Grand Seiko are all about embracing their Japanese heritage. Often this comes in the form of natural elements influencing the dial or case shape, but this time Grand Seiko have gone in a different direction and taken inspiration from their history. The ‘Katana’ Collection, as you may have guessed, does this with the iconic weapon of the historic Samurai.
Nature still isn’t far from the Katana Collection as the brand explains, “The katana derives from nature.” What does that mean? Grand Seiko explains that all the classical elements (earth, water, air, and fire) are used in the creation of a katana. The iron sand is drawn from the earth then heated using air and fire in a tatarafurnace leaving a melted sand that forms the Japanese steel known as tamahagane.
This tamahagane steel is where the dial takes its inspiration. What we get is a new, never-before-used frosted dial texture. This steel is worked in two different ways. The first is a high carbon steel (known as kawagane) used for the outer sharp edge of a katana, which has inspired the black dial of the SBGA489. The other (shingane) is used to craft the strong core of the sword, which inspired the dark green dial of the SBGA491. But there are three new pieces here, and the final red dial with yellow gold-tone accents of the SBGA493 takes its inspiration from the heated blade during the forging process.
Two of those make sense, but the green dial? Grand Seiko explain that the green dial represents “the resilience and strength of shingane.” Not sure how that explains anything, but it’s a beautiful dial regardless.
All of these watches are housed in the stainless steel case of the 44GS accompanied with a five-piece link bracelet or a Kimono fabric strap for the 493. They utilise the 9R65 movement with a 72-hour power reserve, date function, and power reserve indicator.
The red SBGA493 is limited to 500 pieces and will be available in September for $6,000 USD, while the 489 and 491 are available from August for $5,600 USD. The downside for Australians? These are limited to the U.S.