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Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

Grand Seiko has just announced the 9SA5, the long awaited new Hi-Beat movement that will debut later this year with the SLGH002, a new 60th Anniversary Limited Edition watch. The watch is classic Grand Seiko with a yellow gold 44GS-inspired case that has some new updates and refinements that are afforded by the slimmer new caliber. The SLGH002 will be limited to 100 pieces, but we can expect to see more watches outfitted with this new caliber as time goes on.

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

First, let’s start with the 9SA5 Hi-Beat movement. As its name suggests, it operates at 36,000 vph, but Grand Seiko has increased the power reserve to 80 hours (the existing 9S85 has a 55-hour power reserve). Accuracy remains 5 to –3 seconds per day. Grand Seiko explains that the new movement is the result of three major changes to their Hi-Beat caliber, with several patented components.

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

The first is an all-new Dual-Impulse Escapement, which increases efficiency and transmits power to the balance wheel in one direction as well as via pallet fork in the other direction. Grand Seiko also notes that the escapement wheel and pallet fork are made using MEMS (Micro-electromechanical systems) technology.

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

The second change is the new Grand Seiko Free-Sprung Balance, which both improves precision and increases shock- and friction-resistance. Replacing the existing Hi-Beat movement’s flat hairspring with an overcoil, isochronism is highly improved. According to Grand Seiko, the shape of the new overcoil’s curve shape was determined after running 80,000 simulations to optimize each possible position.

Finally, there is a new Gear Train that is horizontally laid out, which results in a 15% slimmer movement. As such, the new 9SA5 measures 5.18mm-thick.

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

Grand Seiko has also taken some impressive steps in enhancing the aesthetics and finishing of the new Hi-Beat movement. The more ornate bridges are said to be inspired by the shapes of Mt. Iwate and a bend in the Shizukuishi river near their studio. Clearly, the more ornate finishing and addition of blued screws is in line with Grand Seiko’s drastic upmarket move since 2009, which is when the 9S8 series debuted.

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

Moving on to the Grand Seiko SLGH002, a classically designed, solid 18k yellow gold dress watch. Grand Seiko does note that there are subtle changes here from the existing 44GS style cases, which I believe are due to the thinner movement. Measuring 40mm-wide and 11.7mm-thick, the watch’s lugs are done a bit wider to enhance wearing comfort on the wrist. Of course, I personally can’t speak to that until I actually try the watch on. It is also somewhat impressively water resistant to 100M, which isn’t always the case for a dress watch like this.

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

Looking at the dial, Grand Seiko has made both the hands and hour markers larger for the sake of legibility but also in a throwback to the first Grand Seiko back in 1960. All the indices, the logo, and date window frame are done in 18k yellow gold. Grand Seiko has AR coating on the box crystal, and I hope it is amply coated ideally on both sides. The reflection from these highly polished gold hands and indices can be quite something, and healthy AR coating goes a long way toward legibility during bright conditions.

Grand Seiko Debuts Updated 9SA5 Hi-Beat Movement In SLGH002 60th Anniversary Watch Watch Releases

The Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary Limited Edition SLGH002 with the new 9SA5 Hi-Beat movement is limited to 100 pieces with a price of $43,000 and should be available around August of this year. You can learn more at grand-seiko.com.

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  • Joe

    For me, GS is all (ok mostly) about Spring Drive and their cases.
    Having said that, this is the prettiest automatic movement from Grand Seiko so far…very nice 😛

    • Lord Ravenor

      Agreed. Spring Drive has the highest “cool factor” of Seiko’s portfolio of movements.

      • Jiri Hanak

        SD is Okay, but this movement is porn.

        • Joe

          This is where fans of Spring Drive will want this level of finishing some day too 😛

          I still hope to see a Spring Drive with a gold, lion-embossed micro-rotor…some day.

          Having to choose between innovation vs aesthetics is very hard but I’m on the side of innovation.
          If one of these came out in a steel/Ti, 44GS case, I’d be very tempted though!

  • ProJ

    My pet peeve with GS has almost always been with case thickness. So a sub-12mm case isn’t bad at all. Well done. The price of this particular gold piece is of course stratospheric. Hopefully the movement will trickle down to more affordable models in the future.

  • Ugo

    gorgeous.
    i’d avoided the haiku at 6, but gorgeous nonetheless…

  • SuperStrapper

    For Seiko, that is a very euro looking movement.

  • Mikita

    The new movement looks simply stunning. Excellent architecture + relatively thin + crazy frequency/PR/accuracy ratio. Would love to own such piece.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    $43,000 for a Seiko……

    • aWtchslvr

      Cheap??

      • Raymond Wilkie

        The world has gone mad……..mad i tell you !

        • aWtchslvr

          Yes. It’s hard to justify 43K for any watch without grand complications or high jewelry.
          Even a Seiko, lol.

          • ray h.

            Even a Seiko, they are a $100 a watch company,you will always have to find a watch “nut”to get your money back on a GS.

