A new Grand Seiko that evokes the landscape of the Iwate Prefecture in Northern Japan was released in November 2016. For the uninitiated, Grand Seikos are made at the Shizuku-ishi Watch Studio in the Iwate Prefecture. The case and other key design elements are the same as those of the acclaimed model SBGJ005 which won the “Petite Aiguille” award at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2014. However, this new model has a special dial and oscillating weight to express a new theme that evokes the landscape of the Iwate Prefecture in Northern Japan where the watch is made.
One of the cornerstones of the Grand Seiko case design is how well light plays off polished surfaces and this watch is a modern retake of the iconic 44GS model form 1967, a watch that shaped the design language of future models. The 40mm stainless steel case and other key design elements of this new model are borrowed from the Petite Aiguille winning SBGJ005. What’s new on this limited edition is a special dial and an oscillating weight that evokes the landscape of the Iwate Prefecture.
This timepiece is distinguished by a deep red dial is mean to evoke the Mt. Iwate at dawn. Featuring a radial pattern that is unique to Grand Seiko, the dial has the brand’s trademark polished and angled indices and a yellow GMT hand. The color of the dial, if you believe the PR spiel, is reminiscent of how the sun lights up Mt. Iwate on clear mornings.
A specially designed oscillating weight made of titanium and tungsten is visible through the caseback. The rotor is a riot of colors with shades of blue, purple, orange and yellow colors – again inspired by dawn light as it strikes Mt Iwate. This gradation of colors is made possible thanks to an anodic oxidation, a surface treatment in which metals are subjected to electrolysis to artificially create an oxide film. Titanium oxide film produces color according to the light infraction index, enabling production of different colors by varying the thickness of the oxide film.
The watch is powered by the reliable and accurate Caliber 9S86 movement. A high-beat movement (36,000 vph), Caliber 9S86 has a power reserve of up to 55 hours and also features GMT function. Production of this model is limited to 500 pieces and is expected to be priced at $8,200.