The Grand Seiko anniversary roadshow continues, yet rather than another re-issue of an iconic piece, this new pair of pieces takes a different approach. Inspired by Japanese legend and landscape, the SBGW263 & SBGW264 are absolutely stunning.
The base of both models is the Grand Seiko Elegance, with its fittingly-graceful 39mm case in either platinum or rose gold. It’s the dials though where the real action is.
The first, the rose gold model, features a green dial, machine-engraved to imitate the birch trees around Shizukuishi, the area in which the watch is made. It’s a subtle yet beautiful design, a glorious bit of artisanry from Grand Seiko’s studio, paired perfectly with the otherwise restrained rose gold case and indexes.
The second, in platinum, has a bit more going on, despite the tone-on-tone dial and relates to a legend from the Shizukuishi area about how it got its name. The story goes that an old man started hearing strange, booming noises from underneath a cedar tree; upon investigation, he discovered a deep, bottomless cave underneath. The sound was droplets of water – shizuku – dropping all the way down and hitting the rocks – ishi.
The platinum limited edition pays homage to that legend, with a discrete water droplet motif engraved into the hands. The hour markers are an abstract rendition of water hitting rocks and finished with the Grand Seiko star at 6 o’clock. It’s a lovely piece but all the more impressive when you realise the entire white gold dial was engraved by hand, seconds track and all.
Both watches are equipped with the GS calibre 9S64 with a 3-day power reserve and downright silly levels of accuracy (+5 to -3 seconds per day). The rose gold and green SBGW264 is limited to 120 pieces worldwide; the platinum and white gold SBGW263 to just 20. I can’t imagine them sticking around for long.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGW263 Platinum and SBGW264 Rose Gold
Ref: SBGW263 (platinum); SBGW264 (rose gold)
Case/Dial: 39mm diameter x 11.8mm height, platinum (SBGW263)
39mm diameter x 11.6mm height, 18k rose gold (SBGW264)
Water resistance: 30m (3 ATM)
Movement: GS Calibre 9S64, in-house, manual-winding
Functions: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 72h
Strap: Crocodile leather with folding clasp
Price: £87,000 (SBGW263 – limited edition 20 pieces) and £21,500 (SBGW264 – limited edition 120 pieces), each available from July 2020 at GS Boutiques
More details at Grand Seiko’s website.