2022 marks the 55th anniversary of the signature 44GS, a watch whose dramatically angular, faceted, and reflective case defined the design grammar that influenced every Grand Seiko moving forward. The latest watch to wear this famous case design is reference SLGH013, which has been further enhanced thanks to an upgraded material and a new light blue dial that recalls the melting snows of Mt. Iwate, the imposing peak seen from the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi.
The craftsmen and women of Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi feel the seasons as they change from Mt. Iwate. This connection to nature is evident in their work, with a new dial that has a special connection with the change in seasons in Iwate Prefecture. Light pours over the dial’s flat surface and is caught and reflected by its multifaceted indexes. This dramatic interaction of light and shadow, which invites repeated glances of appreciation, is a classic trait of Grand Seiko.
Still, SLGH013G’s noteworthy attributes go beyond the good looks imparted by a striking dial and confident 40mm case. This is the first Grand Seiko non-limited production model to have a case and bracelet made of Ever-Brilliant Steel.
Ever-Brilliant Steel has a brilliant white hue in appearance and a high level of corrosion resistance. The PREN (Pitting Resistance Equivalent Number) is 1.7 times higher than the grade of steel commonly used in high-end watches. With longevity such a crucial part of Grand Seiko’s philosophy in watchmaking, the use of this material, with its high corrosion resistance, further reassures its lasting beauty.
Moreover, the SLGH013 is powered by Grand Seiko’s 9SA5. This beautifully finished automatic movement offers the high precision and stability of a 36,000 vph Hi-Beat Caliber with a long duration of 80 hours of power reserve. It also features a completely original dual-impulse escapement that leads to greater efficiency in energy transfer from its twin barrels. This escapement was one of the most prominent of many new features of the caliber 9SA5 and shows the importance of innovation and continuous improvement to mechanical watchmaking. The Dual Impulse Escapement of Caliber 9SA5 conventionally delivers the impulses in one direction of the reciprocal motion. Yet, it bypasses the pallet fork in the other direction, providing the impulses directly to the balance on its roller jewel.
In addition to the Dual Impulse escapement, the introduction of the Grand Seiko Free-Sprung Balance and overcoil helps improve durability and impact resistance when compared to a watch with a regulator. Generally, a free-sprung balance can only correct the isochronism by manually adjusting the hairspring. For the 9SA5, the unique overcoil shape and a rotatable stud at the end of the hairspring allow for isochronism adjustment, all with the turn of a screw. The 9SA5 is tested to the Grand Seiko Standard, where the mean daily rate is an impressive +5 to -3 seconds per day when tested in static conditions. This standard tests across six positions and three temperatures and has a duration of 17 days.
SLGH013 will be available at Grand Seiko boutiques and select retail partners from October 2022 for a retail price of $9,500.