Being inspired by its country of origin is a recurring theme at Grand Seiko. Proud of being Japanese, the brand relies on classic artistry and culture to create dials that reflect Nippon scenery or local craftsmanship, such as the Snowflake model or the Elegance collection with Urushi dials. Part of the Grand Seiko Heritage Collection, a new limited edition model has just been presented with a dial reflecting autumn in Japan. Meet the new Limited Edition SBGH269 Hi-Beat.
This new autumn-inspired watch is based on a classic model in the Heritage collection, the 36000 Hi-Beat watch, which can be found as regular models under the references SBGH201 (white dial) and SBGH205 (black dial). In this instance, the Autumn SBGH269 relies on most visual and mechanical specifications, with the addition of a new (and truly special) dial, as well as a special decoration for the movement.
Let’s first look at what is common to this limited edition and the rest of the 36000 Hi-Beat models. This new reference SBGH269 comes in a well-proportioned 39.5mm case made of stainless steel. It features the signature case of the brand, with sharp angles, faceted internal part of the lugs, straight case bands and a flat polished bezel. The surfaces are finished in Grand Seiko’s traditional way, meaning a superb lustre thanks to the Zaratsu (distortion-free) polishing technique, combined with brushed areas.
The Grand Seiko Heritage “Autumn” Limited Edition SBGH269 is worn on a 3-link stainless steel bracelet, equipped with a three-fold clasp with push-button release. The watch has a sporty style and offers a solid 100m water-resistance. Other specifications include a 13mm height and an overall weight of 154 grams, bracelet included.
Powering this SBGH269 is the well-known calibre 9S85, a precise automatic movement with a central rotor and, main specificity, a hi-beat frequency of 5Hz – or 36,000 vibrations per hour. This movement displays the hours, minutes and seconds, as well as a date at 3 o’clock. The power reserve is of 55 hours and the accuracy is reported at +5 to -3 seconds per day (which, knowing Grand Seiko, is more than cautious).
What differs in this Autumn Limited Edition SBGH269 then? Mainly, the dial. The dial is said to reflect “the scenery seen in the mountainous areas of Japan in which the leaves gradually turn to a deep red as the season changes from summer to autumn“. The dial features an intense dark red colour with a gradient effect over a vertical pattern, as “reflected in the lacquered wooden floors of traditional Japanese architecture“. This dial is punctuated by gold-coloured accents on the seconds hand, the minute markers and the applied GS logo. Signature faceted hands and applied indexes are found too.
Also new to this model is the specifically decorated movement, with a titanium rotor that has been anodised to a blue-green colour, depicting “the shade of green leaves that have not yet been dyed in red, allowing the seasonal shifts to be felt“.
Price and availability
The Grand Seiko Heritage Autumn Limited Edition SBGH269 is a limited edition of 900 pieces, which will be available later this Autumn 2019. It will be priced at USD 6,400 (vs. USD 5,800 for the SBGH201 and SBGH205). More details at grand-seiko.com.
This post first appeared on Monochrome Watches - An online magazine dedicated to fine watches.