          • Adam

            And that matters why? Lots of brands (both quasi luxury and luxury) also have this issue. Lots of examples of Seikos that also appreciate in short and long term too

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Its hard to understand why a company like Seiko would alienate the very people that put them where they are in the Market, I could go on……

          • Independent_George

            I believe that Grand Seiko is, along with Rolex and Patek, showing any significant growth in the US market. So I have no idea who they are alienating.

            As for concentrating on the sub $500 market. That market, especially those under 40, are moving fast to smartwatches. The advent of cheap, chinese-manufactured microbrands are fighting for the spoils. Citizen seems to have invested somewhat in that market, but Citizen is a higher-margin quartz company. Seiko does do quartz, but is much more of a lower margin mechanical watch company. So the idea Seiko, which is a business that needs to show growth over the long haul, should not alienate their “core” audience of aging, cheap-ass middle-aged men is mind-boggling to me. Watch companies operate business under the very unsentimental laws of capitalism. Adapt or die.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Hi George. I can’t let your comment on my comment go uncommonted. If i told anyone how much i had paid for my new Seiko they would have thought i was totally mental ” But look it says Grand on it ” ……I would just get a blank stare. I have to say up till this point I never felt like an aging cheap-assed middle aged man so thanks for that. Yes, they have upped their game a bit but thinking you can walk in the step of giants, well thats just nonsense.

          • Independent_George

            Who cares what other people think. I tell people how much I paid for my Omegas, and they think I am totally mental.
            And why can’t Seiko “walk in step with giants?” Their contributions to horology are as significant, if not more so, then many of their competitors. Is it because they are Japanese? That’s the rub, ain’t it. You have commented many times that Seiko should “know their place.” Storm Thurmond would agree with you.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            And i continue to hold that opinion. I have no “rub ” with anyone at all.

          • NaJo

            Exactly… People still comparing seiko with GS are just pointless!

          • NaJo

            Those sub 500 and 1000 r still available in market. I got a $300 padi prospex mini turtle whixh is excellent and a $6000 GS sbga375 which is out of the world quality timepiece…. both are world apart and so is this $43k for sure. I think seiko is going at the spees of hakaido bullet train and gonna crush swiss brands playing waitlist games….

  • aWtchslvr

    Case, hands, markers, everything oozes power. A President´s watch.
    Eager to see that caliber in something more affordable.

  • It’s gorgeous but did they have to nip the tip on the hour hand?

    • AlbieC

      Maybe a more acute angle, then end with an actual point?

      • There’s many ways they could have gone…but given that sword hands are a GS trademark it feels weird not having them on what is probably their nicest dress watch.

    • NaJo

      Maybe due to the date window frame !

  • Flávio Maia

    $43000????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  • AlbieC

    Movement is pretty! Like/love the full balance bridge!

    Slight lack of symmetry, with outer edge of date window not quite as far out as it should be, so GS tries to compensate with that little black stripe on the outside… not sure that part works. No stripe but imbalanced or stripe out of nowhere… maybe should have made dial a smidge smaller and hour markers a smidge shorter, then you could make a nice smooth cirlcle with the hour markers and the date window.

    Other than that… wow… In steel, on a bracelet, if this were out 2 years ago when I was looking for my one fancy watch, Omega would have had some serious competition for my money…

  • Steve_Macklevore

    That’s a beautiful watch, as it should be for that price. My only criticism would be the thickness of the case – why go to all the trouble of making a superb 5.18mm thick automatic movement and then putting it a case that’s 11.7 mm thick? It’s a dress watch, one that should tuck under a shirt cuff with no problem – 11.7mm is getting a bit thick for that.

  • Pete Yo

    The hour hand is weird. I cant un-see the black line by the date window and it’s way too overpriced. Movement looks beautiful. Also, it reminds me of about thirty other Seiko watches in their portfolio. Thank GOD there is only 100 of these out there!

  • ray h.

    When I see GS GS GS – I think of baba booey-baba booey-baba booey !
    Lets find some good looking well made watches that are not boring and over priced . Do your best.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    This is grail!

  • SuperStrapper

    The more i look at this the more it looks like a retirement watch.

    • Timestandsstill

      Kind of ? HaHa ?

    • If I could by this I could definitely retire.

    • Gokart Mozart

      They are trying to muscle in on the Yellow gold Day Date market.

  • Gokart Mozart

    43K?

    How much is due to improvements in the movement, and how much is due to GS insane precius metal markup premium.

    I think they take a RM approach amd use fhe tried and tested stick a finger in the air and see which way the wind/weed is blowing.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Sometimes opinions should be build on a foundation of facts and know-how. You s hould train your quantitative thinking or begin with.

  • Richard Webley

    Wow! That movement is really interesting. I would love to see an animation of the escapment in action.
    Though in true Seiko style I can’t find any more information about it.
    36000vph and 80hrs reserve is an impressive combination.
    The technical advances are impressive and I would love to have a look in the metal.

    I completely agree about the price. At 43k it’s for uber wealthy collectors only who want to have the first watch with the new movement. I am waiting for GS to put it in a steel case with the price below $10k.

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