The Elevator Pitch
If you haven’t heard, Grand Seiko – Japanese watch manufacturer Seiko’s premium watch collection – became a brand in its own right in 2017. Cue widespread applause from Seiko megafans and hardened watch collectors alike. As Range Rover is to Land Rover, Grand Seiko is where Seiko’s watch designers let loose with luxury designs packed with innovative tech. The jewel in its crown? The Spring Drive movement. This time, it’s packaged up with a drop-dead gorgeous dial speckled with gold particles and a meaty eight-day power reserve.
The Spring Drive is far from your average ticker. Somewhere between a mechanical movement and a quartz mechanism, the unique movement is a hybrid of traditional Swiss watchmaking and Seiko’s superb quartz technology. What sets the Spring Drive apart is its construction: it has a completely mechanical gear train, like you’d find in a standard automatic, but has done away with the escapement and balance wheel in favour of what Grand Seiko calls a “glide wheel”. Inside this component, a series of tiny electromagnets rotate to generate a current to power a quartz timing package, which in turn powers the watch.
Long story short, this is a quartz watch that doesn’t require a battery or capacitor, and runs like an automatic – so the second hand glides smoothly around the dial, rather than jumping every second.
The elegant dial of the SBGD202 is inspired by the night sky above the Japanese brand’s Micro Artist Studio in Shiojiri, Japan. This is where Grand Seiko makes its most artisanal and low-production pieces, including this watch. You may not have the beauty of the Nagano prefecture outside your window, but at least you can nauseate your friends with the vision behind the watch.
Add To Your Collection
Grand Seiko will launch its flagship London store August 10, 2017. The SBGD202 will be in store from September 2017 – but exercise caution, the charms of this watch don't come cheap, thanks to a €52,800 price tag.