The Oruri songbird migrates from Southeast Asia to the mountainous regions of Japan, such as the Iwate prefecture near Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, during Rikka, the seasonal phase that marks the start of summer. Also known as the Blue-and-White Flycatcher, the Oruri delights locals with its gentle song, and its beautiful coloration is a welcome sight at the beginning of the season. It also serves as inspiration for Grand Seiko’s newest U.S. special edition timepiece, reference SBGW279.
Expanding the Elegance Collection, SBGW279 is a classically styled timepiece that features thoughtful proportions and a design inspired by the first Grand Seiko from 1960. The case measures just 37.3mm in diameter, 11.6mm in thickness, and 44.3mm in length from one lug end to the other. The lugs have a v-shaped faceted surface which increases complexity and creates more interplay of light and shadow. Between the lugs is a rich brown crocodile strap, which has a width of 19mm.
The stainless steel case is polished throughout with a distortion-free mirror finish made possible via Grand Seiko’s famed Zaratsu technique. The box-shaped sapphire crystal evokes the desirable look of vintage acrylic crystals, but it is made of sapphire, a highly scratch-resistant material, making the watch a great candidate for daily wear.
SBGW279 features a beautiful blue dial inspired by the deep coloring of the Oruri’s feathers. Finished in a sunray pattern, the dial is highly dynamic in how it interacts with light and shadow. It also features a razor-sharp dauphine handset paired with faceted polished indexes, and because there is no date function, the dial has a highly pleasing symmetry.
Inside the watch and visible through an open case back is Grand Seiko’s 9S64 manual-wind caliber. The movement is assembled by hand by the craftsmen and women of Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi where all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are produced. It has 72 hours of power reserve and an accuracy rating of -3 to +5 seconds per day.
Available for purchase in May and exclusive to the US market, reference SBGW279 will retail for $4,600. It will be offered at Grand Seiko Boutiques, and select Grand Seiko authorized retailers in the U.S.