Anniversaries are often a cause to look back. Grand Seiko did just that in honour of its 60th, tapping into its own heritage to create the latest (golden) addition to its lineup. Part of the aptly named Elegance Collection, the gold SBGW262 is steeped in Japanese tradition. Its slick black dial is coated in traditional Urushi lacquer, which comes from trees grown in and around the town of Joboji that lies in the shadow of Mount Iwate. It’s this mountain that dominates the skyline above the Shizukuishi Watch Studio where Grand Seiko’s finest timepieces are manufactured. And being that the lacquer is a rare domestic variant of the glossy substance, it is harder to handle than most other varieties, increasing the amount of skilled labour required.
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The distinctive jet black dial of #SBGW262 is fashioned from Urushi lacquer, grown from trees in the town of Jojobi which lies under Mount Iwate and the Shizukuishi Watch Studio. The beauty and grace of the dial is further accentuated with Arabic numerals decorated with a raised maki-e technique by the master of Kaga Maki-e Urushi, Isshu Tamura. #GrandSeiko
Though the dial is already precious, it only increases in value given that the polished 39 mm case surrounding it is forged from 18K yellow gold. Curved sapphire crystal across the front and the transparent case back protect the face (with its gleaming hands) and movement, respectively. The dial has sweeping Arabic numerals but is also punctuated by distinct indexes with a raised maki-e technique by the master of Kaga Maki-e Urushi, Isshu Tamura.
This piece operates via an in-house, manually wound 9S64 calibre movement with 24 jewels and a 72-hour power reserve. It is not the kind of watch a wearer would want to take with him into the water, but it remains splash-resistant nonetheless. The subtle curvature of the sapphire combined with the textures beneath lend this model a strong three-dimensional appearance that encourages a closer look.
But such a luxe timepiece wouldn’t be complete with just any old bracelet. As a finishing touch in keeping with the opulent case, Grand Seiko chose a richly grained crocodile leather strap which fastens via an 18K yellow gold buckle.
Head over to the brand’s website to collect one of your own for a substantial but worthwhile US$30,000 (about RM128,000).
To commemorate Grand Seiko’s glorious 60 years, the watchmaker has opened a new studio that is dedicated to the production of its mechanical watches. The Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi was opened on 20 July in the town of Shizukuishi in Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the new studio shows off the importance of nature which balances the clean interiors where the watches are made. The studio has a floor space of 2,244 square metres and includes an exhibition and event spaces for visitors to marvel at the watchmakers pieces. A lounge area on the second floor looks out at Mount Iwate, a mountain that has inspired Grand Seiko designs.
A special limited-edition Grand Seiko watch, the Hi-beat 36000, is made exclusively for and at the studio, and sold at the premises.