Grand Seiko held their annual GS9 Club gathering for members of their collecting community over the weekend, and just like last year’s event in Brooklyn, this year’s festivities involved the launch of a new watch. Three watches, in fact, made their debut at the GS9 event this year, which for the first time took place on the west coast. The new watches are all fresh spins on the midsize 44GS case that Grand Seiko debuted to much fanfare in 2022, and they’re also all exclusive releases for the US market.
Beyond another expansion of what is proving to be a fan favorite case size, the news here is that this release sees the Mt. Iwate pattern coming to the 36.5mm stainless steel 44GS case. The Mt. Iwate pattern draws on the ridges of the Japanese peak as seen from the brand’s facilities in Shizukuishi for inspiration, and it’s notable for the way it can disappear in certain lighting conditions and really come alive in others.
There are three new dial variants as part of this release, each linked to a specific characteristic of the natural world around Shizukuishi and Japanese culture. The SBGW313 has a deep pink dial, inspired by blooming cherry blossoms. While this is certainly ground that Grand Seiko has covered in the past, it’s a beautiful shade of pink and the first time the color has been given the Mt. Iwate treatment. The SBGW311 has a dial that is inspired by Japan’s rainy season, with a tone meant to evoke the lush greenery of the region. And the SBGW309 is an exclusive release for GS9 Club members, and features a bright blue dial that Grand Seiko says is meant to conjure a winter scene, with ice covered trees known as “juhyo,” or snow monsters.
Like other references using this case platform, these watches all run on the tried and true 9S64 manually wound movement, which offers 72 hours of power reserve on a full wind. The slim movement keeps the height of these cases to just 11.6mm, which is a notable decrease in thickness from the full size 44GS case. These watches have classic dress watch proportions, but retain a certain sportiness with the sharp angles in the 44GS case lines, the 100 meter water resistance rating, and their pairing with a stainless steel bracelet.
The retail price for all three watches is $5,900. The SBGW313 and SBGW311 will be available through authorized Grand Seiko channels this month. The SBGW309 will be available only to GS9 Club members at the brand’s boutiques and GS9 events. Grand Seiko