As part of the 60th Anniversary celebrations, Grand Seiko has unveiled two very elegant and very powerful references under the brands’ Elegance Collection – SBGW263 and SBGW264. Both these timepieces are inspired by the natural beauty of Shizukuishi, the home of Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches, and are celebrated in new platinum and rose gold cases with hand-engraved dials.
The Legend of Shizukuishi
Legend has it, about a thousand years ago, an old man who lived in what is now Shizukuishi started hearing a strange sound from deep underneath an old cedar tree. People traced its source to what seemed to be a bottomless cave and realized that the sound was that of water drops, “shizuku” in Japanese, dripping from the ceiling of the cave onto the rocks, “ishi,” resonating throughout the cave and beyond. The area thus became known as Shizukuishi. It is this legend that inspires the engraving on the dials of the SBGW263 and SBGW264 models.
The hands of the SBGW263 Model feature a water droplet motif along their full length and each hour marker bears the pattern of water splashing against a rock. All the elements on the dial, including the hands, indexes, the Grand Seiko name and the star above 6 o’clock, have been hand-engraved by Master engraver Kiyoshi Terui and his small team. Every stroke of the blade has to be exactly right, a task that is all the more delicate with these watch as both the plates on which the indexes and the minute track are engraved are curved. The dial plates and the dial are made of 18k white gold.
The 20 pieces limited edition timepiece comes in a distinctive 39mm 950 platinum case which is 11.8mm thick. The caseback is secured by four screws and features an 18k yellow gold Grand Seiko medallion inset.
Under the hood lies the synthesis of the research and technical expertise of Grand Seiko. The SBGW263 Model is driven by a manual-wind 9S64 calibre with a precision rate of +5 to –3 seconds per day (when static) and a power reserve of 72 hours.
SBGW264 on the other hand comes in a 39mm 18k rose gold case with a gorgeous green dial. The case is polished using the special Zaratsu method to accentuate the beauty of the curved surfaces. The pattern on the dial has been machine-engraved and the colour takes its inspiration from the forest of silver birch trees near the studio where the watch is made.
Depending on the angle the watch is viewed from, the dial shimmers in green and white, just like the trees in summer (when sunlight catches the leaves) with their white trunks. The soft, natural feel of the watch is completed by a slim case profile (11.6mm) and a curved dial. Other details include the classic GS dauphine hands, the diamond-shaped indices and the meticulously polished central seconds hand.
Beating inside the watch is a manual-winding GS calibre 9S64, with a precision rate of +5 to –3 seconds per day (when static) and a power reserve of 72 hours. Limited to 120 pieces.