The spotlight of 2021 for Grand Seiko has been, indisputably, the White Birch Hello-Beat SLGH005, a watch that got here in the marketplace with a shocking silvery-white textured dial, a comparatively new case design (sharper and slimmer) and a formidable motion with a number of mechanical improvements, together with the Twin Impulse escapement. For a few years now, Grand Seiko is unquestionably scorching and its watches have gotten extremely sought-after. Now that the yr 2021 has ended, it appears that evidently one other watch is slowly taking the White Birch’s place on the throne, a watch that isn’t new because it got here in the marketplace in June 2019… However for the US solely. We’re speaking in regards to the Grand Seiko “Shunbun” SBGA413 and its stunning pink dial. And since it would quickly be obtainable worldwide, alongside 3 different Season editions, it would nicely be on its technique to turning into the brand new hottest GS in the marketplace.
The development for colored dials…
For lengthy, luxurious watches have largely been obtainable in conventional colors. Alongside classics which can be white/silver and black, we’ve seen blue because the development for the 2010s, adopted by salmon and not too long ago inexperienced dials. Nonetheless, the color spectrum is massive and there are a number of paths to discover. With the liberation of mentalities and the rising impact of the unisex watch, shiny colors are much less and fewer reserved to what was once as soon as named the ladies’s watch. Mild blue, turquoise, pink, yellow, orange are all rising quick in collections, and even for probably the most conventional manufacturers.
Though it has been launched in mid-2019, on the time as a US-exclusive mannequin, the Grand Seiko Shunbun SBGA413 made a comparatively discreet entrance. Perhaps it got here too early to actually make an influence. Again in 2019, and though it’s not that way back, the development for flippantly colored wasn’t but what it’s right this moment. In my view, the set off got here in 2020, when Rolex launched its Stella-inspired Oyster Perpetual assortment, the 41mm ref. 124300 and the 36mm ref. 126000. This assortment, past traditional dials in silver, black or blue, additionally included colors comparable to racing inexperienced, yellow, shiny pink and largely, gentle blue and lightweight sweet pink. Then got here Oris with the Cotton Sweet assortment. And naturally, a couple of weeks in the past, Patek Philippe and Tiffany teamed as much as create the Tiffany-blue Nautilus 5711, the most well liked watch in the marketplace now. With this in thoughts, it appears that evidently the development for the start of 2022 is actually on these funky, gentle colored dials.
Surprisingly, the Shunbun SBGA413, when it has been launched in 2019, one way or the other flew beneath the radar. Again then, many had been nonetheless speaking about the Snowflake Spring Drive SBGA211, and with the arrival of the White Birch, all minds have centered on this spectacular watch and its silvery-white texture dial. However then got here the rising development for colored dial and the announcement of the 4 Seasons assortment being launched worldwide, giving this vary of 4 watches and particularly the Shunbun SBGA413 a lift of visibility. One factor main to a different, the watch appears to have gained spectacular traction previously weeks, making it to us the brand new go-to Grand Seiko in the marketplace now…
The Grand Seiko Heritage 4 Seasons “Shunbun” Spring Drive SBGA413
The Grand Seiko Shunbun or SBGA413 was, as stated earlier, offered in June 2019 as part of a quartet of watches obtainable completely for the American market – one thing that Grand Seiko does very often, with Europe-only editions or US-exclusive fashions. Right here, the 4 watches in query had been a celebration of the seasons, with a watch devoted and impressed by all 4 moments of the yr. Seasonal modifications have been an inspiration for Grand Seiko earlier than, with watches representing the distinctive traits of spring, summer time, autumn and winter. The idea is akin to the Grand Seiko Class GMT 4 Seasons assortment we featured earlier. There was a pair of purely mechanical, high-frequency watches, devoted to summer time (the darkish inexperienced SBGH271) and autumn (the darkish blue SBGH273). And there have been additionally two Spring Drive fashions, the gray SBGA415 for winter and the pink SBGA413 for Spring.
The primary necessary factor to bear in mind is that these watches are now not the protect of the American market and are, or shall be quickly, obtainable worldwide from boutiques and retailers. Extra exactly, the watch that we’re taking a look at right this moment, the spring-inspired SBGA413 shall be obtainable as of the first of February this yr. And seeing the shift available in the market, I’d say it’s the proper timing to launch this watch.
What is that this watch? Properly, its full title is the Grand Seiko Heritage Spring Drive 4 Seasons SBGA413 (as at all times with Grand Seiko, names are usually not the best…) Let’s persist with its nickname; the Shunbun. Trying on the case, there’s a transparent inspiration, that of the classic Grand Seiko 62GS. Introduced in 1967, this was Grand Seiko’s first watch with an automated motion and, along with the 44GS launched the identical yr, the watch that first expressed the design grammar, the Grand Seiko Model. This may be seen within the total form of the watch, with its robust shoulders, its a number of sides, the no-bezel structure with massive dial opening, the just about vertical side on the tip of the lugs, the outsized bevel on the aspect and the inner angle between the lugs and the beginning of the bracelet. Sharp, sharp, sharp… The type was there to emphasise the Zaratsu (distortion-free) sprucing approach and to display the model’s design codes.
