Tag Archives: grand

Ball Engineer Master II: Understated & Underwater

The Ball Engineer Master II has a clean simplicity about it that we love at NWC mag.

In blue or black dial options, it looks like a perfect tool watch. Kinda understated yes, but still ticking all the right boxes. It’s on pre-order right now, with an October delivery date. Pre-order price is £1950.

Here’s some info from Ball Watches;

Designed for the ultimate feeling of freedom that comes with exploring Earth’s last frontier, we introduce the Engineer Master II Diver Chronometer.
The remarkable internal diving bezel can easily be manipulated under water when timing the safety stop. In darkness, it shines with micro gas tubes and ensures elapsed time is always visible. The automatic chronometer delivers outstanding precision as deep as 300 meters – packed inside a 42mm case that is just 13.5mm thick.
And no matter the terrain, explore with 1,000 Gauss (80,000 A/m) anti-magnetic protection and patented shock resistance.
Limited to 1,000 pieces each, pre-order yours today for a selection of limited edition number and complimentary engraving.
DIVE WATCH BUT NOT TOO CHUNKY
As a watch’s underwater performance is defined by its material and construction, the new Diver Chronometer features a robust stainless steel build. Its engineering allows you to operate the internal diving bezel while completely submerged under water to time the safety stop.
Simply use the crown at 2 o’clock to set the bezel at any time. Its 42mm case diameter measures only 13.5mm thick, offering stunning diving capabilities and everyday wearability.
More here at the Ball website.

Grand Seiko, With a Sky Full Of Stars

The word from Grand Seiko who have built a watch that kinda looks hewn from solid platinum by hand;

In celebration of the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the company, Grand Seiko presents a new Spring Drive masterpiece made by the elite team of watchmakers at the Micro Artist Studio in Grand Seiko’s manufacturing facility in Shiojiri, located in the same Shinshu region as Achi.

The watch will be available as a limited edition of 50 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques in August 2021.

The blue of the dial has a remarkable depth that is accentuated by the quiet and delicate sparkle of what appear to be distant stars. A unique manufacturing and finishing technique combining stamping, plating and painting gives the dial a different aspect at each and every viewing angle, just as does the sky above Achi.

The Platinum 950 case is carefully engraved with a pattern which is replicated in different directions on the Zaratsu polished case, again capturing the exquisite order and ever changing aspect of Achi’s starry skies.

The watch presents a refined and slim profile with a diameter of 38.5mm and depth of 9.8mm.The hour and minute hands and hour markers are made of 14k white gold to ensure that their brilliance endures for decades. The Grand Seiko name, the minute markers and all the other markings are etched into the dial.

Every aspect of the movement is designed without compromise. The power reserve indicator is on the back side of the movement next to the barrel whose shape echoes that of the bellflower that is the symbol of Shiojiri.

Those blue screws look like a constellation of stars on the movement. Nice touch.

The rims of the bridges, the holes for the rubies and the screws are all expertly hand polished to a perfect mirror finish and the tempered blue screws stand out in contrast to the hairline finish of the bridges to heighten the perception of the perfection of the engineering. The caliber also incorporates an 18k yellow gold plaque on the lower bridge, which carries the engraved words “Micro Artist” but which can, if the owner so wishes, be replaced with a word of his or her choice.

The outstanding 84 hour power reserve of Caliber 9R02 is realized thanks to the Dual Spring Barrel, in which two mainsprings are set in parallel within a single barrel, and the Torque Return System.

When the mainspring has been fully wound and the torque output is at its highest, approximately 30% of the available power is not needed to maintain the precision of the watch and is in effect wasted in a normal movement.

The Torque Return System uses this energy to rewind the mainspring, resulting in an increase in the power reserve. In Caliber 9R02, this system is activated for 48 hours after the mainspring has been fully wound.

The price for perfection? A mere 80,000 euros.

New Quartz GS GMT Is a Bridge Too Far – See What We Did There?

Grand Seiko has a new 9F86 quartz GMT creation that adds a new dimension, so the Japanese watchmaker says, with three variants available in June. Prices start at 4450 euros – ouch.

Maybe invest in a pre-owned Grand Seiko automatic instead? Prices are rising rapidly on the pre-owned market and we think they will go higher as more collectors fall out of love with Rolex waiting lists.

Anyway, here is the word from GS on their new model;

The case is simple in design but, with its muscular shape and sharp, Zaratsu polished surfaces, it presents a powerful sports aspect. The dial has gold color details and it is offered as a limited edition of 2,021 to mark the 140th anniversary of Seiko’s foundation. Two other versions with red and blue accents join the main Grand Seiko collection.

A design perfect for both sport and daily use.

All three new creations are all quintessentially Grand Seiko in every way, combining the highest level of precision and durability with supreme legibility and the quiet yet instantly recognizable brilliance that is the Grand Seiko hallmark.

The case ridges are sharp and crisp. The bezels are ceramic and so are almost impervious to scratches. Every detail is fashioned to enhance the legibility of the time and the precision that Caliber 9F86 delivers.

