Grand Seiko celebrated the 25th anniversary of Caliber 9S
The first Grand Seiko Caliber 9S debuted in 1998 and was, according to the watchmaker, „designed entirely from scratch”, marking a new beginning of a new age for the brand’s mechanical watchmaking. It was the moment when the Grand Seiko Standard was re-defined, raising the bar for the brand’s watchmakers and setting a higher level of performance. Years passed and, over time, the original Caliber 9S has been developed into a full series of movements with different functions. Thus, Caliber 9S became the platform on which Grand Seiko mechanical movements are built, which led to the creation of the revolutionary Caliber 9SA5 in 2020.
For the 25th anniversary of the first Caliber 9S, two very special Grand Seiko creations were unveiled, featuring the same case design and diameter as the first watch that housed the 9S movement in 1998. Created by Nobuhiro Kosugi – Grand Seiko lead designer and his team, the 1998 timepiece echoed outwardly the uniqueness, the precision, and the beauty of the new automatic movement inside. Kosugi’s watch was suited to everyday wear even as its case and dial played with light. Twenty-five years on, this emblematic case design continues to inspire Grand Seiko, much as the 9S movement inside it.
Inspired by Mt. Iwate’s sea of clouds, one of the watches is graced by a silver dial whose texture and color evoke the clouds that cover Mt. Iwate in Iwate Prefecture, where Grand Seiko mechanical watches are manufactured. This scene is only visible at daybreak, when the air is so still and humid that dense clouds overlap to create a beautiful silvery-white sea.
The clear sapphire crystal case back allows the Grand Seiko emblem to be visible easily, set into the titanium oscillating weight whose color was created especially for this watch to suggest the deep-blue sky above the clouds. This color is made possible by an anodic oxidation process (a surface treatment in which metals are subjected to electrolysis so as to generate artificially an oxide film. Titanium oxide film produces color according to the light refraction index, enabling production of different colors by varying the thickness of the oxide film).
Equipped with the Hi-Beat 36000 automatic mechanical Caliber 9S85, which is hand assembled by the skilled craftsmen and women of the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, the new watch has an accuracy rate of +5 ~ -3 seconds per day and delivers a power reserve of 55 hours. Limited to only 1,200 pieces, this watch will initially be exclusive only in Grand Seiko Boutique Online starting in January 2023, and then made available – toghether with the same limited number of the second anniversary watch – at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide in February 2023.
The second timepiece features a blue dial, and its striking sunray finish reflects light from every angle, creating a stunning azure backdrop for the diamond-cut hour and minute hands and indexes. Just like the watch with the silver-colored dial, the seconds hand is tempered in blue and the dial features the Grand Seiko logo in a gold color commemorating the 9S movement. The signature Grand Seiko blue color is realized on the oscillating weight by the same anodic oxidation process and and visible under the sapphire crystal case back. The watch is powered by Caliber 9S65, which has a mean daily rate of +5 ~ -3 seconds per day and a 3-day power reserve.