The Spring Drive has long been a key technology in Grand Seiko’s armory, a unique blend of kinetic, magnetic and electronic energy that promises exceptional accuracy and a seductively sweeping seconds hand. In 2016 Grand Seiko introduced their first ever manually wound Spring Drive, the mighty SBGD001 (now SBGD201), a 43mm beauty with a platinum case and eight days of power reserve to keep things ticking over. The movement is rarely seen — there’s the gold SBGD202, and now, the dazzling SBGD205.
The dial of the SBGD205 has at its heart the same ‘diamond dust’ texture that makes the SBGD201 dazzle, only here, literal stones join the metaphorical diamonds. But before we talk about the obvious stars on the dial, let’s address the subtler ones. Within that diamond dust, you can see, if you look at the right angle, a subtle plotting out of the constellation of Leo, a celestial representation of the Grand Seiko lion. But back to the stones. The outer section of the dial is set with a double row of diamonds and deep blue sapphires. The inner track of diamonds is an impressive display of stone setting; the tapered baguettes are placed between slender rails to ensure optimum radiance. The sapphires serve as hour markers, with the one at 12 being a touch wider than the others. All told there are a total of 96 diamonds (weighing 2.25 carats) and 25 blue sapphires (1.09) carats on this exquisitely Japanese execution of bling, thanks to Grand Seiko’s Shinshu Watch Studio. One large sapphire is nestled in the crown. The case, still 43mm by 13.5mm, is platinum and gives a clear view of the movement, which, for all that you don’t see much in the way of whirring gears, is still impressive. There’s a power reserve indicator, which matters when you don’t want to impact that vaunted accuracy and a sculptural bridge which represents Mount Fuji.
This example of how good Grand Seiko’s handcrafting can be is limited to 10 pieces and has a suggested retail price of 195,000 Euros (USD 222,330).
Caliber 9R01, Spring Drive, power reserve of 8 days (192 hours), and accurate to within +/- 10 seconds a month
Platinum, 43mm across by 13.5mm tall
Diamond dust motif set with diamonds and blue sapphires
Alligator with three-fold clasp