Grand Seiko has a cult following among high-end watch collectors, not least because of its expertise in both the mechanical and electronic watchmaking realms.
That’s where the brand’s ground-breaking Spring Drive technology comes in. Think of it as the watch industry’s version of a hybrid car: In addition to a mechanically-driven power train to generate energy, the movement features a quartz-powered regulator in place of an escapement or balance wheel to guarantee precision.
Since its introduction into the Grand Seiko line in 2004, the technology has appeared in dozens of timepieces—including two buzz-worthy 2019 introductions:
The first is the Spring Drive GMT Caliber 9R66 (SBGE248). Part of the brand’s sport collection, it features 18-karat yellow gold in the rotating bezel, a first for Grand Seiko. Available worldwide in September, the model retails for around £9,250.
The second piece marks another, arguably more significant first: a new limited-edition timepiece made for the first time in partnership with a retailer, Plano, Texas-based Timeless Luxury Watches.
The commemorative timepiece, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGE249, owes its design aesthetic—a blue GMT hand stands in sharp contrast to the frosted silvery-white dial—to the blizzards of Shirojiri, Japan, home to the Grand Seiko manufacture, known as the Shinshu Studio.
“We are so honored to have co-designed this watch with Grand Seiko,” says Timeless Luxury Watches founder Dan Broadfoot. “We have been working on this project for over a year and are ecstatic about the final product.”
“It is a beautiful combination of storytelling in both performance and design,” adds Grand Seiko Corporation of America president Brice Le Troadec. “The dial is inspired by the winter weather of our Shinshu Studio with the high precision of our Spring Drive technology.”
Assembled and adjusted by hand, the Timeless Limited Edition will be available starting next month in a limited edition of 250 pieces, each retailing for around £4,750.