired by the sky as seen from the peak of Mt. Iwate. It sports a simple date window at 3 o’clock and, as with all Grand Seiko GMT watches, the local hour hand is independently adjustable so that precision is maintained even when adjusting the time according to one’s travels.
The tempered blue GMT hand can be aligned to any time zone of one’s choice and the blue printed 24-hour scale on the dial displays the second time zone. The see-through caseback provides the wearer with a view of the modern 9S66 GMT movement, outfitted with a titanium oscillating weight in Grand Seiko blue, a colour achieved by the same anodic oxidation treatment as the other model.
The Sport edition (Ref. SBGJ275, priced at INR 7,10,000*) will make its online debut in September 2023. It will be followed by the Elegance edition (Ref. SBGM253, priced at INR 6,10,000*) in October 2023 at Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retailers worldwide.
*Prices in India are subject to taxes and exchange rate fluctuations, and may vary accordingly.