Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGH311 | Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Unveils Two Tributes to its Ground-Breaking Mechanical Movement

If you’ve been following Grand Seiko’s recent releases, you’ll have no doubt been swept along in the clamour to get your hands on a stunning anniversary piece. Last year saw the Japanese luxury watchmaker drop a selection of new models that celebrated the best of its own back catalogue. Standout models included those that marked 55 years since the release of the seminal 44GS, the watch that introduced the nine design principles that would become known as the Grand Seiko Style. A new year brings a new anniversary for Grand Seiko, this time 25 years since it created the Calibre 9S automatic movement. If you liked last year’s tribute models then you’ll love the latest additions to the heritage collection. The new releases, models SBGH311 and SBGR325, pay homage to the iconic movement that is now the foundation of all Grand Seiko mechanical watches.

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Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGR325 | Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGR325 | Image: Grand Seiko

Fans of Grand Seiko’s tribute models will be familiar with the natural themes that run through the line. It’s understandable too. Grand Seiko’s Shizukuishi Studio – where its watches are designed and manufactured – sits in the shadow of Mount Iwate and its breathtaking panorama. The two new watches again take inspiration from the stunning landscape with the watches featuring slim and elegant cases and eye-catching dials. Both models are faithful to the first watch to house the 9S movement, mimicking its modest sizing and maintaining the authenticity of the 1998 release.

Model SBGH311 takes the 37mm wide case and uses it to present a wonderful silver textured dial inspired by the clouds around Mount Iwate. Not just any clouds, but the sea of clouds that are only visible at daybreak. As ever, Grand Seiko excels when it comes to textured dials and the SBGH311 is no exception. The small touches add to the beauty, with the blue second hand and gold logo enhancing what is already an impressive dial.

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGH311 | Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGH311 | Image: Grand Seiko

The movement is of course the whole reason for this tribute model and it doesn’t disappoint. The SBGH311, the higher priced of the two watches, houses the 9S85 automatic movement, an attractive hi-beat calibre that is visible through the exhibition back.

The companion model features the same case, again a recreation of the original 9S model. This time the dial is a delightful pale blue with a sunray effect. Reflecting light from different angles, this model takes its design cues from the clear blue skies around Grand Seiko’s studio and is powered by a 9S85 movement. Both watches have sapphire crystals, stainless steel bracelets and are limited to 1200 pieces each.

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGH311 | Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGH311 | Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGH311

Diameter: 37mm
Height: 13.2mm
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Seiko Automatic Calibre 9S85
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Price: AUD $9,850
Limited to 1200 Pieces

Check it out

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGR325 | Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGR325 | Image: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko Calibre 9S SBGR325

Diameter: 37mm
Height: 13.3mm
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement: Seiko Automatic Calibre 6S61
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Price: AUD $7,950
Limited to 1200 Pieces

Check it out

CONTRIBUTOR

Lee Smith

Lee Smith lives in Tynemouth, England. Having graduated with a BA(Hons) from Sheffield University (1996) he spent several years at a FTSE 100 software company. He left to pursue his love of literature and opened a bookstore. As well as exhibiting books at events around the UK, he also became manager of the annual Alnwick Bookfair. In 2016 Lee switched to his other passion - watches. He began retailing niche brands and launched his own microbrand. He then used his extensive knowledge of watches to write a popular blog. Since 2020 he's written about watches full time.