Grand Seiko introduces the new Spring Drive chronograph which perfectly embodies Hattori’s vision
By AZALEA AZUAR
SEIKO founder Kintaro Hattori’s motto for his company is “always one step ahead of the rest” — a principle that might have guided the watchmaker to be one of the leading Japanese brands today.
However, nothing can better express his vision than Grand Seiko as presented through its unique design, leading-edge manufacturing and exquisite finishing.
Grand Seiko introduced the new Spring Drive chronograph, which perfectly embodies Hattori’s vision, in honour of Seiko’s 140th anniversary.
High Precision Chronograph
The Spring Drive is powered by the Caliber 9R86 with a new design and new combination of materials.
The Caliber 9R86 has more than 400 parts, and they are all made and hand-assembled by skilled craftsmen and women in the Shin- shu Watch Studio located in central Japan.
The bezel catches one eye immediately with its dodecahedron shape, its zirconia ceramic outer layer and 18k gold base.
The case uses contrast to deliver a visually arresting impression and its top surfaces have been given a hairline finish.
The sides showcase the distortion-free perfection that only zaratsu polishing can deliver, while the dial is both rich and legible.
Standing out against the pure black dial are the gold colour hands and hour markers.
The markers are aligned exactly to each apex of the twelve-edged bezel, both time of the day, while the elapsed time can be read precisely and at a glance.
Not only are the 18k yellow gold buttons operating the chronograph prominent, they are also streamlined to look good on both sporty and professional occasions to ensure secure operation.
The Grand Seiko initials in 18k gold grace the clasp of the bracelet, which is affixed to the watch, while an additional crocodile strap with gold colour stitches is also included in its presentation case.
Measuring elapsed time up to twelve hours with an accuracy rate of +/- one second a day, the Spring Drive chronograph might be the most precise in the world.
The precision remains at the highest level even with low power reserve due to the regulation system.
The watch measures time not to the nearest fraction of a second but exactly — thanks to the fact that the glide motion hands stop at the very instant that the button is pressed and not just at the nearest “tick”.
The precision of its operation is ensured by column wheel and vertical clutch systems which were first used together by Seiko back in 1969.
There are only 500 Spring Drive watches available at Seiko boutiques and selected Grand Seiko retailers beginning July 2021.
Embracing the Four Seasons
Apart from the Spring Drive, Grand Seiko will be releasing a collection of watches inspired by the Japanese four seasons, where it is experienced in six phases and each having its own distinct characters.
These changes bring the nature of time closer to us and each of these GMT watches celebrates one of the year’s 24 seasonal phases or sekki.
The selected sekki are Shunbun (Spring) and Shousho (Summer), which would feature the Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Caliber 9S86, while the Kanro (Autumn) and Touji’s (Winter) are powered by the Spring Drive GMT Caliber 9R66.
The Shunbun version shows its spring elements in its green dial and rose gold accents, which perfectly captures its promise.
The Shousho version consists of a wave pattern dial that will bring summer to life.
The Kanro’s second-hand glide motion moves silently, depicting the moon across the night sky, as well as capturing autumn at its height.
The dial in Touji’s version has the texture and colour of a winter landscape as the sun sinks lower into the sky.
The softly-contoured case captures Grand Seiko’s classic yet distinctive edges that are sharp and angular.
The sides are polished with zaratsu to a distortion-free finish.
The mechanical and Spring Drive movements can be seen through the sapphire case backs.
The Shunbun and Shousho watches will be available from May, while the Kanro and Touji’s creations in September onwards at Seiko boutiques and authorised retail stores in Malaysia and Brunei.
For product details, please contact Seiko’s sole distributor, Thong Sia Sdn Bhd at 03-2141 5163 or visit www.thongsia.com.my.