Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary celebrations this year have definitely had an indigo theme, , if the number of blue dial watches launched this year is any indication. And so it is again with the latest limited edition SBGR321 mechanical timepiece that takes its inspiration from the brilliant blue sky over Mt. Iwate at dawn.
This isn’t the first time that the venerable Japanese watchmaker has turned to the scenery around its famed Shizukuishi studio in the picturesque Iwate Prefecture for inspiration. The deep red dial of the SBGJ021 was meant to evoke how Mt. Iwate looks when kissed by the first rays of sunlight at dawn. The more recent SBGH283 has a green dial that is a nod to the verdant landscape around the studio. The navy blue dial of the latest SBGR321 was inspired, if you believe the PR spiel, by the deep blue morning sky that carries a tinge of red – a sight that that greets the watchmakers as they trot in to work every day at the brand’s spanking new studio where this timepiece is assembled.
While the red tip of the central seconds hand really pops against the blue dial, the self-winding rotor is more evocative of the sky this watch is meant to represent. The titanium sections of the rotor have a glossy blue oxide film coating achieved through an anodic oxidation process. A red ring skirts the edges of the rotor, and the Grand Seiko lion logo and the 60th anniversary limited edition legend is printed in white on the blue bits. All in all, the business end of the watch makes for a pretty picture.
The watch uses a stainless steel case that’s 40-mm-wide and 13.0 mm thick. The case has the trademark Zaratsu-polished finish that ensures a distortion-free surface. The case is topped by a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and is water-resistant to 100 meters. It is paired with a matching 5-link stainless steel bracelet with a threefold clasp and push-button release.
This watch is powered by Caliber 9S65, a self-winding movement with a power reserve of 70 hours. The 4 Hz movement (the balance wheel oscillates at 28,800 vibrations per hour) has an accuracy rate of +5 to –3 seconds per day. A limited edition of 2,500 pieces, this watch will retail at €5,300 (Approx. AED 23,115) and will be available worldwide from October this year.