Grand Seiko have launched their second timepiece in celebration of the 55th anniversary of the 1967 44GS wristwatch. It’s a follow up to the SBGJ255 44GS Anniversary Edition that was announced at the tail end of last year. However, instead of a GMT or a sporty focus, the new Heritage 44GS 55th Anniversary SBGW289 Sakura-Kakushi focuses on delicate textures and vintage charm.
That vintage charm comes in a large part thanks to the watch’s case. The original 44GS was the first watch that displayed the design codes that are now common to practically every Grand Seiko piece, including the most modern and sporty versions of the Evolution 9 they released at Watches & Wonders. Facetted design, sweeping lines and Zaratsu polishing, all these things that any passing fan of the brand will be familiar with are present on the SBGW289. Additionally, for further vintage flair, those attributes have been shrunk to create a diameter of 36.5mm and a thickness of 11.6mm.
However, in typical Grand Seiko fashion, it’s the dial that makes the SBGW289 exceptional. It’s a light pink blush colour with a delicate texture inspired by cherry blossom. But it’s actually more specific than just cherry blossom as it draws on the phenomenon known as Sakura-Kakushi, “the hiding of the cherry blossom”. In less lyrical terminology, it refers to when early spring blossoms are covered in late winter snow. It’s a beautiful visual and makes for a beautiful dial when paired with the sharply angled hands and hour markers.
Housed inside is the Grand Seiko 9S64 manual calibre with a 72-hour power reserve meaning it only needs winding every three days. The major benefit of the calibre is that it’s very slim, which is what allows the case to have such a reduced size. Additionally, the accuracy is very good as well at +10/-1 second per day that over time will average out to about +5/-3 seconds.
So far in 2022, the watches from GS have had a tendency towards the sporty, so it’s really nice to see a time only model that really focusses on delicate refinement. The Heritage 44GS 55th Anniversary SBGW289 Sakura-Kakushi is limited to 1,200 pieces, priced at around £4,500, so it’s sure to be snapped up very quickly when it becomes available to buy in June.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Grand Seiko Heritage 44GS 55th Anniversary SBGW289 Sakura-Kakushi
- Case/dial: 36.5mm diameter x 11.6mm height, stainless steel case, textured delicate pink dial with a slight silver hue
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Calibre 9S64, manual winding, 24 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 72h (3 days)
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
- Price/availability: £4,550, limited to 1,200 pieces
More details at Grand Seiko.