Grand Seiko’s history traces all the way back to 1960 when Japanese brand Seiko chose to raise the stakes and presented a gold chronometer watch – a watch that was reissued in 2017 . Another significant date in the brand’s history is 1998. That year, Grand Seiko presented Caliber 9S, an altogether new development intended to become the base for the vast majority of the mechanical watches we know today. After twenty years, it’s time to celebrate with a set of three of commemorative watches , including the attractive and consummately executed Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Caliber 9S 20th-Anniversary SBGH267 we’re going to look at.
The 20th anniversary of the Grand Seiko 9S Calibre
In 1998, Seiko dispatched Caliber 9S, a development planned without any preparation and new on all levels. From the earliest starting point, this development was intended to be the foundation of the whole assortment, which it has become since all mechanical watches in the GS assortment today (not the Spring Drive pieces) are controlled by a development that depends on the 9S architecture. The origination of this development was clear: unwavering quality, usefulness, flexibility (a few complications, including a chronograph, can be added to the base type) and precision.
Several adaptations, every one of them with self-winding limit, have seen the light. Some element a basic time-and-date show, some add a GMT work, many sudden spike in demand for a high-beat recurrence – the 36000 models, with their 5Hz recurrence. Since the time its presentation, the 9S type has been consistently upgraded, with new Spron composites for both the fundamental and equilibrium springs and MEMS designing, a strategy that permits key components to be made to resistances as little as one-thousandth of a millimetre.
Three exceptional release watches
For Baselworld 2018, Grand Seiko needed to give recognition to this development, known as a standout amongst other three-hand developments around, with three new restricted release watches. Every one of them share the very soul as the development that ticks inside their case: unwavering quality, obviously, yet predominantly high-exactness, including the comeback of three unbelievable letters: VFA (extremely fine change). Here are the three Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Caliber 9S 20th Anniversary References: SBGH265 – SBGH266 – SBGH267.
These three new references share a similar base development – Caliber 9S85 – just as the equivalent, recently planned case, with an entirely sensible 39.5mm measurement. Likewise, another kind of dial, with an outspread mathematical example, showing a mosaic of GS logos, is remembered for every one of the three variants.
The reference SBGH265 is restricted to 20 pieces worldwide and is fabricated from 950 platinum – for the case and the collapsing clasp. Its dial is introduced in a gleaming white tone, with silver hours and minutes hands and a blued seconds hand. Note the three letters on the dial of reference SBGH265: VFA, for Very Fine Adjustment – a notice previously utilized in 1969. Truth be told, on this platinum rendition, Caliber 9S is acclimated to “+3 to – 1 seconds of the day”, after a testing program reached out to 34 days – the entirety of that in overabundance of the typical Grand Seiko principles. The back uncovers the high-beat development, with the rotor embellished with a gold medallion.
The second form is the Reference SBGH266, introduced in 18k yellow gold, with just 150 pieces created. Inside the case is a similar high-beat 5Hz development, this time controlled to “typical” Grand Seiko principles, which means a very precise +4 to – 2 seconds for each day. The dial has a brilliant white tone, with the mark outspread example and little GS mosaic. All the hands and the files are created in yellow gold, to coordinate the case.
Finally, there’s the steel form of this watch, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Caliber 9S 20th-Anniversary SBGH267 – not just the most open of the three (regarding cost and number of pieces created) yet additionally the boldest of the three, as we will see now.
The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Caliber 9S 20th-Anniversary SBGH267
In expansion to the two super restricted and expensive restricted versions in platinum and gold seen over, the Caliber 9S 20th-anniversary assortment additionally incorporates a steel model. Obviously, this implies a more reasonable (simply above EUR 6K) and more accessible (1,500 pieces) version, however that doesn’t mean a less attractive, less attractive watch. Truth be told, it is the boldest of the three and the one that has the most breathtaking perspective development side. What’s more, steel has this unadulterated, utilitarian and wearable feel that fits rather well with the origination of what a Grand Seiko watch is.
