Editor’s note: Like you, we are also excited for the Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties. Before we get to dive deep into them, here’s our preview & Gut Reaction Review (Grr…) of the new Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion In A Nutshell
Grand Seiko’s debut at the Swiss Watches & Wonders 2022 has been long overdue and much anticipated. And with the GS Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon, they also took the trade fair by storm. But there was another release that purr-fectly demonstrated how broad their expertise lies – whether being the regular Spring Drive watches, a tourbillon or the mane event for the ladies, a high-end jewellery watch.
Quite often brands simply stick diamonds and gems to a plain ol’ watch in a smaller diameter, chuck in a quartz movement, and call it a novelty. But in the recent past, many have started outfitting thought into the design, and creating watches that are designed keeping with women and certain horological prowess in mind. The recent Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Self-winding, Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Star, and Arnold and Son Perpetual Moon 38 Eclipse I to name a few, all from Watches & Wonders 2022 come to mind. In-fact, as a side note, I believe that this years’s edition of the W&W has been a rocking success, with both watchmaking ‘wonders’ and creative ‘watches’ being released.
And instead of being a copycat of other watches, the new Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection Spring Drive 8 Days Jewellery Watch or simply the Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion is the Japanese brand’s horological roar that with a distinctive personality — that lug design and polished case is something else — that is both stunning and also horologically up to scratch.
Basic Specs of the Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion
The new Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion features a 44.5mm diameter and 14.4mm thick Platinum 950 case with a lug-to-lug spacing of 52mm and interhorn spacing of 22mm. Fans of the famous Zaratsu polishing shouldn’t lose heart on seeing steel being swapped with platinum for the case material, as the brand has masterfully cold forged the case and deployed a special kind of Zaratsu polishing designed especially for Platinum 950.
The Platinum 950 case with strong and angular lugs sets the frame for the beautiful dial to take centre-stage. You would think that first and foremost, the 267 diamonds — 94 on the dial, 60 on the bezel, 112 on the case, 1 in the crown (5.97 carat in all) — and 26 black spinel (0.88 carat) would grab your attention. But it is the centre of the dial with the ‘Snowflake -esque’ texture that also looks like a lion’s mane that draws you in, simply because the jewels are so impressively precisely set that they seem to create a single, flat surface.
The brand informs us that “all these gems are set by hand between a very thin pair of 18kt white gold rails by the most skilled of the jewelry craftsmen and women in the Shinshu Watch Studio in Shiojiri. The diamonds on the bezel are also set by hand with a precision that allows the light on their table surfaces to flow evenly, as if the bezel were a single surface”.
I also appreciate how it’s a ‘proper’ timepiece with features such as 100m water-resistance, magnetic resistance of 4,800 A/m, 8 days power reserve, and independent hour hand adjustment.
Inside ticks the Spring Drive 8 Days Caliber 9R01, created by Micro Artist Studio. It is a manual-winding movement comprising 56 jewels and featuring an accuracy of ± 0.5 second per day (± 10 seconds per month). The power reserve indicator is shown at the back, and as stated earlier, it’s got an impressive 192-hours power reserve.
Retailing for €260,000, the limited to 5-pieces only new Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion is announced as part of the Watches & Wonders 2022 March 30 to April 5 (both online and at the Salon).
“The white lion inspires a Grand Seiko jewellery timepiece of rare craftsmanship”.Press release
To find out more about the new Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion and their other watches, please head to their website here. All images unless otherwise stated are courtesy are © 2022 Seiko Watch Corporation. Make sure to check out our reviews of other Watches & Wonders 2022 novelties here.