In addition to the three new Grand Seiko references that were created as faithful reproductions of the original 3180 model from 1960, the Japanese watchmaking giant has issued a new timepiece that is pays a modern homage to the original design. 

The new model, Ref. SBGR305, uses a brand new automatic caliber 9S68, and a case made of Brilliant Hard Titanium, a new proprietary material that is exclusive to Grand Seiko. It is supposedly twice as light as titanium and twice as hard as stainless steel, which also make it better in terms of scratch resistance.  

The new SBGR305 is inspired by the original 3180.

The design of the watch is a clear nod to the 3180 model from 1960 watch with the design character of today’s Grand Seiko. The granulated silver dial features Grand Seiko branding at 12 o’ clock. As mentioned in the previous story, all Grand Seiko models from now will feature this new branding as it is now an independent brand.

Seiko top boss Shinji Hattori had just months ago mentioned to WatchTime Middle East that Grand Seiko would be integral to the future success of the watch company that his great-grandfather founded. Reader the interview here

This is a Zaratsu-polished titanium case.The dial uses the brand’s characteristic sword hands with highly polished edges as seen on the original model along with a blued central seconds hand. There is a date window at 3 o’ clock on the dial, a departure from the original model. 

Grand Seiko watch cases are known for their Zaratsu polishing technique. This Japanese technique is also known as blade polishing and is made by carefully applying a rotating tin plate against the case at a precise angle. The result is a mirror finish on the case surface that shows no distortion. The titanium case of this new model has a unique brightness thanks to Zaratsu polishing.

The case is 40.5 mm wide and 13.6 mm thick and features a high definition dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. The case features narrow lugs, the sides of the case are satin brushed and recessed to give the same slim profile as the original.

Unlike the original, this modern reference has an exhibition caseback through which the new 9S68 movement and its high quality finish can be viewed. The brand new self-winding 9S68 caliber is a 4 Hz movement with a power reserve of 72 hours. 

Looks good on the wrist

Like all Grand Seiko movements, this has an accuracy rate of -3 to +5 seconds per day. The watch is paired with a black crocodile strap with three-fold clasp with push button release in stainless steel. This watch is a limited edition of 968 pieces and will be available from July 2017 and will cost $9,490.

SUGGESTED READING: Understanding the Grand Seiko legacy. Click here.