As for the instance of this Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Caliber 9S 20th-Anniversary SBGH267, we have precisely the same plan as its platinum and gold kin. This implies a recently formed case, estimating a sensible 39.5mm distance across and 13mm in stature – note: Grand Seiko ought to most likely work on this part, to make its watches a touch slimmer. Albeit the plan of the case is new, it stays nevertheless very GS in the style: sharp points, vigorous casebands, coordinated hauls. No curve balls there.
What intrigues most is the execution and the regard for subtleties applied to these cases – a mark component of all Grand Seiko watches, and this SBGH267 is no special case for the standard. Despite the fact that it is made in a more normal material, this watch goes through a similar extreme polishing measure called “Zaratsu”. The Zaratsu strategy (or cutting edge polishing), which makes a contortion free mirror finish, is an old technique for hand-polishing utilized on Japanese battling swords.
Time-burning-through and just done by veteran watchmakers, it is executed on all GS watches, whether created in respectable materials or basic treated steel. The outcome is, as usual, amazingly fulfilling. Points are sharp, level surfaces are super brilliant, lines between the various surfaces are slick and clean. A heavenly detail on this SBGH267 (and the gold and platinum forms as well): the thin, sharp brushed line on the internal side of the lugs… That’s appropriate regard for details.
This steel adaptation is worn on a metallic wristband – a 3-connect steel arm band with silk completed surfaces and cleaned emphasizes – with a three-overlay fasten with a press button discharge. This outcomes in a lot sportier look than the two other forms and makes this SBGH267 a more easygoing, day by day arranged watch. This is additionally evident when looking at the dial. Gold and platinum adaptations have customary shiny white opaline dials. The steel rendition of this Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Caliber 9S 20th-Anniversary establishes the easygoing pace with a dark blue dial.
The dial of the SBGH267 is rather noteworthy when found in full scale pictures. Its surface shows up more present than it is in the genuine – no concerns, the mathematical example with GS initials and spiral theme is a lot subtler when worn and seen at typical distances. As all GS watches, the execution is here again eminent: applied lists with cleaned aspects and brushed level surfaces, date window outlined by an angled metallic part and hour and minutes in unadulterated GS style, with super sharp profile and cleaned features on the sides (unquestionably probably the most pleasant hands available). To give a hotter and bolder look to the watch, the seconds hand and the GS logo at 12 o’clock are gold-coloured.
If the entirety of this is very charming and traditional for a GS watch, turning over the SBGH267 is an alternate encounter. Welcome to sci-fi. The view from the caseback is undoubtedly a significant astonishment. Not that the actual development is not quite the same as other GS watches outfitted with the 9S type, yet the rotor on top is highly enlivened and treated in an advanced, striking way. In the first place, this swaying weight is formed like a star with five spokes and has a complex, rich blue tone. Made of titanium and tungsten, the titanium surface is hued blue by an anodic oxidation measure (not an artistic creation measure but rather a treatment of the actual material, made to last). Titanium is exposed to electrolysis to misleadingly produce an oxide film. Titanium oxide film produces tone as per the light refraction record, empowering the creation of various tones by changing the thickness of the oxide film. Such treatment is likewise found on the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ021 (with a similar 9S base calibre).
As for the development, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 SBGH267 has the calibre 9S85, which means the time-and-date 5Hz rendition, with programmed winding. With regards to this steel release, it is regulated to +5 to – 3 seconds of the day (and not the “very fine adjusted” development of the platinum model). This type is known to be solid and offers extraordinary comfort consistently, with a 55h force hold. Furthermore, the smooth expressive dance of the seconds hand (on account of the 5Hz recurrence) is consistently a delight to contemplate.
Overall, there’s most likely that this Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Caliber 9S 20th-Anniversary SBGH267 is another extraordinary watch by the Japanese production. Eminently executed, easygoing and wearable consistently, controlled by an incredible development and including a few restrictive subtleties, it is additionally all around situated as far as value (EUR 6,300). There will be 1,500 pieces delivered. More subtleties on www.grand-seiko.com .