It is worth celebrating when a brand introduces a new complication. Collectors definitely take note, and this qualifies as news – a first is a first after all. Grand Seiko demonstrated this recently with the Evolution 9 Collection Tentagraph SLGC001 at Watches and Wonders Geneva – the watch is not only the first traditional mechanical chronograph from the Japanese brand but also the first chronograph to deploy its new dual impulse escapement. How did Grand Seiko miss the chronograph market all these years, when Seiko, a chronograph pioneer, was there?
Grand Seiko made chronographs, but they were Spring Drive pieces and not mechanical pieces. Spring Drive is a smooth mechanism that makes for beautiful watches. Grand Seiko was a brand that did not disappoint when it came to beauty. It also did not engage in complicated complications unless Spring Drive were involved. Grand Seiko’s owning its own company meant that the Grand part was emphasized. Tentagraph is the subject of several stories, so this story will focus on the beautiful touches Grand Seiko watches are known for.
Monochrome, who is familiar with Grand Seiko, has noted that the dial’s relative simplicity will be a complete riposte for the Spring Drive Chronographs. We don’t have a preference for one method over another, but it is interesting to see that Grand Seiko has done this differently with its mechanical collection. We must note for the record that we prefer the date (if absolutely necessary) to be at the 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock. It could have been more difficult because the chronograph module was dial-side. Maybe 6 o’clock for a future iteration? It is expected that Spring Drives will be differentiated from other models. In the watch industry, these design flourishes are not to be taken lightly. It will help you to distinguish between different models if you collect Grand Seikos or chronographs.
The watch is quite large (approximately 42mm) and fairly thick (15mm). As we found out, the ergonomic design of the lugs makes it easier to wear for smaller wrists. The Tentagraph comes with a bracelet so wearability shouldn’t be an issue. If it is, a NATO band can easily solve the problem. Seiko and Grand Seiko use the term high-intensity titanium to describe both the bracelet and case. Zaratsu polishing has been claimed and is visible here. This is impressive considering titanium is not a good material for polishing. Grand Seiko is known for this, but you should not assume it. These lines of finishing show how seriously the manufacturer takes the art.
Movement Automatic calibre 9SC5; chronograph with date and 72-hour power reserve
Case 43mm made of high intensity titanium, water-resistant up to 100m
Strap bracelet in high-intensity titanium
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