Grand Seiko Tentagraph: Brilliant, But Expensive

The Tentagraph boasts a long distance power reserve at up to three days, which is industry leading (says Seiko) plus a beautiful chronograph movement. The dial and hands are finished to a high standard, the bracelet is mirror polished. It offers something bespoke and hand built. You have to admire the way Seiko offers their GS models as a lux brand within their empire, Citizen and Casio don’t bother doing that, they just do great watches for the mass market.

Now many Swiss brands offer limited edition, tourbillon/repeater/chronograph/twin barrel/triple date complication feature sets for vast amounts of cash. There is a place for that engineering excellence and in some ways Japan has aced the Swiss several times in the past, most notably in the quartz watch revolution of the late 60s, but is there a Swiss rival to the G-SHOCK even after 25 years? Not really, nothing comes close in terms of toughness, long battery life and value for money in our opinion.

Over the last 5-8 years a Grand Seiko Spring Drive has offered a far more elegant blend of engineering, dial finish and precision than any Datejust or Air King – pretty much for the same money too. Only recently has GS put the price up to Submariner levels. To put it bluntly, anyone with 6K who knows about watches buys a GS, those who only know how to flip watches buy a Rolex.

At £12,500 this is an expensive GS watch however, so you really have to love the idea of a hi-beath chronograph to buy one. In many ways the Spring Drive GS is all you need. It has an understated brilliance that makes it a true classic. When you think that a new Spring Drive GMT, with Iwate blue dial, date feature and 55 hours of reserve is yours for £6650, you begin to wonder if it’s worth joining the waiting list for the Tenatagraph at nearly twice the price.

Here’s the press word on the latest Tentagraph;

“Like Caliber 9SA5, the new Tentagraph Caliber 9SC5 beats ten times per second, ensuring high accuracy when measuring elapsed time as well as the time of day. And, thanks to its energy-efficient escapement and two barrels, the watch runs for three days even when the chronograph is in operation, making the Tentagraph the 10-beat chronograph with the longest power reserve in the industry today.”

There’s more;

“The new movement features the revolutionary Dual Impulse Escapement, which efficiently transfers energy to the free-sprung balance wheel indirectly through the pallet fork and also directly from the escape wheel. MEMS technology ensures extremely precise, lightweight, and highly durable escapement parts and also endows the escapement with increased energy efficiency to achieve a long power reserve.

Hallmarks of a high-quality modern chronograph, a vertical clutch and a column wheel ensure high accuracy and operability. The vertical clutch eliminates any shuddering or jumping of the hands when the chronograph is engaged and enhances measurement accuracy, while the column wheel delivers precise control of the chronograph operation. The movement incorporates a three-pointed hammer, which ensures that, when the reset pusher is pressed, the hands return to zero instantly and in perfect synchronization.”

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