Grand Seiko Evolution 9

Jan 11, 2022,10:40 AM

In 2021, Grand Seiko introduced a high-beat watch inspired by the slender and beautiful white birch trees of the Hiraniwa Plateau in northern Japan. This timepiece was warmly praised by watch fans worldwide for its intricately textured dial and for the revolutionary Hi-Beat 36000 Automatic Caliber 9SA5 that powered it. Its wide acclaim culminated in its selection as the winner of the Men’s Watch prize at the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. Shown below, on the left.

Now, a new creation powered by the latest and finest Spring Drive Caliber 9RA2 captures the atmosphere of a white birch forest but in a subtly new way that echoes the feeling of the forests of Shinshu, home to the studio where all Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches are made. The watch will be available at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retail stores worldwide in February 2022. Shown above on the right, and below:

The craftsmanship is evident in every detail. The delicately textured dial and the tempered blue seconds hand reveal an artistry that is matched by the ‘frost’ finishing of the movement, whose beauty is clearly visible through the sapphire case back. To watch the completely smooth glide motion of the seconds hand as it moves serenely across the subtly patterned dial is to be brought closer than ever to the tranquil, seamless and natural flow of time.

The delicate texture of the movement's finish reflects the frost that winter brings to the trees in Shinshu. The bridge lines and hole edges are diamond-cut to reflect light from all angles and the jewels and the tempered blue power reserve indicator add a quiet sparkle that is a delight to behold. Caliber 9RA2 delivers a power reserve of up to 120 hours and is accurate to ±10 seconds per month.

The watch’s design is true to the Grand Seiko Style defined back in 1967 with the celebrated 44GS. However, it also announces an important step forward in Grand Seiko design. To be known as the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Style, this new grammar of design takes Grand Seiko’s ideals of beauty, legibility and wearing comfort to new levels. Its Zaratsu polished, distortion-free mirror finish and delicate hairline finish alternate to give the case a quiet and harmonious glow. Its powerful hands and grooved, prominent markers ensure perfect legibility. The case’s center of gravity is lower, and the bracelet has just the right width and depth to ensure that the watch sits easily and securely on the wrist.

The ‘White Birch’ timepieces, both high-beat and Spring Drive, form the new Evolution 9 Collection starting in February 2022.

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 By: Esharp : January 11th, 2022-13:43
Thanks - I assume this is the press release? GS does a lot of things nicely. I’m not going to go over them. May I please instead politely recount a few of my frustrations with GS? First, the extraneous dial text. It’s like they’re channeling Rolex…but not... 

Yes, the copy is from compiled from several press releases and the website.

 By: cazalea : January 11th, 2022-16:14
You're entitled to express your opinion. As for ritual flogging, that depends. Not everyone is entitled to that! As regards the numbering scheme, I have partially deciphered it, and you can see the results for yourself: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q 1... 

Great work Mike …

 By: Cpt Scarlet : January 11th, 2022-22:40
Your spreadsheet detailing the references is a labour of love and I’m sure it will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for all the effort.


 By: Cpt Scarlet : January 11th, 2022-22:48
As it is highlighted as a link I did and was pleasantly surprised. Thank you again as I’m enjoying exploring it.

A watch that nobody asked for?

 By: als1678 : January 11th, 2022-19:25
I thought the "white birch" was one of the special dials which helped showcase the fantastic Caliber 9SA5. I do like spring drive in general and find the new iteration interesting. But why put the new movement in a replica of the automatic? This makes so ... 

A range of improvements …

 By: Cpt Scarlet : January 11th, 2022-22:54
On a watch that’s becoming a classic for GS… Isn’t that called evolutionary progress.

I think perhaps the Evolution 9 is a new generation of cases into which many existing/new movements will go

 By: cazalea : January 11th, 2022-23:24
A GS watch "family" might be populated by manual wind, regular automatic, hi-beat, Spring Drive and/or quartz movements. NOTE: Chronographs are seldom sold by Grand Seiko and have their own sort of lineage and by necessity their own cases. This is not nec...  

Thank you for this great post and overview (also for your excel with links!!)

 By: MTR : January 18th, 2022-16:12
I'm just starting to delve deeper into Seiko and have been considering the SLGA009: or even the (much more expensive) SLGA008 model: But also the model SLGH005 (Hi-Beat version) which - as we see - looks completely like the SLGA009 (these names…..) It's s...  

Spring Drive

 By: cazalea : January 18th, 2022-17:06
In theory, the Spring Drive might need service eventually. There is less stress on the watches as there is no start/stop, tic/toc of the movement. The smooth running, no-contact escapement/time regulation circuits have no wearing parts, other than pivots ...  

Thanks a lot, cazalea!

 By: MTR : January 18th, 2022-22:22
This was very helpful. You mentioned that there are multiple levels of Spring Drive quality. Do you know if the SLGA009 and the SLGA008 have implemented the same quality of Spring Drive movement? Many thanks in advance Thomas

I believe it’s the best so far!

 By: cazalea : January 19th, 2022-03:31
Caliber 9RA2 At the birthplace of Spring Drive, the Shinshu Watch Studio, craftsmen and women assemble timepieces by hand, from the case, dial, hands and indexes to all other components. At every step of the process, from development and design to manufac...