Grand Seiko – Faithful Re-creations and Modern Re-interpretations
From the very start, in 1960, Grand Seiko has been distinct in its design, character, distribution and presentation. Indeed, the dial of the very first Grand Seiko watch carried the name Grand Seiko at the 12 o’clock position as a symbol of its unique identity and superior quality. Seiko has created a new series, based directly on the original Grand Seiko design, that offers both faithful re-creations and a modern re-interpretation.
The first Grand Seiko, re-created in platinum, gold and steel.
The majority of the first Grand Seiko models were produced in an 80-micron gold-filled case, but some were also made in platinum. The new re-creations are therefore offered in both these metals as well as in stainless steel. The case is virtually identical to the original, but its diameter has been increased to 38 millimetres, in line with contemporary taste. The dual-curved sapphire crystal is also loyal to the original shape and gives the re-creation the same pleasingly gentle profile.
The platinum version uses Platinum 999 and has 18-carat gold hour markers, just as on the original. The base of the dial is also in gold, which allows the Grand Seiko logo to be particularly sharp in its outline and detail. The gold version uses 18-carat gold for the entire case and all the hour markers, while the stainless-steel version also has a gold accent in the form of the Grand Seiko lion emblem embedded in the case back. All three versions incorporate the 9S64 manual winding calibre, but the platinum version has been adjusted to an even higher level of precision, -1 to +5 seconds per day.
The modern re-interpretation of the 1960 Grand Seiko is true to the pioneering spirit of the original design team. It incorporates a new automatic calibre, 9S68, which makes possible a larger date window and the case is made of Brilliant Hard Titanium, a new material that is exclusive to Grand Seiko and that is as light as pure titanium but twice as hard as stainless steel, which increases still further its scratch resistance. The case design is a remarkable fusion of the ethos of the 1960 watch with the design character of today’s Grand Seiko. The hands are long and their edges are highly polished in the Grand Seiko style, the lugs are narrow and the case sides are recessed to give the same slim profile as the original.
Pushing the boundaries
The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 professional 600-metre diver’s watch. For many years, the Grand Seiko diver’s watches have been in great demand from recreational divers. Now, the meticulous standards of Grand Seiko are expressed in a professional diver’s watch for the first time. With a titanium case, and exclusive 9S hi-beat calibre and exceptional anti-magnetism, this new creation, with the Grand Seiko logo at the 12 o’clock position, pushes back the boundaries and takes Grand Seiko into an entirely new realm. It’s a professional diver’s watch, made the Grand Seiko way.
All the characteristics of Grand Seiko are here. Outstanding precision of -3 to +5 seconds a day, superb legibility and high durability, thanks to the high-intensity titanium case and bracelet and the distinctive clean edges that only Zaratsu polishing can achieve. The case is designed for saturation diving, with the valve-free helium resistance that results from Seiko’s innovative technologies, including the heavy-duty construction and the L-shaped gasket. The grooves on the rotating bezel are extended for secure use, even with thick gloves. Even the dial is purpose built for this specialist use. It is made of iron to protect the movement from the harmful effects of magnetism and delivers magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m. The whole watch and all its components are built for long-term use; the case, stem and crown are designed for secure servicing and even the bezel has a four-part design that makes for easy disassembly and re-assembly.