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Grand Seiko Majestic White Birch Takes Engraved Platinum to the Next Level

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Majestic White Birch SBGZ009

For over two years now Grand Seiko has been exploring and expanding upon their incredibly popular birch concept. They began with the White Birch, which was quickly joined by the Green and Night as well as versions with various movement options along the way. Now though, Grand Seiko have taken it in a hyper luxe direction with the Majestic White Birch, a fully engraved platinum limited edition.

The case is without a doubt the centrepiece of this timepiece. It’s produced in Grand Seiko’s Shinshu workshop and involves the work of artisans from both the Shinshu Watch Studio and the Micro Artist Studio – Grand Seiko’s most elite workshop. The platinum case, measuring 38.5mm in diameter with a thickness of 9.8mm, is given a Zaratsu polish before being painstakingly engraved by hand with long grooves, representative of the bark of a birch tree. The Shinshu region is home to many, many native silver birches that provided the inspiration.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Majestic White Birch SBGZ009

It’s as if the texture, which starts from the dial, has overtaken the entire watch. It makes me wonder how long it will take until GS launch a timepiece that’s just a movement inside a tree. The bark-like dial has a more of a metallic sheen to it than previous versions so that it sparkles under the light.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Majestic White Birch SBGZ009

For a subtle contrast, the hour and minute hands, as well as the hour markers, are made from white gold. The seconds hand also has a slightly darker grey tone, as opposed to the traditional blue, maintaining the Majestic White Birch’s monotone colour. The whole composition really lets the precious metal sing in all of its meticulously engraved glory.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Majestic White Birch SBGZ009

Under the surface is the calibre 9R02, a manual spring drive movement with an 84-hour power reserve. It’s a very impressive movement with a Torque Return System that uses excess torque to rewind the movement, extending the power reserve – the wristwatch equivalent of an F1 car’s Energy Recover System. It’s also stunningly decorated with traditional Japanese elements such as a bellflower barrel cover and hairline finishing.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Majestic White Birch SBGZ009

The Grand Seiko Majestic White Birch is a limited edition of 50 pieces with a price of £67,450. That’s what you’d describe, conservatively, as very expensive. However, between the truly exquisite dial, engraved case and precision of execution, this would be the flagship in any collection.

Price & Specs:

  • Model: Grand Seiko Majestic White Birch
  • Ref: SBGZ009
  • Case/dial: 38.5mm diameter x 9.8mm thickness, platinum case, majestic white birch dial
  • Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
  • Movement: Grand Seiko calibre 9R02, manual winding, 39 jewels
  • Power reserve: 84h
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator
  • Strap: Crocodile leather
  • Price/availability: £67,450, limited to 50 pieces

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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.