Macro Monday: Grand Seiko Elegance Platinum Limited Edition
This week we have an Atom Moore macro of the Grand Seiko Elegance Platinum Limited Edition. At Baselworld 2019, Grand Seiko launched the 20th Anniversary Spring Drive thin dress series. After twenty years of development, the original Spring Drive was launched in Baseworld 1999, recognized as an important milestone in elegance watchmaking. As part of the Elegance Collection, the 20th anniversary thin series presents an even slimmer, more refined profile. Spring Drive movements use a “glide wheel” regulating system that produces a current powering an electromagnetic brake controlling the rate of revolution. A quartz timing package works with the brake to ensure the glide wheel rotation is exactly 8 times per second.
The SBGZ001 and SBGZ003 sport platinum cases (the former having one that is hand-decorated), while the SBGY002 has one of yellow gold, and the SBY003 comes with a steel case. Dial colors can be silver or “silver snowflake” (platinum), a “white snowflake” (18k gold), or a sunray steel pattern. The SBGZ001 executes its hour markers and hands in typical Grand Seiko fashion, delivering diamond-cut, razor sharp edges and mirror-polished surfaces.
The Spring Drive calibers are 9R02 and 9R31. The 9R02 is particularly interesting; it’s derived from the 7R14 movement found in the Credor Eichi II, but has a substantial upgrade power reserve upgrade of 84 hours rather than 60. This is thanks to two key features. First, rather than using a standard mainspring, this watch has a pair of stacked mainsprings acting in parallel within a single barrel (lengthening the power reserve by about 50%). Second, there is an improved Torque Return System, based on the original version devised for the Credor Eichi I. Acting essentially as a mechanism that recycles the energy powering the watch, this improved system means that the mainspring uses its own excess energy to rewind itself, granting an extra 14 hours or so of power reserve.
It’s an impressive watch indeed that can operate perfectly on just 70% power. That, coupled with the beautiful case and dial features, should definitely put the 20th anniversary Spring Drive thin series on your watch list.