These Novelties from Grand Seiko are Inspired by Nature

by Charmian Leong
Photography by Zulfadli bin Rahman
24 Oct 2023

Among Grand Seiko’s many technology-driven novelties this year is a clutch of timepieces that remind us to slow down and appreciate the beauty in our environment.

Given just how many nature-inspired timepieces Grand Seiko has put out over the years, it may be safe to assume that its facilities enjoy the most idyllic locations in all of watchmaking. For 2023, the brand revisits the serene waters of Lake Suwa, located southeast of the Shinshu Watch Studio, where Grand Seiko’s legendary Spring Drive watches are made.

The lake has long been a muse for Grand Seiko, with models like the SLGA021 and the limited edition SLGA007 captivating enthusiasts with its impeccably textured dark blue dial — meant to capture the shade and appearance of the waters before dawn. But the latest to join the Lake Suwa lineup is the SLGA019, which is lighter both in color and weight.

The dial now evokes the surface of the lake in the early morning hours as a breeze stirs its surface, while the 40mm case is crafted in lightweight titanium instead of stainless steel. Its three-link bracelet is also made of titanium, ensuring utmost comfort.

Beating at its heart is the 9RA2 Spring Drive movement, with an impressive power reserve of 120 hours and an accuracy rating of +/-0.5 seconds per day thanks to the hybrid quartz nature of Spring Drive calibres. A screw-down crown guarantees water resistance up to 100m, ensuring its functionality matches its elegance.

(Related: Grand Seiko - Force of Nature)

Exquisitely textured dials can also be found in the ladies’ Elegance collection. Grand Seiko has recently unveiled three diamond-set stainless steel automatic models for the discerning woman on the go. Measuring a dainty 27.8mm wide and 11.2mm thick, the trio features a linen-like texture on the watch face, but each differs slightly in personality. 

The STGK023 is the most relaxed of the lot, with its smooth bezel creating a refined contrast against the dial’s pale blue color. Known as “mizu hanada”, the color refers to a shade of indigo lightened by the dilution of water, evoking a sense of calm and tranquility. Eleven diamonds mark the hours, with the 3 o’clock index replaced by a date window.

The STGK021 features a pearl-white dial and a bezel adorned with 45 diamonds, and it is also the only one of the three to use faceted baton markers for the hours as well as a gold-colored central seconds hand, adding a touch of sophistication.

(Related: Grand Seiko's first mechanical chronograph is a perfect 10)

Finally, the STGK019 brings maximum radiance, with both a diamond-set bezel and diamond hour markers, while its face gracefully recalls the delicate beauty of cherry blossoms.

The collection is driven by the self-winding Calibre 9S27. With a 50-hour power reserve and a mean daily rate of +8/-3 seconds, this small movement delivers exceptional precision.

With these novelties, Grand Seiko once again demonstrates how harmoniously the beauty of nature can be melded with cutting-edge horology.

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