Grand Seiko Has Gone West With 3 US Limited Editions
Article By: Logan Hannen
Oct 18, 2018
First unveiled at the Couture Time Las Vegas event back in June, Grand Seiko has officially launched their first solid push into the US market with not one, but three US-exclusive limited editions.
Traditionally, Grand Seiko has always been a slight novelty in the US, having a presence but never actually making the kinds of waves that their less-Grand sibling has done. This has been, at least in part, attributed to the lack of a solid corporate footing in the country, something that the brand now aims to fix by launching the Grand Seiko Corporation of America, whose sole focus will be on pushing and expanding the reach of Grand Seiko in the luxury watch market within the United States. To coincide with the launch of this new branch of Grand Seiko, the brand has also officially launched three models, all US-exclusive limited editions of their signature Spring Drive.
Each of the three models are fundamentally the same in terms of insides. All three come in 40mm cases, though the materials of those cases vary, and all three of those cases are home to the Spring Drive 9R65 movement. This caliber, like all of the Spring Drive movements, is a sort of hybrid of a traditional mechanical and quartz movement, using some seriously innovative technology that is better explained by Grand Seiko themselves. The 9R65, specifically, features a three day power reserve, along with a rated accuracy of plus or minus a half second per day, or as accurate as plus or minus fifteen seconds per month. All of the cases, hands, and markers are finished in the Grand Seiko signature Zaratsu finishing process, which renders them highly polished while also maintaining perfect flatness.
Grand Seiko US Limited Edition in Stainless Steel
Source: Worn & Wound
The most standard of the bunch is the stainless steel ref. SBGA387. In a similar fashion to the iconic Snowflake, this steel on steel Grand Seiko features a dial made to imitate an old-school Japanese painting technique known as Kira-zuri, a phrase which roughly translates to “sparkle painting” in English. Each model uses a dial made using this process, but each is a slightly different color to help accentuate the case metal. For the steel, the color choice is a sort of ice blue.
Grand Seiko US Limited Edition Rose Gold
The rose gold edition, as mentioned, is entirely identical in design and function as the other two models, but with the difference being in the case material and hands/indices. To compliment the rose gold features of this reference, ref. SBGA384, the dial’s tones trend towards the warmer end of the spectrum, feeling like some combination of pink, rose, and red gold in a marble effect that is easier seen than described. The 384 comes on a brown crocodile strap in what appears to be a high gloss to match the polish of the case and hands.
Grand Seiko US Limited Edition Platinum
The final and most exclusive version by far is the platinum cased ref. SBGA385. Also on a high gloss crocodile strap, this time black, the platinum model is also one of the most traditional looking dials, keeping in line with a very silvery spectrum of colors that ultimately feels very familiar to those who know the Snowflake’s dial off the top of their heads. While not identical in manufacture, the design certainly feels like a cousin of it’s longer-standing sibling in the Grand Seiko lineup.
Steel: $6,800 (limited to 558 pieces, comes with two additional strap options)
Rose Gold: $29,500 (limited to 50 pieces)
Platinum: $53,000 (limited to 20 pieces)
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