With the United States being one of the largest importers of Swiss watches, it should come as no surprise that Grand Seiko wants to try to grab a larger share of the market. To tackle the US, Grand Seiko has a dedicated team in America — Grand Seiko America — to introduce the wonders of the brand to the consumer. While some of their renowned references are Japanese Domestic Market only, with their sights on the American marketplace they have introduced some exquisite and artistic models exclusive to stores in the US (in both limited editions as well as regular production models). They truly are works of art in the medium of horological craft and require a keen eye and high degree of meticulousness to create. Here are 10 Grand Seiko models, sold only in the USA. To find your nearest Grand Seiko store, hit here.
The Kira-Zuri Collection
Inspired by a Japanese painting technique called Kira-zuri, which translates to “sparkling painting”, the dials within this three-watch collection play spectacularly with the light that hits the dial. Commonly found in ukiyo-e paintings to create texture to the background of Kabuki actors, the inspired technique adds new depth to their dials … and that is really saying something as they had already been renowned for some of the best dial designs in the industry.
SBGA384 — U.S. Limited Edition of 50
Outfitted with an 18k rose gold case and clasp and white sparkle Kira-zuri dial, this 9R15 Spring Drive is a sight to behold. The Caliber 9R15 is a specially adjusted Caliber 9R65, incorporating Special Accuracy, which means the movement is required to run +/- 0.5 second per day before it leaves the factory. RRP: $29,500USD
SBGA385 — U.S. Limited Edition of 20
Outfitted with a platinum PT950 case and clasp and white sparkle Kira-zuri dial, this watch is simply stunning. The SBGA385 also incorporates the 9R15, which means the movement is required to run +/- 0.5 second per day before it leaves the factory. RRP: $53,000USD
SBGA387 — U.S. Limited Edition of 558
Encased in stainless steel, with a bracelet to match, as well as two additional crocodile straps, the Caliber 9R65 Spring Drive powered SBGA387 is the more casual cousin to its precious metal relatives. In favour of white, the dial is a light sparkling blue that I must confess is one of my favourite dials ever produced by Grand Seiko. With it being a sold-out limited edition, and now sold at premium on the grey market, I constantly regret not having chased one of these gorgeous watches before they were all gone. The pairing of the 44GS case and blue dial makes this sportier take on the Kira-Zuri an extremely eye-catching watch. RRP: $6800USD
The Four Seasons Collection
These four US-exclusive watches celebrate the nature of time and commemorate Japan’s 24 sekki that mark nature’s ever-changing seasons. According to Grand Seiko, the collection leads the consumer on a poetic journey as nature awakens, blossoms, matures and settles into slumber from the beginning of spring, known as risshun, to the glistening cold of winter, known as daikan. All 40mm in case diameter (in either stainless steel or high-intensity titanium) and 100 metres water resistant, these four watches are good to go any season of the year!
SBGA415 Taisetsu (The Deep Snow of Winter) Special Edition
Powered by Spring Drive and cased in the brand’s high-intensity titanium, the SBGA415 celebrates the winter snow as it gathers and glitters against the sunlight. With hues of white and grey, the watch really embodies the tones of winter. RRP: $6300USD
SBGA413 Shunbun (The Vernal Equinox) Special Edition
Powered by Spring Drive and cased in the brand’s high-intensity titanium, the SBGA413 represents the part of the year when sakura blossoms fall into water. The pink dial of this model changes in tone, from a blushed white to full-on pink, based on the light. It embodies the spirit of the fleeting sakura season. RRP: $6300USD
SBGH271 Rikka (Early Summer) Special Edition
Powered by the Caliber 9S85 Hi-Beat movement and cased in stainless steel, the SBGH271 represents the transition from spring to summer, when the land turns lush and green. In celebration of this moment each year, the SBGH271 is fitted with a rich green dial, as green as the grass in the woodlands we all hope to hike in come summertime. RRP: $6300USD
SBGH273 Shubun (The Autumnal Equinox) Special Edition
Powered by the Caliber 9S85 Hi-Beat movement and cased in stainless steel, the SBGH271 and its dark blue dial represents tsukiyo, the moment the bright moon lights up the dark sky in Japan. It is also in celebration of the autumnal equinox and represents the autumn clouds as they float through the sky. RRP: $6300USD
The Japan Seasons Special Edition 2020
Sōkō Collection SBGA427 “Light” & SBGA429 “Shadow”
The sōkō collection celebrates the end of autumn, when the first frost appears in the forest. The green accent colours featured on the seconds hand and power reserve indicator epitomise the life of the Arashiyama’s bamboo forest in Kyoto at the end of autumn. Both the SBGA427 and the SBGA429 feature special dials with vertical lines symbolic of bamboo found in Arashiyama. Together, the timepieces pay tribute to this moment in nature, when its green hues are dramatically enlivened in the contrasting expression of “light” — the silver dial of the SBGA427; and “shadow” — the grey dial of the SBGA429. RRP: $5000USD
Timeless Luxury Limited Edition
The limited edition SBGE249 is a collaboration between Timeless and Grand Seiko. It features a beautiful silver blizzard dial, a 9R66 Spring Drive movement and a GMT complication through its beautifully blued GMT hand and radial GMT display on the dial.
It is fair to say few brands, if any, are more inspired by nature and the environment than Grand Seiko. They continue to deliver some of the most intriguing dials in the industry, with a shocking degree of robustness for rather formal-looking watches. I continue to look forward to what’s in store for Grand Seiko and the American marketplace! RRP: $5900USD