At Seiko Epson, there is a dedicated team of elite watchmakers operating out of a small atelier dubbed the Micro Artist Studio. Since 2000, these skilled craftspeople have been producing masterpiece watches based on Spring Drive, combining the best of horological technology with hand craftsmanship of the highest order. In 2016, the Micro Artist Studio unveiled their first watch for Grand Seiko powered by Caliber 9R01. For the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive, the Micro Artist Studio followed up with a new movement, Caliber 9R02, inside Reference SBGZ003.
Caliber 9R02 is highly impressive. The Dual Spring Barrel achieves a greater power reserve by housing two mainsprings in one barrel, which has the added benefit of keeping the movement compact. The Torque Return System captures energy traditionally lost within a movement and uses it to rewind the mainspring. Together, the Dual Spring Barrel and Torque Return System effectively extend the power reserve to 84 hours. Additionally, the movement is finished to an incredibly high standard, inspired by the natural sites around the watchmaker’s studio.
Celebrating the beauty of driven snow, the SBGZ003 dial features indexes and hands in 14k white gold, which is indicted by the SD (Special Dial) mark at 6 o'clock. A blued steel second glides across the dial, emblematic of Spring Drive. The platinum 950 case is thin, mirror-finished via Zaratsu polishing, and wonderfully curved for a perfect fit on the wrist.