Grand Seiko Spring Drive Sports Black Ceramic Limited Edition Watch Review
Monday - 16 May 2016
Grand Seiko springs to action once again with a breathtaking new series that drives accuracy, robustness, creativity and beauty into Baselworld 2016 leaving all in the hope of more from the Japanese genius’.
Grand Seiko is honoured for their attitude to precision, legibility, comfort and durability holding these important qualities at the very core of the brand since their conception in 1960. Their loyalty to the pure essentials of watchmaking has proved a success earning the Japanese brand a strong reputation of exceptional quality watches. Grand Seiko’s dedication does not hinder the creative mind yet simply lays a foundation for the designers to build upon developing timepieces that are unique, innovative and original. The launch of the Spring Drive Sports Black Ceramic Limited Edition proves how consistency and evolvement can work together harmoniously.
The enchanting green dial that welcomes a charming fir tree motif was influenced by the Onbashira Festival held in Suwa every six years - in close proximity to where the instrument is manufactured; a very apt inspiration for the brand, which is introduced in a very sophisticated and subtle way. The symbolic reference remarks on the focus of the festival where huge fir trees are carried down the mountainside to the shrine to be raised as symbols of the shrine’s renewal. The tradition is 1200 years old and is honoured by Grand Seiko in the Black Ceramic release. To guarantee legibility the diamond cut indices, markings and razor sharp hands contrast beautifully with the forest green dial creating a very pleasing aesthetic. The dial showcases the 72 hour power reserve and the date display situated at 3 o’clock for a busy yet stunning presentation.
To resist scratches the lugs, bezel and most prominent surfaces are manufactured in ceramic providing an extremely durable timepiece whereas the inner case is produced in a high intensity titanium to guarantee comfort and a lightweight feel. In fact, the watch is 25% lighter as a result! The zirconia ceramic boasts stronger and more scratch resistant properties in comparison to any other ceramic and is impressively seven times harder than steel ensuring that the timepiece is extremely durable to daily use. To present a luxurious, beautiful piece the cases are polished by skilled craftsmen who are capable of making the ridges so sharp and the surfaces distortion-free.
The design is available with a black dial with a hint of gold, which is also viewed by peering through the scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective treatment. For contrast the black dial version opts for a brown crocodile leather strap with a threefold clasp and push button release.
Sharing the same core values of precision, practicality and durability we present the second design in the Spring Drive sports series. The sports edition embraces the strength, lightness and scratch resistance of the zirconia ceramic and high-intensity titanium of its peers yet boasts a midnight blue or black dial. The black case is a new addition to the Grand Seiko design that is well received by the features that are embedded in their signature style such as the clear ridges of the facets of the case and the diamond-cut hands and markers.
The Grand Seiko quartette is powered by Grand Seiko’s unique Spring Drive movements. Two carry the Spring Drve GMT 9R96 whereas two host the Spring Drive GMT 9R16. To ensure an acute precision the movements are specifcally adjusted to reach an accuracy of ±10 seconds per month; an impressive standard that is claimed to be “higher than any other existing spring-wound watch in the world.” To mark this achievement the 18K gold Grand Seiko lion is built into the oscillating weight; a symbol that can be witnessed via the transparent case back.
Grand Seiko never fail to deliver through a beautiful collaboration of design, skill and loyalty. Their true commitment to providing precision, legibility, comfort and durability ensure that they exceed high expectations repeatedly through innovative thinking, visionary materials, creative design and exceptionally skilled craftsmanship!