This is the new face of Grand Seiko. From now on, all new models will carry the Grand Seiko logo and branding at 12 o’ clock. So in effect, Grand Seiko is now an independent brand. And to commemorate this much needed shift in branding, Grand Seiko has unveiled a flurry of new models but we’ll talk about a professional diver’s watch first, the Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s.
Seiko has an illustrious history of producing diver’s watches. It created the definitive professional diver’s watch in 1975 with the Ref 6159-7010 ‘Tuna’ - the first professional diver’s watch that used a titanium monocoque case and a high-beat mechanical movement. The watch featured a unique L-shaped gasket a monocoque titanium case and a protective ceramic shroud that enabled divers to use the watch at depths of 600 meters without a fuss. This helped establish the Tuna’s reputation as a bonafide legend among serious divers.
Though Grand Seiko has had diver’s watches in its catalogue, they have been aimed more at recreational divers. This year for the first time, the brand unveils its first professional diver’s watch, a watch that combines Grand Seiko’s meticulous standards with the sturdy build quality expected of a professional diver. In a nutshell, the new Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s is a serious diver’s watch made the Grand Seiko way.
THE GRAND SEIKO DNA
So expect all the characteristics of a Grand Seiko – a precision of -3 to +5 seconds a day and great legibility. This is also a highly durable watch thanks to use of a high-intensity titanium case and bracelet and features distinctive clean edges that only Zaratsu polishing can achieve.
The case is designed for saturation diving, with the valve-free helium resistance that results from Seiko’s innovative technologies, including the heavy duty construction and the L-shaped gasket. The grooves on the rotating bezel are extended for secure use, even with thick gloves. The bracelet has a sliding extension setting to accommodate pressure changes.
The dial made of iron to protect against magnetism and delivers magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m. Durability is a key issue, the case, stem and crown are designed for secure servicing and even the bezel has a four-part design that makes for easy disassembly and re-assembly.
This is a massive timepiece at 46.9 mm wide and 17 mm thick. We do not have the weight of this watch yet but the use of titanium will ensure that the watch is comfortable to wear on the wrist. The dial has a tapisserie-like pattern that is reminiscent of the AP’s Royal Oak models and features broad hands, high-contrast circular luminous indices and a traditional 120-click diver’s bezel.
The Grand Seiko sits and 12 o’ clock now. In old Grand Seiko models up to now, this position was reserved for Seiko branding while the Grand Seiko sat coyly just above 6. Incidentally Grand Seiko models made in the Sixties including the first 3180 carried the logo at 12. The depth rating of the watch, 600 meters, is now mentioned just above 6 o’ clock, as is a reference to the high-beat movement.
The watch is powered by the trusty self-winding Caliber 9S85. A high-beat (5 Hz) movement, the watch uses Seiko’s proprietary Spron 610 hairpspring which has anti-magnetic properties. This movement has a power reserve of 55 hours.
This watch is available in two variants. A limited edition of 500 pieces with a deep blue dial that is offered with a matching silicone strap alongside a high-intensity titanium bracelet. The second version has a black dial and will be a permanent part of the Grand Seiko collection. Both versions will be available from August 2017. It is priced at $13,090 for the regular production model and $13,305 for the limited edition.
ALSO READ: Grand Seiko unveils a homage to the original 3180 reference in three metals. Click here.