Grand Seiko has two houses, so to talk. The Shizukuishi Watch Studio in Morioka to the north of Japan serves as one base of operations. That is the place mechanical Grand Seiko watches are made. The opposite location, the Shinshu Watch Studio in Nagano, is devoted to the manufacturing of Spring Drive and quartz powered Grand Seiko watches.
Our article focuses on the latter, because it additionally homes the Micro Artist Studio the place the extraordinarily high-end Grand Seiko Spring Drive timepieces are made. The studio was established in 2000 with the aim of “uncovering, analyzing, and mastering the applied sciences and expertise handed on by our predecessors for the manufacturing of luxurious watches in order that world-class Japanese watches might be created”.
Presently, a couple of dozen extremely expert individuals work on this studio. Along with the grasp watchmakers, motion designers, technicians and craftsmen (three of whom are proud recipients of the Medal with Yellow Ribbon from the Japanese authorities) mix their experience to ship one masterpiece after one other, together with the Credor Spring Drive Sonnerie from 2006 and the Credor Spring Drive Minute Repeater from 2011.
Of extra relevance to a wider viewers of watch collectors are the Calibres 9R01 and 9R02, which have been utilized in a number of Grand Seiko fashions since 2016 and 2019, respectively.
We bear in mind seeing Calibre 9R01 for the primary time at Baselworld 2016, along with the watch fashions SBGD201 in platinum with a diamond mud textured dial and SBGD202 in rose gold with tiny twinkling stars on a black dial. This hand-winding motion is notable for being a Spring Drive calibre with eight days or 192 hours of energy reserve, because of using three barrels. Its accuracy vary is +/- 0.5 second per day or +/- 10 seconds per thirty days.
At the moment, we rapidly took discover of the one-piece bridge design because it mimics the silhouette of Mount Fuji. We discovered in a while that the glide wheel subsequent to the mountain is meant to signify the solar. The studio’s resolution to place the ability reserve indicator on the again of the motion ensured minimalism of the dial on these two watches.
The identical methodology is preserved on the Calibre 9R02. Launched in 2019, this different hand-winding motion is meant to present life to the even slimmer Grand Seiko watches in the thin dress series. In a stroke of genius, the group on the Micro Artist Studio designed a single barrel with two mainsprings inside. Along with the Torque Return System, which is activated for 48 hours from when the mainsprings are absolutely wound, the motion is ready to ship an prolonged energy reserve of 84 hours.
Calibre 9R02 premiered in two platinum watches that 12 months: SBGZ001 and SBGZ003, each measuring 38.5 mm in diameter and 9.8 mm in thickness. These have been adopted in 2020 by the SBGZ005, additionally in platinum, to rejoice the a hundred and sixtieth anniversary of Kintaro Hattori. The newest timepiece to make use of Calibre 9R02 is the SBGZ007 for the one hundred and fortieth anniversary of the Seiko firm. As soon as once more, it is a platinum watch.
One attention-grabbing little bit of element on Calibre 9R02 is the plaque on the again of the motion. As a regular follow, this piece of 18K yellow gold is engraved with the phrases “Micro Artist”. Nonetheless, the shopper has the choice of getting completely different phrases engraved, supplied that they match within the area. In any case, we’re on the higher echelons of watchmaking, and we’ll proceed to see spectacular items popping out of this Micro Artist Studio within the years to come back.
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