Within the middle part of the Iwai River is the Genbi Valley, one of Iwate Prefecture’s most stunning natural scenes. Situated in the southwestern city of Ichinoseki and approximately 1.3 miles long, this lush ravine, formed by the ash of Mt. Kurikoma and the flowing waters of the Iwai River, boasts multi-color foliage in the fall, snowscapes in the winter, cherry blossoms in the spring, and azaleas in the summer. The picturesque greenery of the Genbi Valley is the inspiration behind three new USA exclusives from Grand Seiko, SBGW273, SBGW275, and SBGW277.
The dials of all three watches are inspired by a Japanese painting method called Kirazuri, which translates to “sparkling painting.” This technique involves adding glittering flakes of mica to a print, resulting in a surface with a subtle but highly dynamic glitter. Used here, the transposed technique evokes the look of dense flora, giving the dials great depth and calling back to the Genbi Valley.
In 2018, Grand Seiko first introduced Kirazuri-textured dials in three US-exclusive timepieces, SBGA384, SBGA385, and SBGA387, which were designed in homage to this technique.
The dial of SBGW273 features a light-green hue, like the new growth that comes with the change of the seasons. A blue-tempered seconds hand pops in contrast to the green dial background. It comes paired with a brown crocodile strap.
Rendered in teal, the dial of SBGW275 has a distinct presence, and it recalls the flowing waters that have shaped the valley’s landscape for generations. It comes on a dark blue crocodile strap.
With its medium-green tone, the dial of SBGW277 is the purest expression of green of the three, and with its brown crocodile strap the watch is the most literal interpretation of the vegetation that lines the valley walls.
Looking closer at the dial details, all three new SBGWs feature the brand’s signature razor-sharp hour and minute hands, and perfectly polished indexes. Additionally, the interplay of light and shadow, a key tenet of Grand Seiko design, is on full display. The overall execution is a culmination of the practicality and artisanal excellence that are inherent in the brand’s timepieces.
The stainless steel cases of all three references measure 37.3mm in diameter, 11.6mm in thickness, and 44.3mm in length. The lug width is 19mm. This classic case design is the same one from SBGW231 and SBGW235, and it is inspired by the First Grand Seiko from 1960. The box-shape sapphire conjures the look of vintage plexiglass crystals, but with all the hard-wearing durability that synthetic sapphire provides. With their smaller size, all three watches comfortably fit a range of wrist sizes.
Rendered in stainless steel, all three cases have see-through case backs that showcase caliber 9S64, a mechanical manual-winding movement with 72 hours of power reserve and an accuracy rating of -3 to +5 seconds per day. Beautifully finished with robust build quality, 9S64 showcases Grand Seiko’s expertise in creating highly efficient and accurate movements.
Available for purchase this November and exclusive to the US market, SBGW273, SBGW275, and SBGW277 will retail for $4,900 and are limited to 140 pieces each. SBGW275 will be exclusive to the newly launched Grand Seiko Boutique Online. SBGW273 and SBGW277 will be available for purchase at Grand Seiko Salon retailers.
Case: Stainless Steel
Dimensions: 37.3mm in diameter x 11.6mm in thickness x 44.3mm in length
Movement: 9S64 manual-winding
Availability: Limited to 140 watches each; SBGW275 exclusive to Grand Seiko Boutique Online; delivery in November 2021