On mornings in Shinshu, light penetrates the cool mist, revealing the mountainous landscape of Shinshu area. The newest 44GS Spring Drive model is inspired by asaborake, the first few moments of early daybreak. With its white dial, SBGY011 captures the rhythm of time in a way familiar to fans of Grand Seiko.
Traversing the textured dial is a traditionally tempered blue second hand. A craftsperson at the Shinshu Watch Studio specializes in bluing these hands one at a time. The second hand and minute hands are gently curved to follow the minute chapter and provide enhanced legibility. The indexes, hour hand, and minute hand convey a sharpness befitting this highly accurate Spring Drive watch thanks to their diamond-cut finishing, a hallmark of Grand Seiko.
The new reference SBGY011 is the first 44GS continuous production model to be powered by the manually wound 9R31 Spring Drive movement with 72 hours of power reserve; this movement endows this slender and moderately sized 44GS at 40mm wide by 10.5mm thick. The beautifully finished cal. 9R31 boasts an accuracy of ±15 seconds per month – and it comes via a mainspring that the wearer must wind by hand via the crown. A power-reserve indicator on the large bridge visible through the caseback ensures that the caliber is wound as one goes about one’s day. If the movement’s Dual-Spring Barrel architecture is familiar, that’s probably because the same system is used in the Masterpiece Collection Spring Drive cal. 9R02, which hails from the elite Micro Artist Studio.
The case design derives from one of Grand Seiko’s most famous watches, the original 44GS of 1967. Its iconic shape defined the Grand Seiko style via nine distinct design elements that continue to guide the brand’s aesthetic to this day.
This model will be featured on a black crocodile strap with a folding clasp and will be $8,100. It will be available at Grand Seiko Boutiques and select authorized dealers as of December 2022 as a continuous production model.