In 1960, at Seiko’s Suwa facility in Central Japan, the product development team designed and manufactured a watch with the goal of being as precise, durable, and ergonomic as possible. As the story goes, the result, was a wristwatch with a round-shaped 14K gold-filled case with a slim movement that achieved such high precision the company decided to call it “Grand Seiko.”
On the 60th anniversary of that occasion — Grand Seiko has made a permanent place in its collection for these three modern recreations of the original Grand Seiko. Offered in platinum, yellow gold, and titanium the Grand Seiko 1960 recreation cases measure 38 mm x 10.9 mm (up from the original 35 mm diameter) which are slim on the wrist and perfect for wearing with a suit or long sleeve shirt, and can be worn fashionably by women or men. Each case features a mixture of brushed and polished surfaces, the latter utilizing the company’s famous Zaratsu polishing technique which results in an incredible mirror finish.
The dials feature prominent double baton-shaped hand-applied indices that have multiple facets (they’re 18K gold on the gold and platinum versions – as denoted by the star emblem at 6 o’clock). The dial of the platinum model is also made of 18K gold. Grand Seiko’s signature Dauphine-shaped faceted blade-style hands indicate the hours and minutes with a long baton-shaped center hand that sweeps the dial every 60-seconds. Apart from that, the dial has only a printed minute/second chapter ring, the words “Diashock 24 Jewels” printed in cursive at 6 o’clock, and the Grand Seiko’s logo carved/engraved at 12 o’clock on the platinum model, embossed on the yellow gold version, and stamped on the titanium watch — there’s no date function, keeping the already minimalist dial clean and easy to read.
As with the original, this faithful recreation has a subtly sloped case, dial, and hands. A dual-curved sapphire crystal protects the dial while six screws secure on the exhibition caseback which offers a view of the intricately finished hand-wound movement.
The movement is contemporary in-house caliber 9S64 which beats at 4Hz, has 24 jewels, and a 72-hour power reserve. Each movement has been adjusted and tested to an accuracy rate of -3/+5 seconds per day (which is even higher than a chronometer -4/+6). The outer edges of the movement are machine beveled, the bridges feature an angled striped finishing, the mainplate has a perlage decoration, all screw heads have been mirror polished, and the ratchet wheel features an eye-catching sunburst finish.
In 2017, Grand Seiko made a limited-edition collection that has the same dimensions and specifications as these 2020 editions. However, as mentioned above, the 2020 collection will become a permanent part of the line-up, whereas the previous collection was strictly made in limited edition.
The titanium model (Ref. SBGW259) comes with a blue dial and retails for $8,000. The 18K yellow gold version (Ref. SBGW258) comes with a cream dial and retails for $26,000. The platinum model (SBGW257) retails for $38,000 and comes with a silver dial.
All three watches come with a push-button release folding clasp in the same metal as the case on a crocodile strap and will be available at Grand Seiko boutiques beginning in June 2020.