This year marks the 25th anniversary of the superlative Caliber 9F Quartz and Grand Seiko today launched the first 9F quartz GMT caliber which debuts in three new models in the Grand Seiko Sport collection, one of which is a limited edition. It should be noted here that the premium Japanese watchmaker had earlier this year marked this 25th anniversary milestone with a couple of new watches.
Aimed at the international traveler, Caliber 9F86 is based on the original 9F but incorporates a GMT function that allows the watch’s precision to be maintained when the hour hand is adjusted independently. Assembled by hand, every 9F movement features a backlash auto-adjust mechanism that eliminates any shudder in the seconds hand, instantaneous date change and a twin-pulse control system that allows the minute and seconds hands to extend right to the edge of the dial. Only individually selected quartz crystals are used in the movements to ensure high precision.
Caliber 9F86 debuts in one limited edition and two other permanent creations in the Grand Seiko Sport Collection. The limited edition (Ref. SBGN001) has a 39-mm-wide stainless steel case that is 12.1-mm thick. Water-resistant to 10 Bar (100 meters), the case is fitted with a sloping brushed steel bezel with a 24-hour GMT markings and on top of this sits a dual-curved, anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
The watch has a distinct metallic charcoal dial featuring the same pattern quartz symbol pattern seen on the anniversary models earlier this year. The outer rim of the dial, from three o’clock to nine, is picked out in vivid yellow to display at a glance whether the GMT hand indicates AM or PM. The dial also features the five-pointed star that symbolizes Grand Seiko’s special level accuracy.
The eagle-eyed will notice that at the 25-minute position, the dial pattern is subtly different; the symbols 9F and 25 are discreetly shown as a reminder of the caliber’s anniversary. The movement – Caliber 9F86 – used in this limited edition is specially adjusted for higher precision than the other models (±5 seconds a year). All Grand Seiko quartz calibers are assembled by hand and features haute horology flourishes like a decorative striped decoration (Tokyo Stripes).
Despite the addition of the GMT hand, the depth of the case has been increased only slightly, thanks to a newly designed main plate, a re-design of the gear train and the way the hands are attached, a process that is done by hand. Like the other hands, the GMT hand is mounted on an independent axis so as to ensure its smooth operation. Thanks to the high torque, the GMT hand extends right to the dial edge to ensure accurate reading of the second time zone.
The steel caseback features the Grand Seiko lion emblem and the watch is paired with a three-link steel bracelet. A limited edition of just 800 pieces, it will be available in selected markets from October and is priced at €3,600 ($4,208 or AED14,454 approx.)
The other two models (Ref. SBGN003 and Ref. SBGN005) have a similar case and bracelet design as the limited edition but differ in the design of the dial. While SBGN003 has a black dial, the latter has a blue one. Both dials are edged with a two-tone ring to allow the AM or PM time indicated by the GMT hand to be read instantly. Both have movements that are accurate to ±10 seconds a year. Both watches will be available come January 2019 are priced at €3,600 ($3,740 or AED13,738 approx).