With the debut of the Evolution 9 design philosophy in 2020, Grand Seiko introduced a new extension of the brand’s iconic approach to design that focuses on the contrast of light and shadow. The design was displayed resplendently on Grand Seiko’s 2021 hit timepiece, the Hi-Beat automatic SLGH005, better known as the “White Birch.” Building on that momentum, the Japan-based watchmaker has released a new White Birch model, but this time with one of the brand’s proprietary Spring Drive movements under the hood.
Drawing inspiration from the same white birch tree forests near its studio in Shinshu, Japan, the SLGA009 is a gorgeous, winter-themed timepiece. The watch continues Grand Seiko’s theme of using nature as a design template, featuring a stunning, white birch-inspired dial to evoke the calmness of the frost-covered trees. The dial features subtle textures with a smooth-sweeping blued seconds hand that contrasts wonderfully with its white canvas. Moreover, the frozen theme extends to the frost-finished movement of the timepiece itself, which is on full display courtesy of the sapphire exhibition case back. That said, the most notable feature of the SLGA009, however, is the movement itself: Grand Seiko’s latest and greatest Spring Drive Caliber 9RA2. This inclusion of a Spring Drive is a distinct departure from the SLGH005, which had an automatic movement powering it, and makes the watch even more of a Grand Seiko exclusive. The SLGA009 also features a stainless steel case, a dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, and a water resistance of 100 meters.
All told, the SLGA009 perfectly encapsulates the marriage of Grand Seiko’s classic design philosophy and the modernized approach of the Evolution 9 style. The subtle contrast on its dial and its simple yet gorgeous design make it a breeze to read, while its new Spring Drive movement provides excellent reliability and fascination. The watch retails for $8,600 and can be pre-ordered now on Grand Seiko’s website.
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