Grand Seiko are here to burst the bubble for anyone who is too stubborn to realise that summer is over. Still, that’s not such a bad thing and the snowy dial of the new Elegance Collection SBGY008 ‘Shizuri-Yuki’ Spring Drive is perfectly seasonal as the nights start to draw in earlier and earlier. There’s good reason the watch has been dubbed the Shizuri-Yuki, which loosely translates to gentle-snow.
The case is heavily inspired by the shapes and styles of previous GS models, measuring a fairly compact 38.5mm of rose gold. However, the perimeter of the case is also embedded with 53 diamonds, making it stand out from similar case designs within the Elegance collection. For once, the addition of diamonds doesn’t make the watch overtly feminine and it’s easy to make the argument that this is a unisex timepiece.
The focal point is, of course, the dial, which is as beautifully textured as you’d expect. In many ways it’s the twin to the famed Grand Seiko Snowflake (which we reviewed last year), for obvious reasons. The main difference is the absence of the power reserve indicator and date window, meaning there is less disruption to the dial. Additionally, the softly undulating texture is more gentle and less coarse, more freshly fallen snow than a blizzard.
It’s complimented by a relatively simple display with central hours, minutes and seconds and rose gold hour markers. However, while the display is simple, the movement underneath is cutting edge: an ultra-thin spring drive calibre called 9R31. It’s a manual movement with a dual-spring barrel providing a great 72-hour power reserve and an accuracy of +/-1 second per day.
The Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGY008 ‘Shizuri-Yuki’ Spring Drive is a limited edition of 60 pieces and it comes with two strap options. The first of which is a brown crocodile number and the second is a satin gold leather option. It’s priced at £34,000 but it could be double that and all 60 would still be snapped up before you can blink. It’s seriously lovely.
Price & Specs:
Model: Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGY008 ‘Shizuri-Yuki’ Spring Drive
Case/Dial: 38.50mm diameter x 10.2mm height, 18K rose gold case with 53 diamonds set by hand in the Shinshu Watch Studio, pure white textured dial
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Spring Drive Calibre 9R31, manual winding, 30 jewels
Power reserve: 72h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
Strap: Crocodile leather with additional satin gold coloured leather strap
Price/availability: £34,000, limited to 60 pieces