While many brands across the luxury watch industry have brought their best and brightest new offerings to Watches and Wonders 2022, Grand Seiko may have won the event with its double-whammy of the most complicated mechanical watch the brand has ever produced and the expansion of its new Evolution 9 design language to sports watches.
First up is the Kodo Constant-Force Tourbillon, an engineering marvel that puts Grand Seiko in a new league of mechanical watchmaking. Based on a concept from the brand from 2020, the watch’s 9ST1 movement combines a tourbillon and a constant-force mechanism on a single axis for the first time in horological history, making for one of the wildest escapements you’ll ever see on a watch. The tourbillon rotates at 8 beats per second, while the cage of the constant-force mechanism follows it at exactly 1 tick per second. The result is incredibly stable accuracy (+5 to -3 seconds per day) across over 50 hours of power reserve, along with a pleasing-to-the-ear chorus that is set to a 16th note (semi-quaver). It’s this consistent tune that inspired Grand Seiko to name the watch Kodo, which is Japanese for heartbeat. The innovative movement is encased in a 43.8mm case made of a mix of Platinum 950 and Grand Seiko’s Brilliant Hard Titanium and remarkably, the watch is even water-resistant to 100m.
Given that the Kodo is limited to just 20 pieces worldwide and is priced at $350,000, most people will be left on the outside looking in. And that’s where GS’s other new releases come in, as the brand has launched a sports watch line within its new Evolution 9 Collection. Evolution 9 is Grand Seiko’s sleek and modern new design language, and all five Evolution 9 sports watches are stone-cold stunners. There are two 41mm GMTs in high-intensity titanium (SBGE283 & SBGE285), a pair of 45.3mm Chronograph GMTs in high-intensity titanium with sapphire bezels (SBGC251 and the limited 15th chronograph anniversary SBGC249), and a dive watch that’s arguably the most appealing one that Grand Seiko has ever made. The SLGA015 is 43.8mm in titanium and boasts a ceramic bezel, a wave-textured black dial, 200m water resistance, and a 5-day power reserve. All five Evolution 9 sports watches are powered by Spring Drive movements.
Grand Seiko continues to gain ground against the competition from Switzerland, and we expect there’s a lot of sweating going on right now in the Vallée de Joux. Grand Seiko’s Evolution 9 sports watches are available now, starting from $8,400.