Credit: Grand Seiko

Grand Seiko are always about honouring their Japanese heritage and they’ve done it again with the new SBGA469 Spring Drive.

You might be wondering how the SBGA469 Spring Drive is honouring Grand Seiko’s heritage? It’s all to do with the colour of the dial.

The colour is called Katsuiro, which in Japan is considered one of the deepest shades of indigo. The colour was a favourite amongst the Samurai as it was believed to bring good fortune in battle. This meant that a lot of Samurai painted their armour in Katsuiro.

Colour isn’t the only thing that makes the dial special. It uses Seiko’s Iwao, their rock texture. It features its own natural pattern as if someone had actually hewn the rock by hand. No matter how cool that might sound this isn’t the case, but it does provide a remarkable effect.

The SBGA469 Spring Drive is a fairly big watch too coming in at 41mm in diameter, 49mm lug-to-lug, but it is quite thin at just 12.5mm.

The case is stainless steel, as is the bracelet, and features dual-carved sapphire crystal above the dial.

The 9R65 calibre Spring Drive movement provides a 72-hour power reserve when fully wound. The movement is Grand Seiko’s quartz/mechanical hybrid that keeps the accuracy benefits of a quartz with the smooth movement of the hands of a mechanical.

A neat little feature is the indicator right next to the 8 o’clock marker that tells you how much power you have left.

This combination of colour and texture has never been done by Grand Seiko before, but they have used the colour previously on the SBGC238 and the texture has been used a bunch before, most recently on the SBGA413 Shunbun.

This is a stunning watch, and the colour/texture combo works like an absolute dream here. Something about the deep indigo with a rocky texture makes it feel luxurious yet robust. It’s adornment without superfluity. The SBGA469 Spring Drive stands out by its willingness to be subtle.

These are priced at $7,495 AUD and are available online via Seiko’s website.

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