The 20th Anniversary Grand Seiko Elegance Series
4 brand new 20th anniversary Grand Seiko Elegance have been announced by Seiko watches at Baselworld 2019, following on from Seiko’s own announcement of the new Prospex LX Line. Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Spring Drive with this brand new series of Elegance watches, Grand Seiko have announced 4 new models which promise to deliver an even more refined and slim profile than ever. Two of the four new models arrive as manual winding spring drive calibers, both of which have the signature gliding seconds hand, signifying the natural and continuous flow of time. All four offer extreme precision, one second a day, and a long power reserve too, which is all thanks to the dual mainspring design of both calibers.
The new 20th Anniversary Grand Seiko Elegance Series watches share the understated refinement and sparkle of quality that exemplify Grand Seiko’s uniquely Japanese sensibility continuous flow of time.
After two decades of development, the Spring Drive was finally launched at Baselworld 1999, and has become a highly recognized development and is widely regarded as one of the most important innovations in the world of luxury watchmaking. Now, 20 years on, the Spring Drive is being celebrated by the release of these new models, as the Grand Seiko Elegance collection presents new masterpieces with support of the Micro Artist Studio.
The Micro Artist Studio first began working along side Grand Seiko in the run up to Baselworld 2016, where they contributed to the brand with the 8 day power reserve spring drive watch, which was a huge success. This very same team, a collection of elite watchmakers, has now presented a new movement with two mainsprings, set in parallel within a singular barrel, and using a Torque return System to produce an 84 hour power reserve, the Caliber 9R02.
The first two watches, every complication within the movement is matched by the striking appearance of the exterior too. The cases of these pieces are made of 950 platinum and are only 9.8mm deep, with both the hands and hour markers being made from 14k white gold which adds a whole new level of brilliance and luxury. The Grand Seiko name and other dial markings are etched into the dial to add depth alongside the power reserve indicator which is viable through the sapphire crystal glass.
The power reserve indicator is visible through the sapphire crystal case back, next to the barrel whose shape echoes that of the bellflower that is the symbol of Shiojiri, where the studio is located. The two bridges have edges that are highly and painstakingly polished so that their brilliance contrasts with the perfect hairline finish of the bridges.
One of these two models is a limited edition piece, marketed as a design which expresses the beauty of the natural surroundings of the Mirco Artist Studio, and is only available to 30 pieces. The ‘Snowflake’ patterning that is featured on the dial, inspired by the beauty of the snow around the Shinsu region. This intricate detailing is perfectly complimented by the delicate carvings on the platinum case, and this limited edition model has the words ‘Micro Artist’ engraved on an 18k gold plaque on the lower bridge. If the owner prefers, this plaque can be replaced with one that carries his or her name!