The Grand Seiko SBGD213 roars with hand-set diamonds and blue sapphiresZach Blass
- The new Grand Seiko SBGD213 is the sequel to last year’s SBGD209
- The paw-like shape of the faceted case is inspired by the Grand Seiko lion mascot
- The case and dial are set with a combined total of 5.62 carats of diamonds and 1.25 carats of blue sapphires, all set by hand
Grand Seiko is typically known for delivering a ton of hand-finishing for a highly competitive price, often Zaratsu-finished creations in steel or titanium. But, Grand Seiko is fully capable of entering the very high-end – turning to their incredibly talented master watchmakers within both their Shinshu Watch Studio and Micro Artist Studio. Masterpiece Collection models such as this new Grand Seiko SBGD213 are intricately crafted and assembled, its direct predecessor from last year’s Watches & Wonders, the five-piece limited edition SBGD209, likely still being delivered to clients today.
Like the SBGD209, the new Grand Seiko SBGD213 is executed in platinum 950 with a case 44.5mm in diameter, 14.4mm in thickness, and 52mm lug-to-lug across the wrist. As you have likely already surmised, the SBGD213 is by no means a dainty high-jewellery piece. While its case is set with 112 diamonds, its bezel 60 diamonds, and its crown set with one blue sapphire, it is also 100 metres water-resistant. Its paw-inspired and faceted design is a nod to the Grand Seiko lion mascot, and each surface is, in Grand Seiko fashion, Zaratsu distortion-free polished to create a perfectly flat and mirrored surface.
Even the diamonds are set so precisely that the gemset facets appear totally flat as well. Quick, final case-related sidebar: the fact Grand Seiko offers platinum cases with drilled lugs is really remarkable considering the nuances of working with the metal. And, it also means that you can much more easily remove a strap from the case – which you certainly do not want to scuff up by accident.
When you factor in the 94 diamonds and 26 blue sapphires set into the dial, you reach a grand total of 5.62 carats of diamonds and 1.25 carats of blue sapphires set throughout the watch. Grand Seiko is highly strategic with their gem setting, ensuring the dial still upholds the crucial tenant of legibility. There are three sections to the dial. The inner-most section, the central medallion, is comprised of a rich dark blue (Grand Seiko’s signature color) mother-of-pearl disc. Bordering it are baguette-cut sapphires and diamonds that serve as hours and minutes indicators – the blue sapphires serving as hour indices and the diamonds acting as a minutes track. This pattern is mimicked with smaller cut gems on the outer most perimeter, these studs, perhaps, even more clearly delineating the hours and minutes. Each gem is hand-set in to think 18K white gold rails by hand. Just imagine trying to attempt this horological game of operation, perfectly setting 120 individual gems into the dial by hand. And, that does not even include the case.
Inside you have the manually wound Micro Artist Studio 8-days Spring Drive calibre 9R01. The near-full bridge is beautiful hairline brushed across its surface, with a recessed power reserve indicator at the 3′ side of the movement. At the top of the calibre, you have handsomely executed bevelling that creates a clear picture of Mt. Iwate – the gold-coloured glide wheel peeking out from beneath it encapsulating the sun kissing its peak. The 9R01 is highly accurate, running within half a second per day, and, perhaps, a lesser known feature of the calibre is that it has an independently adjustable hour hand. So, should you travel with the watch, you do not have to interrupt its timekeeping as you correct the hour hand upon entering a new time zone.
Grand Seiko SBGD213 pricing and availability:
The Grand Seiko SBGD213 is a limited edition of 8 pcs. that will be available at Grand Seiko boutiques in June 2023. Price: US$260,000
|44.5mm (D) x 14.4mm (T) x 52mm (L2L)
|Diamond-set platinum 950 case
|100m (screw-down crown)
|Gemset, blue mother-of-pearl
|Sapphire crystal and caseback
|Crocodile strap with three-fold clasp with push-button release
|In-house manually wound 9R01 Micro Artist Studio calibre
|Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve indicator (movement side), independantly adjustable hour hand
|June 2023, limited to 8 pcs.