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Grand Seiko Give the “White Birch” the Spring Drive Treatment With SLGA009

Grand Seiko White Birch Spring Drive Evolution 9 SLGA009

The original Grand Seiko White Birch SLGH005 was widely lauded last year and rightly so, even winning the men’s watch prize at the GPHG. It brought GS’s Series 9 design to the forefront in a new way and combined a typically textured dial with their 9SA5 hi-beat movement. Now though, the design and dial are back in the form of the SLGA009, which houses a different calibre, the Spring Drive 9RA2. It’s about time, we were wondering when it would happen.

This release is very much a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The angular Series 9 case with Zaratsu polishing is the same as before, albeit slightly thicker at 11.8mm as opposed to 11.7mm with a longer lug-to-lug length. Also, Grand Seiko have decreed that ‘Series 9’ shall henceforth be known as ‘Evolution 9’, although that doesn’t affect the watch at all.

Grand Seiko White Birch Spring Drive SLGA009 dial

Grand Seiko White Birch Spring Drive SLGA009 dial 2

Likewise, the dial is unchanged with the now iconic Shirakaba birch pattern preserved with the thick indexes and truncated hands. Interestingly, while the Spring Drive calibre that is now housed inside comes with a power reserve indicator, GS’s recent upgrade to the movement that places it on the back of the watch means the dial is undisturbed.

Grand Seiko White Birch Spring Drive SLGA009 case

Grand Seiko White Birch Spring Drive SLGA009 caseback

In addition to the power reserve indicator, the Spring Drive 9RA2 automatic movement also comes with the crazy specs that make it so popular: a 120-hour power reserve and an accuracy of +/- 0.5 seconds per day. When the hi-beat version was released, the overwhelming question from fans and us was when would the Spring Drive version follow? Well, now it’s here and all your prayers are answered.

Priced at £8,100 the SLGA009 is also £400 less than the original SLGH005. It’s win-win, a higher spec calibre and a lower price, yes please. The only minor drawback is the slightly larger proportions and that’s only 1mm here and 0.6mm there.

Price & Specs:

Model: Grand Seiko White Birch Spring Drive SLGA009
Reference: SLGA009
Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 11.8mm, stainless steel case, white birch dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre 9RA2, automatic with spring drive, 38 jewels
Power reserve: 120h (5 days)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, power-reserve on caseback
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price/availability: £8,100

More details at Grand Seiko.

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About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Digital Editor for Oracle Time, Michael needs an eye for detail, which makes it a good thing that his twin joys in life are miniatures and watches. He's a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better. Recent purchase: Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-Interpretation. Grail watch: Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921.

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