Unveiled at Watches & Wonders 2022, the replica Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGA015 redefines the functional dive watch with its strongly patterned black dial, beautifully polished case and ultra-precise Spring Drive movement. Mark McArthur-Christie points out why Grand Seiko tends to be "a little OCD" before going on to share his thoughts on this fascinating underwater timepiece.
Describing Seiko as "a bit OCD" is probably fair -- and a compliment. Where other watchmakers might buy a dial here, a set of hands there, and a case elsewhere, Seiko does it all himself. It will also do this to a very high standard. Even the most basic Seiko watch has a finish and quality that would be the envy of many other pricier manufacturers. Then there is Grand Seiko. If Seiko is "a little sticky," the GS is the kind of place where every sugar crystal in a bowl on a table in the staff cafeteria is hand-polished.
It's not just being petty for petty sake, though. Grand Seiko Shinshu replica watches perfect Studio alone needs to extend the watchmaking awards they have won. The Men's Watch Award at the 2021 Geneva Grand Prix de la Horlogerie (GPHG) went to its Hi-Beat 36000 80-hour chronograph. 9SA5. However, the brand's talent is not limited to the manufacture of mechanical movements equipped with the brand's double-impulse escapement. Instead, they expand into their unique Spring Drive movement, like the one you'll find in the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGA015.
SPRING DRIVE——Akabane KawaIt's fair to say that this attention to detail means Seiko isn't rushing things. It is impossible for a watchmaker to send the world anything less than what it wants. It took over 20 years from Yoshikazu Akahane's original conception of the Spring Drive movement to its first Japan-only production model in 1999. Since then, the movement has gone through four hand-wound calibers and 19 automatics, with the current two movements seeing the light of day.
Much has been written about the Spring Drive movement, so it can be said that it is a mechanical/quartz hybrid that combines the best of both methods of timekeeping. You get the "soul" of a mechanical watch, its working train of wheels (minus the balance wheel and escapement), and the accuracy and reliability of a quartz watch. The escapement and balance wheel are replaced by a "pulley" that powers the watch's seconds hand and is regulated by an electromagnetic brake. You can pass the second hand without ticking or even taking tiny steps around the dial - it's just sliding. The closest comparison is what the seconds hand of an old tuning-fork Accutron movement looks like in action.replica Patek Philippe
Caliber 9RA5In this case, a Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGA015 powered by a 38 jewel Spring Drive 5 Days cal. 9RA5, self-winding movement. When fully charged, there are 5 days of vital reserves for your continued use. Accuracy-wise, as you'd expect from the Spring Drive movement, it's precise to within 0.5 seconds/day. It's also a nice move. The plate features patterns, angles, hot blue screws and the Grand Seiko name in blue.
Just look at that black dial. Diver is supposed to be all about boring old utilities, right? Not in this case. Grand Seiko tells us that the textures on the dial should reflect "...the dynamic and sometimes violent tides caused by the Kuroshio..." which is the Kuroshio Current that flows north through Japan to the North Pacific. It is one of the largest ocean currents in the world. No matter where Seiko got the idea, it was a cookie. The dial is just as easy to read as a regular black dial (it still complies with the ISO 6425 standard for dive watches), and looks great too.replica men watches
The frosted hour and minute hands stand out against it (as does the polished seconds hand with its luminous lollipop base). That hour hand is almost a cathedral hand with a three-segment cavity. The minute hand is classic Seiko dive watch - flared arrow tip and massive lume. All in all, it's an excellent watch face in terms of legibility and clarity, as well as being interesting. The markup applied makes it easy to understand at a glance.
Seiko is making the cases for this particular series of watches out of what they call "high-strength titanium". After some digging, it appears that this is not the case finishing process, but rather the composition of the metal alloy itself; titanium, iron, and niobium. Watchmakers also say the alloy is more scratch-resistant than stainless steel, with a Vickers hardness scale of 250-350 (stainless steel is usually around 150-250). Perhaps luckily they decided to use titanium instead of 316L as it is a chunky old case with a diameter of almost 44mm and a thickness of about 14mm. This saves a lot of weight - the metal they use is about 30% lighter than stainless steel.replica jacob and co
As you'd expect from a Grand Seiko, the finishing of the case comes straight from the top drawer. Usually brushed on the main case and polished on the facets connecting the case sides to the top. The bezel has ceramic filling and is one of the clearest and smartest bezels I've seen on a diver in a while, with arrow markings below each number. Seiko has left the very edge of the ceramic uncoated, allowing the texture to show through next to the knurled edge on the metal bezel side.
In fact, the crown is screwed in on a smooth positive thread and is protected by several thick guards that flare out from the sides of the case. The caseback is screwed on, too, and Seiko is happy to say that the whole block keeps water resistance to 200 meters – well beyond the actual depth that anyone will almost ever need, unless they’re sitting in a saturation diving chamber for a living. The crystal is sapphire and anti-reflective coating.
GRAND SEIKO SLGA015 V Rolex SubmarinerAll secured by a lightweight titanium bracelet secured by an adjustable three-fold clasp and push button release.https://www.moon-watch.co
Model: Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGA015Case: High-strength titanium case; diameter 43.8mm; height 13.8mm; water resistance 20ATM (200 meters); sapphire crystal; screw case back.Functions: hours; minutes; central seconds; date; power reserve indicatorMovement: Spring Drive 9RA5; automatic movement; 38 jewels; power reserve 120 hours.Strap: High-strength titanium bracelet with 3-fold clasp with push button release, safety lock and extender.