The two-tone dial ring allows the night and day hours indicated by the GMT hand of matching color to be read instantly. Legibility at night is ensured by the use of two colors of LumiBrite: green for the hour hand, minute hand and indexes, and blue for the GMT hand. The ceramic bezel allows the time to be read instantly and accurately in the GMT 24 hour format.

The hour hand is independently adjustable so that the precision is maintained even when adjusting the time to a second time zone. A date with an instant change mechanism, a sapphire crystal, 20 bar water resistance and magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m complete the specifications. Even with this high functionality, the case diameter is a modest 40mm, making the watch perfect for sport and daily use.

The blue creation features a deep blue dial and bezel to match the bright blue color accents of the dial. All three watches will be available in June 2021 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected Grand Seiko retail stores worldwide.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat, Platinum Edition

A new Grand Seiko in platinum is something a bit special. You may find it hard to square the circle of spending 60,000 euros on a Seiko watch. But this is one of 140 pieces, so if you live long enough, it will probably be worth a small fortune one day. Like Bitcoin, there are no guarantees.

But what you are certain of is that Seiko has handcrafted something amazing, that still looks non-showy, pure and functional. Here’s the press info;

The dial delights the eye and warms the heart with its organic feel and brings to life Grand Seiko’s conception of the Nature of Time.

See-thru caseback lets you see the engineering details

An almost tactile effect is created by the way the light captures the multi-dimensional texture of the dial. The miniscule but visible variations in the dial’s depth reveal the subtlety of the dark and light tones of the wood grain. This high-beat watch incorporates a powerful and distinctive overall design known as Series 9, that is set to be part of the future signature of Grand Seiko.

The hour hands are large in volume and are crafted to align exactly with the grooved and prominent hour markers, enhancing the legibility of the time. A distortion-free mirror finish and delicate hairline finish alternate to give the case a quiet and harmonious glow. With its wide lugs and a satisfyingly substantial leather strap, the watch offers perfect comfort and fits solidly and neatly on the wrist.

With its highly efficient Dual Impulse Escapement, Grand Seiko free-sprung balance and twinbarrel construction, Caliber 9SA5 is a high-beat movement that delivers a precision rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day and a power reserve of 80 hours. The caliber represents the very finest in modern watchmaking, combining unique technologies with craftsmanship of the highest order.

Latest Grand Seiko Heritage 60th is a Symphony in Blue

Seiko have added to their Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary line with a beautiful blue dial model. With a 40mm case size it’s an everyday dress watch, assuming you don’t mind wearing a 4K watch on your wrist every day of course.

The new Limited Edition SBGR321 reference is powered by Calibre 9S65 which delivers a power reserve of 72 hours and a precision rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day, says Seiko.

It is assembled, adjusted and inspected by hand at the recently opened Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi.

There are 2500 pieces being made, so it isn’t that limited. Still like one though.

The new model joins the Heritage Hi-Beat model available, with 55hrs of power from its movement, plus two quartz models as well. Normally we wouldn’t entertain paying over three grand for a quartz watch, but the quality is usually faultless on Grand Seiko models. Arguably, the blue bezel one may be a collectors item one day but you will be lucky to get your two grand plus inflation back we think.

More details on the Grand Seiko 60th Heritage line here. 

Grand Seiko Offer Two Special Soko Editions for US Market

The Grand Seiko tradition is all about bespoke watchmaking craft and aiming for perfection. You may think that a Grand Seiko is somehow less special than a Swiss watch, which in terms of future auction value might be true, but when it comes to build quality we rate GS as being right up with Rolex frankly.

These two special edition models are`Soko’ themed watches, capturing the Autumn vibe, with understated looks and inspired by bamboo forests in Japan.

The vertical texture of the dials reflects the majestic stalks of the bamboo, says Seiko. Together, the timepieces pay tribute to this moment in nature, when its green hues are dramatically enlivened in the contrasting expression of “light” – silver dial of SBGA427 and “shadow” gray dial of SBGA429. These remarkable timepieces display the deeply satisfying beauty created by the highest level of Japanese craftsmanship.

Inside the watches you’ll find the famous Spring Drive movement. The Spring Drive 9R65 Calibre is designed, adjusted and assembled by hand, by acclaimed craftsmen and women at the Shinshu Watch Studio in Japan. In that respect, we say the GS watch is a bit more special than many Swiss watches which often have a bit more robot assembly than human input.

Grand seiko soko seasons limited edition

Spring Drive, recognized as one of the great innovations in modern watchmaking, is a spring-driven movement with a state-of-the-art electro-magnetic regulator that functions without an external power source. Its sole power source is a mainspring, which drives a series of gears as a traditional mechanical watch, and delivers a precision of one second a day, a rate unprecedented for a watch powered by a mainspring.

Case size is 39mm making this a classic dress watch option. There’s a steel bracelet and croc strap included as an alternative fitment. You get 30 jewels in the Spring Drive movement and a 72 hour power reserve, with a retro style power indicator on the dial face. It’s a nice touch, bringing a bit of 1940s/50s styling right up to date.

RRP on both these babies is $5,000.