The spotlight of 2021 for Grand Seiko has been, for sure, the White Birch Hello-Beat SLGH005, a watch that got here available on the market with a surprising silvery-white textured dial, a comparatively new case design (sharper and slimmer) and a powerful motion with a number of mechanical improvements, together with the Twin Impulse escapement. For a few years now, Grand Seiko is certainly sizzling and its watches have gotten extremely sought-after. Now that the 12 months 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 available on the market in June 2019… However for the US solely. We’re speaking in regards to the Grand Seiko “Shunbun” SBGA413 and its shocking pink dial. And since it would quickly be obtainable worldwide, alongside 3 different Season editions, it would nicely be on its approach to turning into the brand new hottest GS available on the market.
The development for colored dials…
For lengthy, luxurious watches have principally been obtainable in conventional colors. Alongside classics which are white/silver and black, we’ve seen blue because the development for the 2010s, adopted by salmon and just lately inexperienced dials. Nonetheless, the color spectrum is giant and there are a number of paths to discover. With the liberation of mentalities and the rising impact of the unisex watch, brilliant colors are much less and fewer reserved to what was once as soon as named the ladies’s watch. Gentle blue, turquoise, pink, yellow, orange are all rising quick in collections, and even for essentially the most conventional manufacturers.
The Grand Seiko SLGH005 “White Birch” or the star of 2021 for the model
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 impression. Again in 2019, and although it’s not that way back, the development for frivolously colored wasn’t but what it’s as we speak. For my part, 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 corresponding to racing inexperienced, yellow, brilliant purple and principally, gentle blue and light-weight sweet pink. Then got here Oris with the Cotton Sweet assortment. And naturally, just a few weeks in the past, Patek Philippe and Tiffany teamed as much as create the Tiffany-blue Nautilus 5711, the most well liked watch available on the market now. With this in thoughts, it appears that evidently the development for the start of 2022 is really on these funky, gentle colored dials.
Surprisingly, the Shunbun SBGA413, when it has been launched in 2019, by some means flew below the radar. Again then, many have been nonetheless speaking in regards to the Snowflake Spring Drive SBGA211, and with the arrival of the White Birch, all minds have targeted 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 prior to now weeks, making it to us the brand new go-to Grand Seiko available on the market 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 have been a celebration of the seasons, with a watch devoted and impressed by all 4 moments of the 12 months. Seasonal adjustments 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 essential factor to remember is that these watches are now not the protect of the American market and are, or will probably be quickly, obtainable worldwide from boutiques and retailers. Extra exactly, the watch that we’re as we speak, the spring-inspired SBGA413 will probably be obtainable as of the first of February this 12 months. And seeing the shift available in the market, I’d say it’s the right timing to launch this watch.
What is that this watch? Effectively, its full identify is the Grand Seiko Heritage Spring Drive 4 Seasons SBGA413 (as at all times with Grand Seiko, names will not be the best…) Let’s follow its nickname; the Shunbun. Wanting on the case, there’s a transparent inspiration, that of the classic Grand Seiko 62GS. Offered in 1967, this was Grand Seiko’s first watch with an automated motion and, along with the 44GS launched the identical 12 months, the watch that first expressed the design grammar, the Grand Seiko Model. This may be seen within the general form of the watch, with its robust shoulders, its a number of aspects, the no-bezel structure with giant dial opening, the virtually vertical side on the tip of the lugs, the outsized bevel on the aspect and the interior angle between the lugs and the beginning of the bracelet. Sharp, sharp, sharp… The type was there to emphasise the Zaratsu (distortion-free) sprucing method and to show the model’s design codes.
The Grand Seiko Shunbun SBGA413 is definitely impressed by the previous and is a case research in design consistency, however its form stays greater than modern and recent. The case can also be utilizing fashionable supplies, because it isn’t product of chrome steel however of Excessive-Depth titanium. Using this materials is essential because it brings a totally totally different color to the case and bracelet – darker gray, thus contrasting with the brilliant dial – and a special feeling on the wrist, being lighter than metal (about 30%). The consolation is certainly improved, but some will probably be stunned by the shortage of heft. The sensation of luxurious isn’t solely visible however is, for some collectors, additionally perceived by carrying the watch. So, bear in mind, the watch is lighter than what your mind will think about, and it may be shocking at first. Nonetheless, the ending is, as you’d come to anticipate from Grand Seiko, impeccable. The surfaces, both brushed or polished, are flawless. The Zaratsu method nonetheless makes an impression with its ultra-neat reflections. The separation between the totally different methods is ultra-precise.
Moreover these technical issues, the Grand Seiko Shunbun SBGA413 can also be a watch with nearly good proportions. The case is 40mm in diameter, making it appropriate for many wrists. The case isn’t significantly skinny however at 12.8mm and for an informal watch, it stays completely manageable, particularly for the reason that watch is supplied 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 towards scratches and corrosion, making this watch a reliable ally every day.
The star of the present on this Shunbun SBGA413 is, in fact, the dial. As most of you may know, Grand Seiko watches are sometimes impressed by nature and this watch is not any exception to the rule. The SBGA413 is the model’s imaginative and prescient of spring, and particularly of a brief however essential second in Japanese individuals’s life, “Hana-Ikada, the much-loved scene in the mean time 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 reveals a really delicate gentle pink color mixed with a robust texture that represents sakura blossom petals. The great thing about this dial is that it doesn’t reveal its true magnificence instantly. At a look and below direct gentle, it would seem silver colored. It’s solely after a more in-depth 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 inconceivable to overlook, the color stays discreet, delicate and stylish. It thus provides its true nature principally 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 because of the a number of aspects and the best way they mirror gentle… at the least 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 recognized 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, appears like a conventional mechanical motion however is rated at a powerful precision of ±1 second per day. And there’s the present provided by the sleek sweeping seconds on the dial. You possibly can learn extra particulars in regards to the Spring Drive expertise on this in-depth article. The motion is protected by a sapphire crystal again, with the GS Lion brand 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, easy to the pores and skin and nice to put on. The one lacking component is a fine-adjustment machine on the clasp.
Availability & Value
The Grand Seiko Heritage 4 Seasons “Shunbun” Spring Drive SBGA413 and its gorgeous pink dial will probably 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.