Featured Grand Seiko

Release: Grand Seiko White Birch in Spring Drive!

We recently had a hands on review of the Grand Seiko SLGH005 “White Birch”. Probably the biggest release from Grand Seiko in 2021.  Grand Seiko does not make us wait too long in the New Year with another “White Birch”. This time with the updated 9RA2, the updated Spring DriveSpring Drive A Spring Drive movement, pioneered by Grand Seiko, is a type of mechanical watch movement that combines the traditional mechanics of a mechanical watch with the precision of a quartz watch. It uses a mainspring as the source of energy, just like a mechanical watch, but instead of using a traditional escapement, it uses a quartz crystal to regulate the release of energy. The Spring Drive movement is considered to be highly accurate, and is known for its smooth, gliding seconds hand. [Learn More] movement with 5 days of power reserveRéserve de marche Also known as Power Reserve. A watch's power reserve refers to the amount of time a mechanical watch can run without being wound. The power reserve of a mechanical watch can vary depending on the size of the mainspring, the efficiency of the gear train, and the rate at which the mainspring releases energy. If a watch has a Power Reserve 'complication' it simply means that the status of the power reserve can be seen on the watch itself (either on the dial or movement side of the watch). [Learn More].

With this release, Grand Seiko is launching a new “Evolution 9 Collection” which is a new take on the Grammar of Design from Grand Seiko, with nature inspired dials and new case designs.  With that in mind, the hour and minute hands are bigger than before.  With the hour hand having a deep groove as well as the applied indices. 

As one can see from the side by side photo of the SLGA009 and SLGH005, the two watches are very similar with the slight tweak in the dial from the press photos and the different texts at the 6 o’clock position.  With that said, the Evolution 9 Collection includes some releases from previous years that have similar design style such as the blue dialed SLGA007 Minamo, the 140th anniversary Limited Edition SLGH007, and the 60th anniversary SLGH002.

The new SLGA009 White Birch is nearly identical compared with the SLGH005 at first glance and even the specs are very close.  Both have a 40mm case diameter and 11.7mm thick for the hi-beat SLGH005 and the new Spring Drive being 0.1mm thicker at 11.8.  This could be the press photos but I did notice a slight difference in the bezel as the new SLGA009 looks a bit smoother with the grain, but this will have to be verified once we have a hands on review.  In addition, the new Birch dial feels more concave vs the protruding dial of the SLGH005, but again, this is from my observation of the press photos and the descriptions given.

Beating inside is the updated 9RA2 movement as mentioned earlier with 5 day power reserve that is displayed on the caseback and a “frosted” finishing and a updated rotor with smoother beveling than before.  

The watch will be available starting in February with a suggested retail price of 9,500 Euros. More info right here.

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