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Grand Seiko Launch Bond Street Exclusive Limited Edition ‘Karesansui’ SBGY029

Grand Seiko Karesansui Bond Street Limited Edition SBGY029

Back in June Grand Seiko announced that they were opening a new boutique on Bond Street and sure enough, it’s now open. In celebration, the Japanese watchmaker have launched the ‘Karesansui’ Bond Street Exclusive limited edition that’s only available from that boutique. The Karesansui is a dress watch inspired by the Japanese tradition of zen gardens.

The concept of a zen garden watch isn’t especially new; Grand Seiko’s accessible sibling Seiko has been doing them for years. However, I like the fact that Grand Seiko is having a go at a concept typically associated with their sister brand because the Bond Street boutique stocks watches from both and so the faint blurring of lines between them seems appropriate.

Grand Seiko Karesansui Bond Street Limited Edition SBGY029

Grand Seiko Karesansui Bond Street Limited Edition SBGY029

In terms of the Karesansui itself, it has a stainless steel case measuring 38.5mm in diameter, firmly dress watch proportions. It has an understated round design with a plain bezel that really highlights the elegance of simplicity, in keeping with the zen garden theme.

Grand Seiko Karesansui Bond Street Limited Edition SBGY029

Speaking of, the zen garden aspect of the design is presented on the watch’s dial. It has a light cream colour, like white sand, and features an engraved spiral pattern. The tradition of zen gardens with raked sand motifs is designed to reflect the Japanese appreciation of light and shadow, concepts Grand Seiko has explored with their other UK exclusive watches, the Asakage and Yukage. As such, the Karesansui balances the elegant profile of a dress watch with Grand Seiko’s penchant for intricate dials inspired by nature.

Grand Seiko Karesansui Bond Street Limited Edition SBGY029

Under the sandy surface is the calibre 9R31 manual wind spring drive movement. It has an impressive accuracy of +/-1 second per day with a power reserve of 72-hours. A large power reserve like this is particularly valuable in a manual movement since you need to actually remember to wind it. It’s also visible through the sapphire exhibition window. Plus, around the edge of the caseback you can see the watch’s limited edition number out of the 50 that are available.

Grand Seiko Karesansui Bond Street Limited Edition SBGY029

As mentioned, all 50 will only be purchasable from the new Grand Seiko Bond Street boutique in London. They’re priced at £7,750, a price comparable to Grand Seiko’s other 38.5mm spring drive dress watches. I will say that I look at Grand Seiko’s other regional releases with more envy than I imagine those regions look at the Karesansui, but on the whole I feel like this release is appropriate and proportional to the thing it’s celebrating. A boutique opening watch is never going to be the greatest release of the year, although it’s still a nice piece.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Grand Seiko Spring Drive ‘Karesansui’ Bond Street Limited Edition
  • Ref: SBGY029
  • Case/dial: 38.5mm diameter, stainless steel case, zen pattern embossed dial
  • Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
  • Movement: Grand Seiko calibre 9R31, manual winding, spring drive, 30 jewels
  • Frequency: 32,768 Hz
  • Power reserve: 72h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
  • Strap: Brown calf leather
  • Price/availability: £7,750, limited to 50 pieces, only available to purchase from Grand Seiko Boutique, Bond Street, London.

More details at Seiko Boutique.

About the author

Michael Sonsino

As Junior Content Producer 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. While a relative newcomer to the magazine, he's nonetheless a lifelong fan of fine timepieces, especially those of a more historic nature - if it has a twist of Art Deco, all the better.

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