Skip to main content

Watches and Wonders 2023: Grand Seiko

The Grand Seiko Tentagraph, the brand's first mechanical chronograph watch.

Grand Seiko expands on the Evolution 9 with a world-class chronograph.

 When it comes to developing new watches, Grand Seiko is trying to push the envelope. Last year we saw the Kudu Constant Force Tourbillon, which the brand casually calls its first mechanical complication. This year, Grand Seiko is expanding on its mechanical movement offerings with a chronograph that soars above the competition.

Grand Seiko Tentagraph in titanium case and bracelet.
Grand Seiko Tentagraph in titanium case and bracelet.

The Grand Seiko Tentagraph

The Tentagraph is a high-beat chronograph movement with a power reserve of 72 hours. That makes this watch the standard-bearer now in high-frequency 5Hz chronographs. The watch’s movement is the Calibre 9SC5, a 10-beat, vertically-coupled, and column-wheel controlled chronograph with twin barrels that’s based off the 9SA5. It features the Dual Impulse Escapement, a design that delivers energy to the balance through the pallet fork and directly via the escape wheel. The escapement is machined using MEMS technology, and creates a highly energy-efficient escapement to support the power reserve. The vertical clutch is what ensures the chronograph’s hands do not jump or shudder that can occur in horizontally coupled chronographs due to the direct meshing of the chronograph wheels with the gear train. This guarantees the smooth operation of the watch under repeated use.

A closeup of the textured dial of the Grand Seiko Tentagraph.
A closeup of the textured dial of the Grand Seiko Tentagraph.

The Evolution 9 design has a strong, sporty presence, which makes it ideal for a chronograph. On the textured dial, which is inspired by the contours of Mt Iwate, are three counters which indicate the small seconds display at 3, and 12-hour and 30-minute totalisers at 6 and 9 o’clock respectively. The dial comes in a vivid blue Mt. Iwate pattern design, with navy blue for the counters and date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.

The calibre 9SC5 high frequency, self-winding chronograph can be seen through the caseback of the Grand Seiko Tentagraph.
The Calibre 9SC5 high-frequency, self-winding chronograph can be seen through the caseback of the Grand Seiko Tentagraph.

Grand Seiko has taken this watch further with multiple respects. The movement is tested for 3 additional days for a total of 20 to ensure that watch runs precisely when the chronograph is running as well as when it’s not. Each Grand Seiko mechanical movement must adhere to a +5/-3 seconds per day performance, stricter than COSC standards. The watch is housed in high-intensity titanium with a tachymeter bezel and comes in a matching bracelet. It will be available at Grand Seiko’s boutiques as well as selected retail partners come June 2023.

The Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGZ009 in engraved platinum case and dial.
The Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGZ009 in engraved platinum case and dial.

The Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGZ009

Over the years, Grand Seiko has released several artistic creations that reveal just how truly impressive its Shinshu Micro Artist Studio is. The studio is a small and specialised department that experiments with classic artistic techniques to bring them to life on the wristwatch. This year, the studio’s engravers and artisans have found inspiration in the white birch forest that lies in the eastern part of Shinshu.

The white birch forest that inspired the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Limited Edition SBGZ009 can be seen in the back of this image.
The white birch forest that inspired the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Limited Edition SBGZ009 can be seen in the back of this image.

The SBGZ009 is a true masterpiece, housed in platinum and fully engraved by hand from the lugs to the dial. The watch is first polished using the brand’s standard Zaratsu method, after which it is then slowly and steadily hand-engraved with long grooves by a single artist. It recalls the pattern that is seen on the birch trees. A similar pattern is found on the dial with a slightly different texture that stands out even more under the light.

The dial of the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGZ009 features hand-engraved details.
The dial of the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGZ009 features hand-engraved details.

On the dial, the minute track and letters are carved directly into the dial and polished white gold indexes are applied on it. The hands are in a matching mirror finish, with a dark grey running seconds hand. The watch is powered by the manually-wound Spring Drive Calibre 9R02, which has an 84-hour power reserve thanks to dual mainsprings running in parallel housed in a single barrel with its Torque Return System. The movement is accurate to one second per day.

The 9R02 Spring Drive Calibre that drives the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGZ009 can be seen through the caseback.
The 9R02 Spring Drive calibre that drives the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGZ009 can be seen through the caseback.

The movement is decorated with details specific to the Micro Artist Studio, such as the bellflower pattern in the barrel, and hand finished bridges with polished edges, that contrast with the hairline finishing of the flat surfaces. The studio is credited with a gold plaque on the movement, with the option of customising this detail at a customer’s request. Only 50 watches will be offered up in this limited edition and available from June 2023 in boutiques only.

The Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGD213 is a fully gemset watch inspired by the white lion.
The Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGD213 is a fully gem-set watch inspired by the white lion.

The Masterpiece Collection Spring Drive 8-Day Jewelry Watch SBGD213

Gemsetting is a craft that Grand Seiko has been steady introducing into its watches and the latest is a Masterpiece Collection that follows last year’s model. Inspired by a white lion, this year’s SBGD213 offers up a similar design in white and blue precious stones.

The dial, bezel, and case of the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGD213 is set with round, baguette and trapeze cut diamonds and sapphires.
The dial, bezel, and case of the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGD213 is set with round, baguette, and trapeze cut diamonds and sapphires.

The watch has 112 diamonds in the upper surfaces of the tonneau-style case, which has integrated lugs with diamond-set chamfered corners and Zaratsu mirror finishing on the unadorned surfaces. Another 60 baguette-cut diamonds are set into the bezel. Trapeze-cut and baguette-cut blue sapphires and diamonds serve as hour and minute markers. These surround the mother-of-pearl dial in a very deep blue. A peripheral circle of round diamonds and sapphires serve as a minute track for the watch dial.

The 9R01 Spring Drive Calibre that drives the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGD213 can be viewed through the caseback.
The 9R01 Spring Drive calibre that drives the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Limited Edition SBGD213 can be viewed through the caseback.

The platinum cased watch houses the Calibre 9R01, a Spring Drive movement with an impressive 8-day power reserve. It has three barrels in sequence to provide for this long-lived performance, and it’s accurate to 10 seconds per month. Only 8 pieces will be produced, and available from June 2023, only in Grand Seiko’s boutiques.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR CHANNEL


Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


End of content

No more pages to load