For Japanese luxury watchmakers Grand Seiko, 1967 was a seminal year. It was the year that it released the 44GS – the watch that first showcased the nine design principles that we’d come to know as the Grand Seiko Style. Understandably, the brand has used 2022 – the original watch’s 55th anniversary – to hit fans with a series of carefully selected tribute models. We’ve already seen the distinctive White Birch – a watch inspired by the trees of the Hiraniwa Plateau – and the sublime SBGY009, a piece created to invoke the night sky over the Shinshu mountains. For those Grand Seiko groupies who can’t get enough of the 44GS revival, there’s a new watch about to drop and this could be the best one yet.
Continuing the theme of the 44GS styling but with a nod to the local landscape, the new SLGH013G model takes its inspiration from Mount Iwate. This peak overshadows Grand Seiko’s Studio Shizukuishi, the building where all its watches are made. Again, the SLGH013G is aimed at existing Grand Seiko fans but doesn’t disappoint in its attempt to offer a refreshing take on a collector’s favourite.
This new iteration demonstrates why Grand Seiko sits comfortably alongside Swiss luxury watch brands. Take the case for example. Outside of a few limited edition models, we’ve not seen a Grand Seiko watch with a full Ever-Brilliant Steel construction – both case and bracelet. If you’re new to this metal, all you need to know is that it’s very resistant to corrosion, even more so than Rolex’s famed Oystersteel.
Although a little slimmer, this watch is faithful to the 1960s design and features Grand Seiko’s ever-popular mirror-like Zaratsu polishing and as you’d expect, the dial is a treat. Mimicking the look of melting snow on Mount Iwate, the exquisite pale blue dial is beautifully textured and sparkles in the light. The simple indexes give the watch a smart casual feel and forgo the lume you’d expect. Why? Because of that Zaratsu polishing. These markers are so highly polished that they should reflect enough light to stand out in the dark.
The SLGH013G is powered by the attractive 9SA5 automatic movement, a hi-beat calibre first introduced in 2020. It has outstanding precision, boasts an excellent 80 hours power reserve and is visible through the exhibition back.
This new model is another splendid addition to Grand Seiko’s Heritage Collection and we’re happy to note that it’s going to be a permanent inclusion. It’s a must for fans that can’t get enough of the brand’s original groundbreaking 44S model and is due for an October release.
Grand Seiko SLGH013
Case: Ever-Brilliant Steel
Movement: Grand Seiko Automatic Calibre 9SA5
Bracelet: Ever-Brilliant Steel
Water Resistance: 100M
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