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7. 6. 2022
Celebrating the Grand Seiko Style and the Nature of Time with a quartz driven Limited Edition
Carrying on the year-long celebrations of the 55th anniversary of one of its milestones, Grand Seiko unveils today a 44GS designed timepiece inspired by the sea of clouds in Shinshu.

As you might already know, this year marks the 55th anniversary of the renown 1967 Seiko 44GS. A landmark within Grand Seiko’s history, this very timepiece has settled the design codes of what we now know as the Grand Seiko Style (no less).

First Grand Seiko to be manufactured by Daini Seikosha (remember that the first Grand Seiko ever made, the 3180, was created by Suwa Seikosha), this reference laid the foundation for the design of a few references, among which 1968 Suwa’s 61GS and Daini’s 45GS, respectively the first 10-beat automatic and manual winding timepieces of Grand Seiko.

From left to right : Daini Seikosha's 44GS, Suwa Seikosha's 61GS and Daini Seikosha's 45GS

In Grand Seiko modern era, the 44GS has been reinterpreted since 2014, and now features among the most beloved designs of our manufacture(s). We already had the chance to review this history in this earlier article about SBGJ255.

Today the Shinshu Watch Studio, heir to the Suwa Seikosha manufacture, unveils limited edition SBGP017, powered by specially adjusted quartz caliber and inspired by the workshop’s surrounding nature.

« Unkai », the sea of clouds

Immediately eye-catching is the beautiful patterned dial of this timepiece, inspired as often by the natural phenomenon observable nearby our manufactures.

Sometimes, the air is so still and humid that dense clouds gather and overlap to create a sea of clouds above Shinshu’s lowlands that stretches away to the horizon in every direction and that is tinged with blue, reflected down from the clear skies above them. This “sea of clouds”, or “Unkai” for the Japanese, can be experienced through the delicately patterned dial of SBGP017.

SBGP017

The harmony is completed by the tone of the GS lettering and blue tempered seconds hand, and contrasted by the small five-pointed star at six o’clock. A renown Grand Seiko’s symbol, the latest is specific to some rare quartz driven editions, we will come back to it later…

A quintessential design

True to Taro Tanaka’s grammar of design, this new creation has the rich “sparkle of quality” that comes from the use of the sharp edges and flat surfaces that are central to the “Grand Seiko Style.” The case offers the combination of Zaratsu polished and hairline finished surfaces that is one of the defining characteristics of the design style.

SBGP017

Made from cold forged stainless steel, the case is 40mm wide and 10,7mm thick. While most of our quartz creations feature a plain case back, this special edition comes with a sapphire crystal see-through case back, offering the owner the possibility to contemplate the heart of this watch : caliber 9F85.

Betrayed by the star…

As disclosed by the star set on the dial, this limited edition is powered by a specially enhanced version of Caliber 9F85 that is accurate to ±5 seconds per year, while regular versions of 9F calibers are accurate to ±10 seconds per year. This high precision rate is achieved by the use of quartz crystals that are aged and then individually selected for their particular performance characteristics.

The heart of SBGP017 : specially enhanced version of quartz caliber 9F85

This special star is quite scarce within the Grand Seiko galaxy, so are the specially adjusted quartz-driven watches which proudly bear it. We can take profit of this presentation to recall some of them :

2020 Grand Seiko SBGP007 - 60th anniversary of Grand Seiko - Limited edition of 2,500 (3,900 € RRP)
2018 Grand Seiko SBGV238 - 9F 25th anniversary - Limited edition of 600
2018 Grand Seiko SBGT241 - 9F 25th anniversary - Limited edition of 1,500
2018 Grand Seiko SBGN007 - 9F 25th anniversary - Limited edition of 1,200
2018 Grand Seiko SBGN001 - 9F 25th anniversary - Limited edition of 800
2013 Grand Seiko SBGX103 - 9F 20th anniversary - Limited edition of 2,000
2010 Grand Seiko SBGX075 - 50th anniversary of Grand Seiko - Limited edition of 500
2009 Grand Seiko SBGT033 - 40th anniversary - Limited edition of 500 (the font of the "Quartz" lettering recalls one of the Seiko 35SQ Quartz-Astron, the very first quartz-driven watch ever commercialized)
2008 Grand Seiko SBGT027 - 9F 15th anniversary - Limited edition of 300
2000 Grand Seiko SBGT011 - 40th anniversary of Grand Seiko - Limited edition of 500

To come back to SBGP017 and its 9F85 movement, the same commitment to precision is expressed in every aspect of the watch’s functionality. As a 9F series caliber, it notably features :

– a backlash auto-adjust mechanism eliminates any shudder in the seconds hand ;

– a blink-of-an-eye date change ;

– a twin-pulse control system allowing the minute and seconds hands to extend right to the edge of the dial so that the exact time can be read with ease ;

– temperature compensation, at the rate of 540 times a day, to maintain the highest accuracy against temperature variations.

Finally, it has a time difference adjustment function that allows the hour hand to be moved without stopping the seconds hand, thus preserving its high precision when the wearer changes time zones.

Subtle variation in the caliber decoration, this 9F85 comes with tempered blue screws, subtly contrasting with the gold colored bridges and red jewels.

SBGP017

This stunning reference will be available from Grand Seiko authorized stores from July 2022, as a limited edition of 2,000. It takes part in the 44GS 55th anniversary, after the releases of SBGJ255, SLGA013 and SLGH009, or the latest SBGW289.

 


 

Grand Seiko SBGP017
Limited edition of 2,000
Recommended Retail Price : 3,800 €
Case and bracelet : Stainless steel
Dimensions : 40mm diameter x 10,7mm thickness
Specially adjusted quartz caliber 9F85
Availability : July 2022 at Grand Seiko Boutiques, Salons and Mastershops

Limited Edition of 2,000 Units
SBGP017
3,800 €
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