Last year, Seiko unveiled the Grand Seiko Spring Drive 8 Day, and it was every bit the low-key kind of awesome you’d expect from Seiko’s top watchmakers at its Micro Artist Studio: The brand’s Spring Drive movement was boosted to have an eight-day power reserve (because life is too short to be spent winding watches), a platinum case and freaking diamond dust on the dial. The end result had a cool, brilliant sheen.
Grand Seiko (now its own independent brand, remember) has followed up on that watch with this new version. Underneath, it’s still the same as the old watch, utilizing the Spring Drive movement with two added power reserve barrels for an uninterrupted 198 hours of run time. However, Seiko completely changed up the aesthetics — in lieu of platinum, the case is made from solid rose gold and polished using something called the “Zaratsu” technique, supposedly derived from an ancient sword-polishing process. Overkill? Yes. Rad? You betcha. The diamond dial has also been replaced with a black dial with specks of gold dust, a result of repeated layering of black paint and gold plating.
The original watch was not exactly cheap, with an MSRP of $55,000, but dropping the diamonds and platinum in lieu of rose gold means that this new version is slightly cheaper at $42,000. It’s a grail item, for sure — especially for unapologetic Seiko fans.