With 2021 marking the 140th anniversary of the company founded by Kintaro Hattori, Grand Seiko has unveiled the newest Series 9 model, this time a limited edition honoring Hattori’s spirit and vision.
The dial of SLGH007 has a distinct wood-grain texture that is not press patterned in the way that many Grand Seiko dials are, but the effect is instead achieved through a delicate engraving technique. Contrasting the organic texture are the highly geometric indexes and hands emblematic of the Series 9 design language, which, when paired with the dark dial, offer excellent legibility. The indexes are solid gold, as well as the GS letters, the calendar frame at three o’clock, and the buckle on the strap.
The precision, power, and slimness of Caliber 9SA5 are the result of the radical re-design of three key structures (and some components inside them), for which several patents are either already granted or pending. The escapement is entirely new and was developed in-house. It enables the escapement wheel to transmit power directly to the balance, leading to an increase in efficiency. It is unique in that in one direction power is transmitted directly to the balance, while in the other it is transmitted via the pallet fork, which is how it's done in a traditional escapement. Both pallet fork and escapement wheel are made using MEMS technology. 9SA5 also uses a new and special free-sprung balance developed for this caliber. It retains its precision for longer and is more resistant to shock and friction. The new caliber is also 15% slimmer than past Grand Seiko high frequency calibers, which is made possible via the innovative horizontal layout of the barrel and gear trains.