March 26, 2023
by Ed Rhee
Long famous for its nature-inspired watch designs, Grand Seiko is unveiling a unique take on the motif with the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Spring Drive Limited-Edition SBGZ009. New for Watches and Wonders 2023, the SBGZ009 features a fully hand-engraved platinum case meant to evoke the snowy, sylvan textures of a white birch forest in the depths of winter.
Brand: Grand Seiko
Model: Masterpiece Collection Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGZ009
Dimensions: 38.5 mm wide, 9.8 mm thick
Water Resistance: 30 meters / 3 bar
Case Material: Hand-engraved 950 platinum
Strap/Bracelet: Crocodile strap with three-fold platinum & 18k gold clasp and push button release
Crystal/Lens: Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
Movement: Manually wound Caliber 9R02
Power Reserve: 84 hours
Operating Frequency: 5Hz
Price & Availability: $79,000 USD, limited to 50 pieces, available from June 2023
Grand Seiko enthusiasts will already be familiar with the Shinshu white birch aesthetic as found on a handful of the brand’s references, but this is the first time that the pattern has been executed on the case itself. Indeed, this is only the third-ever fully engraved case to come out of Grand Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio — the other two references being the SBGZ001 and SBGZ007 — all of them crafted from 950 platinum.
The white birch-inspired design of the SBGZ009 permeates the entirety of the watch. The case is first Zaratsu-polished to a mirror finish before being given its meticulously hand-engraved grooves. These striations flow organically into the similarly-patterned silver-toned dial which presents a slightly metallic texture, complemented by 14k white-gold hand-applied, diamond-cut hour markers. A matching 14k white-gold handset surrounds the dial, while the minute track and lettering are all carved into the dial itself.
Inside the SBGZ009 is the manual-wound Spring Drive Caliber 9R02, first introduced in 2019. The 9R02 offers an impressive 84 hours of power reserve thanks to its Dual Spring Barrel construction, which utilizes two mainsprings set in parallel within a single barrel, as well as a Torque Return System that takes the unutilized torque of a fully-sound mainspring and uses that energy to rewind the mainspring, thus increasing the power reserve. The movement itself is handsomely decorated and visible through an exhibition caseback, with the high-polished edges of the two hand-finished bridges offering an elegant contrast to the hairline finishing found across the main of the other surfaces. On the barrel is a bellflower motif in honor of the city of Shiojiri, home to the very studio where this watch was created. Another nod to Grand Seiko’s master craftsmen and women can be found on the lower bridge, which is adorned with an 18k gold plaque with the words “Micro Artist,” though the plaque can also be customized according to the owner’s liking. As to be expected with a Spring Drive movement, the Caliber 9R02 offers superb accuracy at +/- 1 second per day, and +/- 15 seconds per month. The SBGZ009 is water resistant 30 meters and is offered on a crocodile strap with a platinum and 18k gold three-fold clasp and push button release.
The Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGZ009 will be available as a limited edition of 50 pieces and can be purchased at Grand Seiko Boutiques beginning June 2023. Pricing is $79,000 USD. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.