If you pay enough attention to the watch world, you’ll soon figure out that Grand Seiko loves to celebrate anniversaries. Last year alone saw at least a handful of new editions marking 55 years since the debut of the iconic 44GS. Now, as the new year begins, it’s time to honor another lodestone of the luxury watchmaker: the Caliber 9S movement.
Debuting in 1998, the 9S set the Japanese brand apart from Swiss excellence for the first time and has since become representative of the care and precision that goes into each and every timepiece. From components to final casing and inspection, Grand Seiko does every step of the watchmaking process in-house. The mechanical movements themselves are tested at a higher standard than the COSC, including stricter daily rate and temperature standards and implementing more testing positions (6 versus 5).
For the 25th anniversary of its 9S movement, Grand Seiko is offering two new limited editions: the SBGH311 and SBGR325, both featuring the exact same 37mm stainless steel case and bracelet design as the very first watch to house the movement in ‘98. The marquee model is the SBGH311, which features a beautiful silver textured dial reminiscent of the unique cloud formations above Mt. Iwate, home to the brand’s Studio Shizukuishi. As for the SBGR325, the light blue dial is a nod to the clear skies viewed at the peak of Mt. Iwate.
The SBGH311 and SBGR325 will each receive a limited run of 1,200 examples, available from select Grand Seiko retailers for around $6,600 and $5,300, respectively.