Price: $7,400 – $29,000
Availability: Rose gold models: 150 pieces each; Steel model: 1,500 pieces; Yellow gold: full production model
Movement: Grand Seiko 9S63 (manually wound; 72-hour power reserve)
Case: 39mm wide; 11.6mm thick in steel; 18k yellow gold; or 18k rose gold
Water Resistance: 30m
Unique Features: Urushi lacquer dial for rose gold versions; sub-seconds display at 9 o’clock; power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock
The four new additions to Grand Seiko’s Elegance collection are understated but bursting with exotic Japanese techniques and watchmaking excellence. Notable to Grand Seiko fans will be a new movement and dial layout, as well as hand-decorated lacquer dials.
The new Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK models feature traditional Japanese crafts, including a sword polishing technique called zaratsu for the cases; Japanese lacquer called urushi for the dials of the rose gold models; and a very old technique called maki-e for applying gold powder to lacquer. On the lacquer-dial models, maki-e is used for the indices and “GS” logo, the hour markers having been formed from multiple layers of lacquer to achieve a raised appearance before the gold dust is applied. The steel and yellow gold models use applied indices.
These models also feature a new movement variant of Seiko’s 9S family of mechanical movements. The manually-wound 9S63 offers a small sub-dial for the seconds at 9 o’clock and an indicator for the 72-hour power reserve at 3 o’clock. Operating at 4Hz (to distinguish it from Grand Seiko’s 5Hz “Hi-Beat” movements), the 9S63 movement will be highly finished and displayed through a sapphire crystal case back.
The Grand Seiko Elegance collection, as its name suggests, is populated by classic designs with appropriately dressy dimensions and precious metal options. Here, two rose gold models featuring red (SBGK002) or black (SBGK004) lacquer dials are limited to 150 pieces each and have USD prices around $29,000. The steel model (SBGK005) is limited to 1,500 pieces and is more affordable at $7,400 (these limited editions will be available from March 2019). Finally, the yellow gold model (SBGK006) is not limited and will be available in July with a price of $19,000.