In 1998, Grand Seiko launched the Caliber 9S, the movement platform upon which its mechanical watchmaking in the modern era would be built. This platform would eventually give rise to a new line of Hi-Beat movements, a revolutionary escapement, quite a few GMT models, and, just this year, Grand Seiko’s first mechanical chronograph.
To celebrate, Grand Seiko is introducing two new Caliber 9S GMT models that pay homage to Iwate, the birthplace of this movement family and where all Grand Seiko mechanical movements are assembled by hand. One in the Sport Collection and the other in the Elegance Collection, they each lift the imagination skyward above the soaring peak visible from the windows of the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi.
In SBGJ275, a blue dial illustrates a rarely seen sea of clouds at daybreak when humid air forms dense clouds that overlap with one another. The blue color is inspired by the sky over Mt. Iwate when it is blanketed by these clouds. Thanks to the rotating sapphire crystal bezel and the caliber 9S86 with independent local hour function, this GMT can display the time in three places at once. On the back, an anodized titanium oscillating weight in a light shade of blue complements the beautiful dial. Though not a diver’s watch, more than ample water resistance makes it ideal for those whose travels may take them to all kinds of environments. It also marks the first time that a Grand Seiko mechanical watch with water resistance to 20 bar has had an exhibition case back.
SBGM253, the other new anniversary GMT, is in a classic shape from the Elegance Collection. Running on the 9S66 automatic movement, which beats at 28,800 vph and provides a full three days of power reserve, or 72 hours, it has conservative proportions and subtle styling. As with the Sport Collection GMT, an exhibition case back provides a window to view a special rotor treated with the same anodization process, only this time, it creates a lovely Grand Seiko Blue.
The dial has a sunray pattern in a beautiful shade of light blue that recalls the clear sky as seen from the peak of Mt. Iwate, and around the dial, a 24-hour scale is printed in a darker but harmonious shade of blue, ensuring that this GMT is supremely legible while also demonstrating the subtlety of a modern Grand Seiko classic.
Each new GMT comes with a stainless steel case and bracelet. The Elegance Collection Caliber 9S 25th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGM253 is a limited edition of 1,700 and will be available at Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide beginning in October 2023. The Sport Collection Caliber 9S 25th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGJ275 is a limited edition of 2,000 that will be available at the Grand Seiko Boutique Online beginning September 2023 before availability is extended to physical Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retail stores the following month.