Winters in Shinshu, where all Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches are meticulously produced, offer a variety of scenes that are ephemeral and lastingly memorable. One such scene is known as Shizuri-yuki, or when snow spills down from the branches of trees and creates a shimmering cascade of light. With its rose gold case graced by lines of diamonds, and with its glide motion seconds hand that floats silently across the white textured dial, SBGY008 brings to life the essence of Shinshu’s gentle winter landscape and the transient beauty of Shizuri-yuki.
The 18k rose gold case measures 38.5mm in diameter, 10.2mm in thickness, 43.7mm in length, and has a lug width of 19mm. It features a dual-curve sapphire crystal (about 2mm tall at its highest point) with anti-reflective coating, as well as a sapphire crystal on the exhibition case back.
Called the “Dress Series,” this case design was first introduced in 2019. Inspired by the shape of a wind-filled sail, the goal was to create a slimmer form factor for a dress watch. The curvature of the case is most pronounced in profile, and despite its relative thinness, the case remains highly complex, emphasizing on-the-wrist ergonomics as much as it does aesthetic beauty.
The case carries a total of 53 diamonds set by hand by the highly skilled craftsmen and women of the Shinshu Watch Studio. They are arranged so that they gradually decrease in size from the center of the case down to the lug ends, resulting in a beautiful, flowing effect. The surface of the diamonds are also perfectly aligned to create a uniform sparkle, one that evokes the essence of Shizuri-yuki.
The white dial is textured to mimic the bright and fresh winter snow of Shinshu. This is achieved by hammering the dial mold to create its pattern and rounded shape. The indexes are multifaceted and curved to the dial, as are the minute and second hands. The latter are curved by hand because there are strict tolerances for the hands to fall between the dial and the crystal without touching either part. Altogether, the dial, with its delicate and organic pattern, embodies Grand Seiko’s Nature of Time brand philosophy.
SBGY008 offers a remarkable blend of slimness, power, and precision thanks to its manual-winding caliber 9R31. One of the first things you will notice is that the power reserve has been removed from the dial, and brought over to the movement side of the watch, creating symmetry on the dial.
On a technical level, 9R31’s Dual Spring Barrel achieves a greater power reserve by housing two mainsprings in one barrel, which keeps the movement crucially compact. The ingenuity behind the design is that these two springs are longer and thinner than a typical mainspring, and by unwinding them at the same time, the movement achieves an extended power reserve of 72 hours without any loss of torque.
9R31 features a single bridge, and it is beautifully decorated with a hairline-finish. Exposed jewels, tempered screws, and some of the gear train are visible through the bridge, giving the caliber a decorative flair. The hairline finish is meticulously applied by hand by the highly skilled craftspeople at Shinshu. Altogether, despite featuring more than 200 components for a time-only movement, 9R31 is the thinnest Spring Drive caliber produced by the Shinshu Watch Studio.
SBGY008 is presented on a brown leather strap with carefully crafted stiches on the sides. The watch comes with an additional satin gold colored leather strap. SBGY008 will be available as a limited edition of 60 pieces at Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected Grand Seiko retailers worldwide in January 2022.