In February 2021, Grand Seiko introduced SLGH007, a Hi-Beat watch with a dial design that replicates the age rings of a tree, giving it a notable organic feel that brings to life Grand Seiko’s concept of the Nature of Time. An almost tactile effect is achieved by the way the light captures the texture of the dial, and its small variations reveal the subtlety of the dark and light tones of the wood grain. Today, Grand Seiko unveils a new reference, SLGA008, featuring a brown take on this dial design, an 18k rose gold case, and a new Spring Drive movement, 9RA2.
The case measures 40mm in diameter, 11.8mm in thickness, 47.6mm in length, and has a lug width of 22mm. It is fitted with a dual-curve sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, and it features complex architecture with an aesthetic that is both inspired by the past while also taking a step toward the future of Grand Seiko’s evolving design language. Broad, faceted lugs pair with a low center of gravity to anchor the mid-case, allowing for a comfortable fit on the wrist and a lower profile. The mid-case has a beautiful mix of Zaratsu-polished and hairline surfaces, and this delicate contrast in finishing brings the watch to life when it catches the light.
The brown tone of the dial pairs perfectly with the 18k rose gold case, and together the two give the watch a warm feel. This texture is not press patterned, but the effect is instead achieved through a delicate technique. Contrasting the organic texture are the highly geometric indexes and hands, which, when paired with the dark brown dial, offer excellent legibility. The hour hand is large in volume and crafted to align exactly with the grooved and prominent hour markers.
The star mark at six o’clock indicates that the indexes are solid gold, as are the GS letters, the calendar frame, and the clasp. That special maker is a Grand Seiko tradition that goes back to the very first Grand Seiko timepiece from 1960.
The new 9RA2 movement builds on what was first introduced in 2020 with caliber 9RA5. The major difference is the placement of the power reserve indicator. Unlike most Spring Drive watches that feature a power reserve somewhere on the dial, 9RA2 takes the indicator off the dial entirely and brings it to the movement so that it is visible through the exhibition case back.
Caliber 9RA2 incorporates two barrels, one larger and one smaller, to deliver a power reserve of up to 120 hours. The +-10 seconds per month accuracy rate is made possible through a new IC with a built-in temperature sensor and a highly stable quartz oscillator that has gone through a three-month aging process. The quartz oscillator and temperature sensor are vacuum sealed into a single package to eliminate even the slightest temperature difference between the two, ensuring the watch’s accuracy at the highest possible level.
The movement achieves its slimness thanks to the re-design and re-positioning of the Magic Lever. This Offset Magic Lever is set away from the center of the movement, thereby reducing its thickness. The new setting of the hands also contributes to the slimmer profile of the watch. Additionally, the gear train was redesigned to fit along the central horizontal axis of the movement and locked under a one-piece center bridge. This better stabilizes the wheels in the event of shock.
SLGA008 comes with a crocodile strap fitted on a three-fold clasp with a push-button release. It is a limited edition of 140 watches and will be available at Grand Seiko Boutiques and select Grand Seiko retailers worldwide on November 2021.
Case: 18k Rose Gold
Dimensions: 40mm in diameter x 11.8mm in thickness x 47.6mm in length x 22mm lug width
Movement: 9RA2 Spring Drive
Availability: Limited edition of 140 watches; available at Grand Seiko Boutiques and select Grand Seiko retailers worldwide on November 2021.