Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches are born in its Morioka facility, in the Sizukuishi area, in the north of Honshu island. It’s a mountainous, forested part of Japan, and very beautiful. It’s also an inspiration for Grand Seiko’s watches — for example, the famously subtle Mt. Iwate dials take their name from a nearby peak.

This year Grand Seiko celebrates its 60th anniversary, which is a theme across the 2020 releases, and that’s certainly the case with these two limited editions. But there’s also more to celebrate here — specifically the opening of the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, which will site alongside the existing Morioka facility, and offer both increased production and more ways Grand Seiko’s faithful can engage with the brand. Of course, if a trip to Japan isn’t on your radar, Grand Seiko has two other celebrations for Shizukuishi planned: the limited edition manually-wound dress watches SBGW263 and SBGW264, the former an incredible affair in hand-worked platinum, the latter a green and gold stunner.

With a 39mm platinum case, SBGW263 is already a refined offering but, as always with Grand Seiko, the dial takes it to the next level. This watch doesn’t rely on pattern or printing to dazzle, but rather on the meticulous hand engraving of master engraver Kiyoshi Terui and his small team. All the details on this dial: the chapter ring, the hours, the hands and even the Grand Seiko logo itself is peerlessly engraved out of white gold, with incredible confidence, precise strokes of a razor-sharp buren. As you can imagine, this time-consuming piece is an exceptionally limited affair, with only 20 pieces being made.

Grand Seiko SBGW263
Grand Seiko SBGW263

The second limited-edition celebrating Shizukuishi is the SBGW264, again, a 9S64-powered manually winding affair in rose gold — 39mm across and a comparatively slender 11.6mm tall. The gold of the case is contrasted beautifully by the deep, forest green dial, which has been machine engraved with an intricate pattern. Grand Seiko says that depending on the angle, the dial shimmers green and white, much like the forest of silver birch trees of Shizukuishi. The dial and hands on this model, as with SBGW263, are slightly and subtly curved, for greater legibility and elegance. This watch is limited to 120 pieces, and both models are available from July.

Grand Seiko SBGW264

Technical Specification - SBGW263

Movement

9S64, manual-winding, 72 hours power reserve, accurate to within +5/-3 seconds per day

Case

Platinum, 39mm by 11.8mm

Dial

Engraved 18K white gold

Strap

Crocodile leather, with three-fold platinum clasp

Limited to 20 pieces with a recommended retail price of 101,000 Euro (USD 115,155)

Grand Seiko SBGW263

Technical Specification - SBGW264

Movement

9S64, manual-winding, 72 hours power reserve, accurate to within +5/-3 seconds per day

Case

Rose gold, 39mm by 11.6mm

Dial

Machine engraved, green

Strap

Crocodile leather

Limited to 120 pieces with a recommended retail price of 25,000 Euro (USD 28,504)

Grand Seiko SBGW264