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 Kodo. For our detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
The New Grand Seiko Kodo SLGT003 In A Nutshell
There’s only one way to make a grand entrance; knock the competition right out of the park. Grand Seiko’s debut at Watches & Wonders 2022 has supercharged the enthusiasm about the brand amongst enthusiasts and collectors. Besides continuing the GS Evolution 9 collection with beautiful novelties, and also satiating the ladies market appetite with the gorgeous Grand Seiko SBGD209 White Lion, the brand launched perhaps one of the best examples of watches meeting wonders.
Impressively, the new Grand Seiko Kodo — Kodo is the Japanese word for heartbeat — sees them take a concept watch from 2020 called the “T0 Constant-force Tourbillon”, and make it into a reality thanks to the efforts of an “elite group of Grand Seiko’s watchmakers and designers” who now form a new studio called the Atelier Ginza (interesting situated where Kintaro Hattori started his business in 1881).
This is a first for the brand, and perhaps for the matchmaking industry at large, that a movement combining a constant-force mechanism and a tourbillon as one unit on a single axis. Abraham-Louis Breguet would have been proud.
Given this is Atelier Ginza’s first work, I can only wait with anticipation as to what they might do next, especially for the regular enthusiasts and not just high-end collectors. The future of watchmaking is bright.
Basic Specs of the new Grand Seiko Kodo
The new Grand Seiko Kodo features a 43.8mm diameter and 12.9mm thick Platinum 950 and Brilliant Hard Titanium case topped with a box shaped sapphire crystal and featuring a mix of hand Zaratsu polishing with hairline finishing. The watch comes on a specially treated — like the armors of Samurai — calf strap with Platinum 950 three-fold clasp with push button release, with the former being hand painted with Urushi lacquer in a multi-coating process.
Despite the almost 44mm diameter, the new Grand Seiko Kodo features a reasonable lug-to-lug spacing of 50.6mm, along with interhorn spacing of 22mm, 100m water-resistance, and magnetic resistance of 4,800 A/m.
Inside is housed the brand new Caliber 9ST1, which for every watch has been assessed — movement is tested for a full 48 hours in each of six positions and at three temperatures — over the course of 34 days to verify its accuracy of +5 to -3 seconds per day (when static for 48 hours).
The 35mm x 7.98mm Caliber 9ST1 is a manual-winding movement comprising 44 jewels and 340 components, beating at the frequency of 4Hz, providing a 72-hour power reserve, and featuring a hacking function so that the rotating tourbillon carriage can be stopped when the crown is pulled out.
The Caliber 9ST1 of the new Grand Seiko Kodo provides a treat for both acoustic and visual senses. The visual extravaganza is courtesy the “inner tourbillon carriage (that) rotates smoothly as the balance steadily vibrates at 8-beats per second and the outer constant-force carriage follows its rotation at exact one-second intervals”, and the acoustic pleasure is felt when one can hear the “sounds of the escapement and of the once-per-second impulse of the constant-force mechanism”. Honestly, if we can, we can’t wait to go hands-on with the new Grand Seiko Kodo
Another aspect to take note is that courtesy the lack of wheels or other components between the constant-force mechanism and the tourbillon, there will be no loss or change in the torque transmitted from the constant-force mechanism to the balance wheel which essentially means that the constant-force mechanism will have a more stable balance amplitude. And the constant-force carriage also features a ruby on one of its arms, that acts as a small seconds hand.
Retailing for €370,000, the limited to 20-pieces only new Grand Seiko Kodo is announced as part of the Watches & Wonders 2022 March 30 to April 5 (both online and at the Salon).
“With the creation of the Grand Seiko Kodo and the establishment of the Atelier Ginza, Grand Seiko has created a new stage on which, in the years to come, a new future will be built”.Press release
To find out more about the new Grand Seiko Kodo SLGT003 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.