For the 20th anniversary of the Grand Seiko’s spring drive, high artistry meets high horology. Arguably Japan’s most recognised fine watchmaking brand presents the Caliber 9R02 for Baselworld 2019, a major improvement to the Grand Seiko with the 8-Day Power Reserve Spring Drive first introduced Baselworld 2016.
Celebrating 20 years of the Grand Seiko counts back to the 1999 edition of Baselworld when Spring Drive technology provided a new dimension to mechanical watchmaking which had remained relatively unchanged for the last century. Fundamentally, a Spring Drive uses a mainspring, barrel, automatic winder and stem winding much like a mechanical watch to store watch energy. It subsequently releases that energy into the gear train to the escapement much like a mechanical watch but instead of providing impulse to a traditional balance assortment, it drives a tri-synchro regulator. Hence, unlike a traditional timepiece, a Grand Seiko Spring Drive is completely silent.
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGZ003 is a less ornate but no less sophisticated iteration of the Elegance Thin dress series. Retail Price €58,500
The newly developed hand-wound Caliber 9R02 achieves an 84 hour power reserve thanks to two mainsprings set in parallel within a single barrel but its not all achieved from the strength of the proprietary SPRON mainspring alloy alone, some of the credit goes to a new innovation – the unique Torque Return System.
In a traditional mechanical timepiece, the mainspring has been fully wound and the torque output is at its highest, approximately 30% of the available power is not needed to maintain the precision of the watch, and is in effect wasted in a normal movement. The Torque Return System uses this energy to rewind the mainspring, resulting in an increase in the power reserve. In Caliber 9R02, this system is activated for 48 hours after the mainspring has been fully wound.
It’s no slouch when it comes to precision and isochronism either, the new Baselworld 2019 Grand Seiko Spring Drive with Caliber 9R02 proudly carries the precision rate of +1 second per day
The cases of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGZ001 and SBGZ003 are made of 950 platinum and shaped accordingly to the new design launched on the Elegance Collection with a smaller 38.5mm diameter and a profile of 9.8mm. This limited edition timepiece features a case and dial entirely hand-engraved with a Snowflake pattern, inspired by the landscape that surrounds Micro Artist Studio in Shiojiri.
The Spring Drive thin dress series is a part of a much larger ‘Grand Seiko Elegance Collection‘. Available from July 2019, prices will start at $76,000 for the model in platinum (SBGZ001) and only 30 pieces will be made and sold exclusively at Grand Seiko boutiques.
New Spring Drive thin dress series Price and Specs
Movement Manual winding Spring Drive Caliber 9R02 with 84 hours power reserve
Case 38.5mm Platinum 950 case, 18k yellow gold or stainless steel with 30 metres water resistance
Price From €8,200