The Grand Seiko Shunbun SBGA413 is definitely impressed by the previous and is a case examine in design consistency, however its form stays greater than modern and recent. The case can be utilizing fashionable supplies, because it isn’t made from chrome steel however of Excessive-Depth titanium. Using this materials is necessary because it brings a very completely different color to the case and bracelet – darker gray, thus contrasting with the intense dial – and a special feeling on the wrist, being lighter than metal (about 30%). The consolation is unquestionably improved, but some shall be stunned by the dearth of heft. The sensation of luxurious isn’t solely visible however is, for some collectors, additionally perceived by carrying the watch. So, remember, the watch is lighter than what your mind will think about, and it may be stunning at first. However, the ending is, as you’d come to count on from Grand Seiko, impeccable. The surfaces, both brushed or polished, are flawless. The Zaratsu approach nonetheless makes an impression with its ultra-neat reflections. The separation between the completely different strategies is ultra-precise.
Apart from these technical concerns, the Grand Seiko Shunbun SBGA413 can be a watch with virtually excellent proportions. The case is 40mm in diameter, making it appropriate for many wrists. The case isn’t notably skinny however at 12.8mm and for an informal watch, it stays completely manageable, particularly for the reason that watch is provided with a box-shaped sapphire crystal. And the 47mm lug-to-lug measurement is just under common, ensuring the watch is snug. Different specs embody a screw-down crown and a 100m water-resistance. Plus, Excessive-Depth titanium brings higher safety in opposition to scratches and corrosion, making this watch a reliable ally every day.
The star of the present on this Shunbun SBGA413 is, after all, the dial. As most of you may know, Grand Seiko watches are sometimes impressed by nature and this watch isn’t any exception to the rule. The SBGA413 is the model’s imaginative and prescient of spring, and particularly of a brief however necessary second in Japanese individuals’s life, “Hana-Ikada, the much-loved scene in the meanwhile quickly after the spring equinox, Shunbun when cherry blossom petals scattered by the wind cowl the floor of a river.” As such, the dial of this watch exhibits a really delicate gentle pink color mixed with a robust texture that represents sakura blossom petals. The fantastic thing about this dial is that it doesn’t reveal its true magnificence instantly. At a look and beneath direct gentle, it would seem silver colored. It’s solely after a better inspection that the pink hues come to life and that each one the originality of this watch begins to make sense.
Whereas the feel could be very current and unattainable to overlook, the color stays discreet, delicate and stylish. It thus provides its true nature largely to the wearer of the watch, making it nonetheless completely wearable every day. The remainder of the dial is typical GS, with ultra-sharp, extraordinarily detailed and completely executed utilized markers and arms. As at all times, and even when all parts are utilizing the identical tones, legibility is nice due to the a number of sides and the best way they mirror gentle… no less than in daylight as there’s no luminescent materials on this watch. Additionally, if the presence of the date window at 3 o’clock feels pure to me, the best way the ability reserve is built-in stays kind of a thriller. I really imagine that Grand Seiko might do a greater job with the ability reserve in its Spring Drive fashions.
As for the mechanics, we’re in identified territories, with the Spring Drive Calibre 9R65, designed and made in-house, at the Shinshu Watch Studio. This “hybrid” motion combines the practicality of an automated winding and the great thing about a mechanical motion with the superior precision of a quartz regulator. Certainly, the motion is wound by a central rotor, seems to be like a conventional mechanical motion however is rated at a formidable precision of ±1 second per day. And there’s the present supplied by the graceful sweeping seconds on the dial. You’ll be able to learn extra particulars in regards to the Spring Drive know-how on this in-depth article. The motion is protected by a sapphire crystal again, with the GS Lion emblem transferred on its floor.
The Grand Seiko Shunbun SBGA413 is worn on a Excessive-Depth titanium bracelet, closed by a three-fold clasp with push-button launch. The bracelet is supple, clean to the pores and skin and nice to put on. The one lacking aspect is a fine-adjustment system on the clasp.
Availability & Worth
The Grand Seiko Heritage 4 Seasons “Shunbun” Spring Drive SBGA413 and its beautiful pink dial shall be obtainable worldwide on the first of February 2022. It may be pre-ordered from Grand Seiko Europe’s on-line boutique now. It’s priced at EUR 6,700 (incl. taxes) or USD 6,600 (excl. taxes).
For extra particulars, please go to www.grand-seiko.com.