The Grand Seiko and Astron lines encapsulate the best of the watchmaker’s prowess
THE GRAND SEIKO AND ASTRON ARE TWO SIDES OF A COIN, HERITAGE AND MODERNITY BOUND BY ONE PHILOSOPHY. 24:7 AND SEIKO PRESENT THESE BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED TIMEPIECES BORN FROM A TRADITION OF QUALITY WATCHMAKING.
THE GRAND SEIKO
Two years ago, SEIKO reissued the first Grand Seiko to mark the company’s 130th anniversary. The first limited edition from the brand’s premium Grand Seiko line to be marketed and sold worldwide, this special timepiece was well received by collectors.
This year, SEIKO continued to honour its heritage by remaking the 44GS of 1967, distinguished by its angular and highly polished case. Its design was a landmark for Grand Seiko, as it laid out the design principles that still shape the aesthetic of its watches today.
Like the earlier anniversary edition, the 44GS remake is a faithful replica of the original, right down to the 37.9mm case diameter.
Despite its vintage aesthetics, it is very much a watch for today; with all the technology and details expected of a Grand Seiko. Equipped with a three-day power reserve, the manual wind 9S64 movement is made in-house by SEIKO and features the brand’s proprietary escape wheel and pallet fork.
On the outside, the most distinctive elements are the broad, polished flanks of the case. This is polished by hand using a special technique using a tin plate known as zaratsu which results in an extremely flat surface, similar to the speculaire or black polishing technique sometimes applied by Swiss watchmakers on steel components in high-end movements.
All four versions of the 44GS reissue – steel and the three colours of gold – share the same case and finishing technique.
SEIKO has also created another pair of limited editions that are a modern interpretation of the 44GS. Both are identical save for the dial colour.
In steel cases with matching bracelets, this pair has the same wide, sloping case sides found in the 44GS, as well as similar hands and hour markers. At 40mm they are significantly larger than their vintagestyle cousins, and therefore more suited to contemporary tastes.
Unlike the spare 44GS remake, they feature all the conveniences of watchmaking, like an automatic movement and a date function. In another concession to modernity, both are fitted with a display back, revealing the 9S65 movement inside which has a three-day power reserve.
The remake of the classic Grand Seiko
44GS revives the heritage of the brand’s
most iconic line.