Grand Seiko celebrates the 44GS with a slimmed-down duo of SLGA013 and SLGH009 Grand Seiko celebrates the 44GS with a slimmed-down duo of SLGA013 and SLGH009

Grand Seiko celebrates the 44GS with a slimmed-down duo of SLGA013 and SLGH009

Borna Bošnjak

Never ones to shy away from a party, Grand Seiko release the SLGA013 and SLGH009. Celebrating the 55th anniversary of the 44GS, these Heritage collection pieces offer well-known GS movements, with improvements to their design, allowing for a better fit on-wrist. With stellar dials and Grand Seiko proprietary steel, neither of these 550-piece limited editions will sit in the boutique windows for long.

Grand Seiko went stargazing

Masters of finding natural inspiration for their dial designs, Grand Seiko chose the night sky for the SLGA013 and SLGH009. With elliptical shapes mirroring the orbits of celestial bodies, the dials ebb and flow in a way only Grand Seiko could execute. Silver faceted indexes surround the dial, with a double baton at 12 o’clock, all featuring a vertical texture. The black-dialled SLGA013 features rose-gold accents in the smoothly sweeping seconds hand and applied GS logo, whereas they’re replaced by yellow gold on the SLGH009.

Grand Seiko SLGA013 SLGH009

The printing is minimal and doesn’t take away from the dial pattern, denoting the type of movement and power reserve along with traditional “Grand Seiko” lettering above the pinion. Both models feature a three o’clock date window, with a sharply bevelled frame surrounding it. The date isn’t colour-matched to the blue dial, which for once, I don’t mind as the frame makes up for it.

Ever-brilliant material for ever-brilliant finishing

Touted as the watch that embodied Grand Seiko style, the 1967 release of the 44GS was indeed revolutionary. Zaratsu-polished surfaces, angular planes connected with sharp lines and short, multi-faceted lugs completed the look. These defining features have been carried through to the two anniversary models, with minimal brushing serving as transitions between the Zaratsu-finished portions of the 40mm case. The large crown is set into a cut-out on the right flank, adorned with a polished GS logo.

Like the High-Intensity Titanium SBGJ255, Grand Seiko chose a special material for the next two releases celebrating this special event. With a PREN (Pitting Resistance Equivalence Number) 1.7 times that of 316L steel, the alloy coined “Ever-Brilliant Steel” is more corrosion-resistant and named for its shining white hue. The screw-down, open caseback offers a look at the Spring Drive and Hi-Beat calibres along with 100 metres of water resistance. Through improvements in the movement design, both watches slimmed down from their counterparts, measuring in at 12.1mm (SLGA013) and 11.7mm (SLGH009). The bracelets are unapologetically GS, fashioned in Ever-Brilliant steel, with large, non-tapering rectangular links with a polished highlight running on both sides of the centre link.

Improvements in movement design for a slimmer profile


The SLGA013 and SLGH009 feature the Spring Drive 9RA2 and Hi-Beat 9SA5 movements, respectively. The 9RA2, with its signature perfectly smooth sweeping seconds features a 5-day power reserve, and has an improved thickness compared to its counterpart. Most incredibly, it offers an accuracy of +/- 10 seconds per month. With its high-jewel count and not at all pedestrian 10 beats per second, the Hi-Beat 9SA5 delivers a respectable accuracy of +5/-3 seconds per day and an 80-hour power reserve.

Grand Seiko SLGA013 SLGH009

At a glance, the Hi-Beat calibre is more ornate in its finishing, with Geneva stripes and incandescent rubies and blued screws, while the Spring Drive is subdued with its full cover plate and frosted texture.

Grand Seiko SLGH009 and SLGA013 pricing and availability:

Grand Seiko SLGA013 SLGH009

The Grand Seiko 44GS 55th Anniversary Limited Editions SLGH009 and SLGA013 are available now in Grand Seiko boutiques as limited editions of 550 each. Price: $15,700 AUD/$10,500 USD (SLGH009), $14,200 AUD/$9,500 USD (SLGA013).


Brand Grand Seiko
Model 44GS 55th Anniversary Limited Edition
Ref. Number SLGH00 SLGA013
Case Dimensions 40mm x 11.7mm (SLGH009)
40mm x 12.1mm (SLGA013)
Case Material Ever-Brilliant Steel
Dial Blue (SLGH009)
Dark grey (SLGA013)
Crystal Sapphire – front and back
Strap Ever-Brilliant Steel bracelet
Movement Hi-Beat 36000 80 Hours Caliber 9SA5 (SLGH009)
Spring Drive 5 Days Caliber 9RA2 (SLGA013)
Price $15,700 AUD/$10,500 USD (SLGH009)
$14,200 AUD/$9,500 USD (SLGA013)