Grand Seiko Soars, Dives, and Roars with Surprising Debuts at Watches & Wonders 2022
Spin Me Right Round
Grand Seiko led off its statement for the new year with a remarkable piece of integrated complications at Watches & Wonders this week. And, let me tell you, the Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon SLGT003 was one heck of an opening shot.
Not only is the SLGT003 the most complicated mechanical timepiece the company has ever created, but it also pulls together a constant-force mechanism and a tourbillon on a single axis. The result is a unifying and stunning design that is part horological innovation and part kinetic art: The Calibre 9ST1 is perfectly aligned with Grand Seiko’s persistent dedication to time-keeping accuracy. But the movement also aligns with some interesting storytelling.
“Kodo” is the Japanese word for “heartbeat,” and the spinning works of the Calibre 9ST1 produce a subtle mechanical pulse that lives up to the moniker. Moreover, the visual spectacle matches the auditory pleasure with an expertly skeletonized presentation framed in a 43.8mm platinum 950 and titanium case.
Presented on a unique crocodile leather straps treated to deliver an appealing tactile “bumpiness,” only 20 Kodos will be made, and the asking price is $350,000.
Hear Me Roar
Grand Seiko balanced its show-stopping technical achievement with an equally gorgeous piece of high jewelry. The “White Lion” (proper name: the SBGD209) combines the high-precision of the brand’s Spring Drive 8 Days movement with an artful adornment of 267 diamonds and 26 black spinels set on the dial, bezel, and paving the expansive case real estate.
Limited to only five pieces, the White Lion’s expertly Zaratsu-polished platinum case ably competes with the gemstones for your royal attention. The limited editions will debut at select Grand Seiko retailers in May, with a list price of $250,000.
The Sporting Life
In a less lofty vein, Grand Seiko introduced five new sports models in its Evolution 9 collection, all of which serve to beautifully round out the promise of the impressive capabilities and multipurpose applicability of the Spring Drive movement. Specifically, there are two GMT models (SBGE283 and SBGE285), two Chronograph GMT models (SBGC249 and SBGC251), and a spectacular dive watch with the five-day Spring Drive Calibre 9RA5 (SLGA015).
Admittedly, sports watch executions can veer into a type of universally appealing presentation that can eventually feel a bit formulaic. But across the board, the subtle design cues on these additions to the Evolution 9 collection make them all decidedly handsome yet singularly special in their own regard.
The two 41mm GMT models, one with a black dial (SBGE283) and one with a white dial (SBGE285), feature titanium cases and retail of $8,400.
Blue dial/blue bezel (SBGC249) and black dial/black bezel (SBGC251) limited-edition titanium chronographs go for $12,400 and $11,400, respectively.
And a 43.8mm Spring Drive diver (SLGA015) checks every box for your undersea adventures for $11,600.