Rarely do we see a luxury watch that celebrates both a time and a sense of place, but that’s exactly what Grand Seiko’s elegant 44GS limited edition does. It references the birth of Grand Seiko’s house style and also pays homage to the natural world that surrounds the brand’s studio – a successful marriage of Japanese watchmaking innovation and tasteful aesthetics inspired by the nearby Shinshu mountains. Specifically, the watch was designed to bring you closer to the “serene and eternal nature of the night sky”. If you like your watches to have a backstory and exquisite engineering, then you need to take a closer look at the Grand Seiko 44GS 55th Anniversary model.
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The 44GS (first released in 1967) is a legend among Grand Seiko watches, being the timepiece that first introduced the elements that would become the brand’s DNA. The original model famously debuted the distinctive angular case that became a major part of the Grand Seiko Style. This 55th Anniversary watch captures the sleekness of the original while adding cutting-edge watchmaking technology.
At heart, this is a classically styled dress watch that is aimed at existing Grand Seiko fans. It’s slim – with a low centre of gravity – and fits seamlessly into the Grand Seiko line, but those with an eye for history and an appreciation of Japanese culture will love the updating of the ’60s design. The case is faithful to the original and features Grand Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing, famed for being highly reflective. This contrasts with a deep blue sunray dial, designed to mimic Japan’s sky, and with a surface that catches the light like the gentle sparkle of the moon. The logo and hands are gold-coloured and, in a brilliant touch, the hands are curved by Grand Seiko’s watchmakers to hug the dial.
Fans of the acclaimed brand will note that Seiko is one of the only watchmakers with the ability to produce both electronic and mechanical movements, however, the Sporing Drive is the producer’s crowning achievement. The calibre used here boasts an accuracy of one second a day, achieved by using an electrical regulator in a hand-winding movement, giving the watch an impressive 72hr power reserve. In a quirky feature, the power reserve indicator is on the rear of the movement, visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition back. The 44GS 55th Anniversary watch is an exceptional piece that contrasts colours and eras. It captures the grandeur of the night sky over the Shinshu mountains and at the same time recreates the brand’s most iconic design.
Limited to just 1,5000 pieces worldwide, the new Grand Seiko 44GS 55th Anniversary Model is priced at AUD$12,100 and will be available in August at Grand Seiko boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide.
Grand Seiko 44GS 55th Anniversary SBGY009
Strap: Crocodile Leather
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Spring Drive Calibre 9R31 (Hand-winding)
Glass: Boxed Sapphire Crystal
Water Resistance: 100M