The latest from Grand Seiko is a winner; typically, clean, understated yet brilliant design. An impressive 55 hours of power reserve too.
Here’s the word;
The 1967 44GS was the watch that first embodied the design code known as the “Grand Seiko Style”, the set of nine principles which gave Grand Seiko its distinctive look and which still inspires every new creation. Now, 55 years on from its first appearance, the 44GS is commemorated in a new Hi-Beat 36000 GMT watch with a titanium case.
A hi-beat GMT caliber and a high-intensity titanium case
The case and bracelet are in high-intensity titanium, a material that is about 30% lighter than stainless steel and highly resistant to both scratches and corrosion. The titanium has a bright aspect and the case is Zaratsu polished to give the distortion-free surfaces that are a defining characteristic of the Grand Seiko Style.
The caliber is the hi-beat 9S86. It offers 55 hours of power reserve and an accuracy rate of + 5 to –3 seconds a day. The GMT hand and the 24-hour inner bezel ring allow the time in a second time zone to be read with ease and the hour hand can be adjusted independently without compromising the precision of the watch. The white dial has a soft sheen against which the GS and GMT letters stand out in blue as clearly as the tempered blue GMT hand. The hour, minute and GMT hands carry Lumibrite and the dual-curved sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective coating on its inner surface.
In 2014, a watch with this same caliber won the “Petite Aiguille” prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, bringing it and the Grand Seiko Style to a wider than ever audience.
The oscillating weight features the Grand Seiko lion emblem and is in a gold tone that is achieved through an anodic oxidation process in which the titanium is subjected to electrolysis so as to generate an oxide film. The color is determined according to the light refraction index by adjusting the thickness of the oxide film.
The watch will be available as a limited edition of 1,200 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in January 2022.
The Grand Seiko Style. An expression of the traditional Japanese sense of beauty.
The Grand Seiko Style reflects a subtle and restrained sense of beauty that is essentially Japanese. It is, however, also highly distinctive and instantly recognizable, just as the creator of the 1967 44GS intended when he established the principles that define every Grand Seiko watch.
The Grand Seiko Style is a design language of simplicity, purity and practicality and reflects exactly the essential characteristics of Grand Seiko: precision, legibility, beauty and ease of use so that form follows function with a special harmony.
Another central characteristic of the Grand Seiko Style is the subtle use of light, reflection and shadow, which is such a cherished feature of many traditional Japanese art forms. The case facets are Zaratsu-polished by hand to create distortion-free surfaces, enabling the case ridges to be crisp and sharp.
The hands and indexes are diamond-cut so that they offer high legibility even in low ambient light. The dials are clear and easy to read. Because of these characteristics, each and every Grand Seiko has a special “sparkle of quality” and, together, these design principles create a clear, unique and visually attractive aesthetic that says: “This is Grand Seiko.”
Retail price is about $8500, which is roughly £6,425, depending on the exchange rate when it arrives in GS stores.