Introducing the New Grand Seiko Elegance Collection (Refs. SBGK002, SBGK004, SBGK005, and SBGK006) and 9S63 Caliber

We’re not that far out from Baselworld 2019, and Grand Seiko is already dropping the goods. The storied Japanese brand has just debuted a series of watches and a new caliber for their Elegance Collection. Four distinct references make up the release.

First, let us begin with the movement. The new 9S63 is a manual-wind caliber with a small seconds complication at 9 o’clock and a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock. It has 72 hours of power reserve on a full wind, and the accuracy is rated +5 to -3 seconds a day. Furthermore, it features 33 jewels and a beat rate of 21,600 vph. The release of the 9S63 marks eight years since Grand Seiko last unveiled a manual-winding caliber.

The 9S63 also brings with it a whole new case design from Grand Seiko rendered in three different metals: stainless steel, 18kt rose gold, and 18kt yellow gold. The case measures 39 millimeters across and 11.6 millimeters thick, and that’s with the curved sapphire up top and the display back. Like other Grand Seiko cases, these are Zaratsu-polished to create an eye-catching, distortion-free finish.

Zaratsu polishing at Grand Seiko is performed by skilled craftspeople with years, sometimes decades, of experience.

Let’s turn to the four references that make up the release.

Ref. SBGK004

Ref. SBGK004 features an 18k rose gold case and a unique black Urushi lacquer dial. Here, the lacquer is mixed with iron to create an intense, deep-black dial color. The SBGK004 is a limited edition of just 150 units. 

Ref. SBGK002

Ref. SBGK002 features the same 18k rose gold case, but this time it’s paired with a red Urushi lacquer dial finished with the subtle Mt. Iwate pattern that we’ve seen in select Grand Seiko references. The dial is created using Urushi sourced from trees grown in and around the town of Joboji near Mt. Iwate. The SBGK002 is a limited edition of just 150 units.

On both of these dials, the hour markers and the Grand Seiko branding are done via the traditional Maki-e technique by Urushi master, Isshu Tamura, in Kanazawa. Working with the lacquer, Tamura applies layers on top of layers of a special powder—either in 24kt gold or platinum—and then polishes each marker by hand using his own special tools. It’s a painstaking technique, but one that results in a beautiful, 3-dimensional effect.

Ref. SBGK006

Ref. SBGK006 features an 18kt yellow gold case with a white dial and gold applied markers. The SBGK006 is a general release model.

Ref. SBGK005

Finally, Ref. SBGK005 features a stainless steel case and a stunning blue dial with the Mt. Iwate pattern and applied markers. Note that the dial here is not lacquer. The SBGK005 is a limited edition of 1,500 units.

The three limited editions will be available this March at Grand Seiko and Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide, and the general edition will enter Grand Seiko’s permanent catalog this July. The retail for the two rose gold models is $29,000, the yellow gold model is $19,000, and the stainless steel model is $7,400. Grand Seiko

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.