Grand Seiko has introduced a new sports chronograph that pays homage to the 50th anniversary of an emblematic Japanese classic - the Nissan GT-R sports car. The 50th Anniversary model is available until the end of March 2020 and is limited to just 200 pieces.
Introduced in 1969 as the Skyline 2000 GT-R, this sports car is among the most celebrated automobiles in the world. It is often held up as an exemplar of cutting edge Japanese automotive technology and craftsmanship. The new chronograph Ref. SBGC229 is Grand Seiko’s homage to the race-car version of the Skyline 2000 GT-R.
The timepiece is based on the ceramic- and titanium-cased Spring Drive chronographs that were introduced in 2016, remember the Ref. SBGC015? The watch has a massive case which measures 46.4 mm in case width and 16.2 mm in thickness. The lugs, caseband, and bezel are made from ceramic colored in the iconic “Bayside Blue” that is distinct to the GT-R cars. The inner case is made from high-intensity titanium, so is the casebook fitted with a sapphire crystal. The watch is water-resistant to 100 meters.
The Nissan racing livery with its distinctive white stripe is reflected in the white crocodile leather strap and the silver white hue of the dial. Two chronograph registers, a 30-minute chronograph register and a 12-hour chronograph register, sit in line on the right side of the dial next to the date window at 3 o’clock. Near the 7 o’clock position, a twin-tipped small seconds hand rotates with each tip taking turns to run along the semi-circular scale. The power reserve indicator is placed just below the running seconds counter.
A further nod to the GT-R can be seen on the rotor of the oscillating weight of the Spring Drive Caliber Chronograph GMT 9R96. A GT-R anniversary emblem in 18K yellow gold is set into the rotor of the movement which has a power reserve of 72 hours. The watch has an accuracy level of ±0.5 seconds per day.
Seiko’s proprietary Spring Drive movement celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Seiko produced the first prototype of the Spring Drive-powered watch in 1982. It was developed by Yoshikazu Akahane, an engineer who wanted to create the perfect watch, a timepiece that would tick three boxes – the accuracy of a quartz movement, the perpetual power supply of an automatic caliber and possess refined good looks. It took 17 years to develop the first production model in 1999.
The GTR 50th Anniversary model is limited to just 200 pieces and will be available in June at selected Grand Seiko and Seiko Boutiques, and selected retail partners across the world. It is priced at €21,600 (AED89,700).