Grand Seiko adds two new U.S. special edition models with nature-inspired dials to its Elegance collection. As two highlights among the brand’s June debuts, both new manual-wind watches exhibit beautiful handcrafted dials set within 39mm steel cases. Both are also powered by Grand Seiko’s superb Caliber 9S63 with a power reserve of seventy-two hours and an accuracy rate of +5 to -3 seconds per day.
One watch, reference SBGK015 Ryūsendō, is a limited edition of 250 watches and features a dial inspired by the blue and green underground lakes of the Ryūsendō located near Grand Seiko’s Shizukuishi Watch Studio. And while the color is certainly evocative of crystalline underground streams, it’s the dial’s curvy, patterned texture that catches my eye. Note how lines gather along the perimeter of the dial to create a gentle frame for the patchwork dial.
The second debut, Grand Seiko U.S. Special Edition SBGK017, is not a limited edition but will be made available within Grand Seiko’s ongoing Elegance collection in the United States.
Here Grand Seiko says it was inspired by Nanbu tekki ironware, a form of metalwork produced in the city of Morioka in Iwate prefecture. The tableware is prized for its distinctive texture called arare (hailstone) on its exterior. Grand Seiko artisans mimicked that texture on the watch’s dark gray dial.
As manual-wind watches, both these debuts are thin and beautifully polished using Grand Seiko’s much-heralded Zaratsu method, which is specially tuned to highlight curved surfaces. Similarly, the dials and their sapphire crystals are also curved, with the minute and power reserve indicator hands shaped to follow the curve of the dial.
Both watches display a small seconds hand at the nine o’clock position and a power reserve indicator at three o’clock. +5 to -3 seconds per day (when static).
The SBGK015 Ryūsendō and the U.S. Special Edition SBGK017 will be available starting in September at Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners in the United States.
Prices: $7,500 (SBGK015 “Ryūsendō) and $8,900 (SBGK017 U.S. Special Edition).