While Grand Seiko has a history of producing dive watches, they were always equipped with a Spring Drive movement well sought-after by recreational divers. But for the first time this year, the brand has unveiled a dive watch that is fully upgraded to professional specifications with the exclusive 9S Hi-Beat calibre adjusted to a superior -3 to +5 seconds a day and boasting new standards of anti-magnetism.
At its core, the Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s watch is a study in form follows function. The watch is profiled in a high-intensity titanium case with a distinctive brightness achieved through Zaratsu polishing. It was designed for 600m saturation diving, but interestingly enough doesn’t require a helium escape valve. This is made possible thanks to a heavy-duty case construction along with L-shaped gaskets. The pronounced grooves on the rotating bezel were purposed for secure use, even with thick neoprene gloves on, while the bracelet has a sliding extension setting to accommodate pressure changes.
Baselworld 2017 marked a particularly important milestone for Grand Seiko as the brand was officially pronounced a stand-alone entity with immediate effect, distinguishing itself from Seiko. Shinji Hattori, Chairman and CEO, explained that Grand Seiko has always been distinct in its design, character, presentation and, more recently, its calibres, and this move was made to further reinforce its unique appeal in order to reach a wider audience. The most obvious indication of this departure is the Grand Seiko logo, which will be shifted to 12 o’clock on the dial in place of “Seiko” in all Grand Seiko watches moving forward. The Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s bears this change in logo positioning, as well as an impossibly beautiful “tapiserie” dial, which is made of iron to protect the movement from magnetism, delivering magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m.
With that said, the entire watch and all its components are built for long-term robust usage; the case, stem and crown are designed for easy servicing, and even the bezel has a four-part design that makes for easy disassembly and re-assembly. On the wrist, it’s majestic and unmistakably Grand Seiko. It comes in two iterations: a 500-piece limited-edition blue-dial version fitted with a silicon strap alongside the high-intensity titanium bracelet, while a black-dial version will be a permanent part of the Grand Seiko collection.
Automatic, Hi-Beat Calibre 9S85
46.9mm high-intensity titanium
High-intensity titanium bracelet