To debut a new hand-wound caliber earlier this year, Grand Seiko introduced four new watches to the Elegance Collection—two of them with Urushi lacquer dials inside their rose gold cases. Discover this pair of limited edition Grand Seiko Elegance Collection timepieces featuring an ancient Japanese decorative technique.
A Pair of Rose Gold Grand Seiko Elegance Collection Watches
The new Grand Seiko Elegance Collection watches sport 39 mm cases, which are a comfortable 11.6mm thick. As with other Grand Seiko timepieces, the cases of these new Elegance Collection watches are polished using the Zaratsu technique—a method derived from Japanese sword making traditions—for a distortion-free mirror-like finish. Among the four new models, the standout duo of the batch is the two limited-edition rose gold versions with a choice of an amber colored Urushi lacquer dial (ref. SBGK002) or a jet black Urushi lacquer dial (ref. SBGK004).
To create these sumptuous looking dials, Grand Seiko employed an ancient Japanese decorative lacquer technique using sap harvested from the Urushi tree. The translucent sap is applied in layers, adding another coat only once the preceding one had dried and hardened. The result is a beautifully lustrous and highly durable surface. For the black colored Urushi dial, iron was thrown into the lacquer mix for added pigmentation.
Along with the dial surface, the hour markers and the “GS” letters were also created using a special Urushi technique called Maki-e, whereby 24k gold or platinum powder is applied to the lacquered surface and hand polished to give it a shimmering appearance. The dials and sapphire crystals of the new Grand Seiko Elegance Collection watches are curved and both the minute hand and the power reserve indicator hand bend to follow the same contour.
To complement each of the dial choices, the amber Urushi dial Elegance Collection watch has a brown crocodile strap while the black Urushi dial version has a black crocodile strap, all fitted with rose gold buckles. Each version is limited to only 150 pieces.
Grand Seiko Caliber 9S63
The new Caliber 9S63 at the heart of the new Elegance Collection models is the first hand-wound movement from Grand Seiko in eight years. Visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback emblazoned with the Grand Seiko blue lion, Caliber 9S63 is dotted with 33 jewels and tempered blued screws. The movement powers the center hour and minute hands, the small seconds hand at 9 o’clock, and a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock. Caliber 9S63 offers an accuracy rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day and maintains a power reserve of 72 hours.