In 1967, Grand Seiko introduced the 44GS, a watch that would come to embody the design code known as the Grand Seiko Style. As enthusiasts of Grand Seiko know well, the 44GS was not left to exist in the annals of history. With its distinct case geometry, distortion-free finishing, and eye-catching dial, the 44GS was then — and remains to this day— exemplary of Grand Seiko’s focused design language.
In 2013, Grand Seiko unveiled the modern interpretation of the 44GS style, adapting the foundational model from 1967 to contemporary sensibilities. Today, 55 years on from its first appearance, a new limited-edition manual-winding watch commemorates the 44GS design with a smaller “Grand Seiko Style” case design and a dial inspired by the beauty of spring in northern Japan, where all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are produced. At 36.5 mm in diameter, 11.6 mm in thickness, and just 42.7mm in length from lug to lug, SBGW289’s smaller form factor has all the characteristics that made both the historical model and the modern 44GS such memorable and lasting designs, but with proportions closer to that of the ’67 original.
Every facet of the watch’s construction was reconsidered and built to take advantage of Grand Seiko’s slim manual-winding 9S64 caliber while retaining the sharp designs of the original timepieces. The bezel, as well as the multi-faceted indexes and hands were also reimagined to fit the scaled down dimensions, as well as to reflect even the smallest ray of light and to create countless combinations of light and shadow. Finishing remains exemplary, with the case being polished, by hand, via Grand Seiko’s signature Zaratsu method. These high-polish surfaces contrast beautifully against the planes that are adorned with Grand Seiko’s hairline finishing techniques. The watch comes paired with a stainless steel bracelet.
Japan’s natural world offers a rich variety of sights that are both ephemeral and lastingly memorable. Grand Seiko often takes inspiration from nature and imbues it into its timepieces. The dial of SBGW289, for example, pulls from Sakura-kakushi (“the hiding of the cherry blossom”), the moment in spring when snow and cherry blossom co-exist in northern Japan. The color here is a delicate pink with a slight silver hue that perfectly captures the moment when the cherry blossoms peek through the snow under the sunshine of spring. The dynamic nature of this dial is further emphasized by the delicate kirazuri texture, which translates to “sparkling painting.”
The movement is assembled by hand by the craftsmen and women in the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi. Caliber 9S64 is a mechanical manual-winding caliber with 72 hours of power reserve and an accuracy rating of -3 to +5 seconds per day.
SBGW289 is offered as a limited edition of 1,200, and the words “LIMITED EDITION” and the individual serial number are engraved on the closed case back alongside the Grand Seiko lion. This new addition to the Heritage Collection will be available in June at Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide.