Words: Masayuki Hirota Photos: Takeshi Hoshi @ estrellas Styling: Eiji Ishikawa @ T.R.S Produced by GQ JAPAN for Grand Seiko
The dial reflects the Grand Seiko philosophy
An excellent finish is one of the hallmarks of a Grand Seiko watch. Zaratsu polishing and groove finishing underpin the distinct depth and texture of the case. A polyhedral case augments the its appeal. Pictured here is the inspiration for the SLGH005: a copse of white birch trees in Hiraniwa Kogen, a highland area in Iwate Prefecture. (Photo credit: Yomiuri Shimbun/Aflo)
The pièce de résistance of the SLGH005 is the new dial inspired by white birch trees. The dial on the 2020 limited edition is polished with blue lacquer. The vivid blue color signifies the essence of the Grand Seiko brand. In contrast, the dial of the SLGH005 features a bold pattern. The motif is the bark of the white birch tree. One of the greatest white birch forests in Japan is located near the Iwate Prefecture town of Shizukuishi, where this and all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are crafted. This natural scenery is expressed in this pressed dial.
Grand Seiko watches are known for their sturdiness and high precision, but now they are also earning acclaim for their creative dials and excellent finishing, typified by Zaratsu polishing. Moreover, competitors struggle to match Grand Seiko’s practice of unveiling new dial finishes almost every year.
Swiss watch brands are prized for their symmetry and homogenous patterns. In contrast, for the latest watch, Grand Seiko took the bold step of re-creating the irregular form of towering white birch trees on the dial. Nothing could better embody the Grand Seiko philosophy—The Nature of Time. Yet the tasteful restraint with which the white birch pattern is incorporated is indicative of the expertise Grand Seiko brings to dial designs. The white birch dial is unique and high-quality with excellent legibility. The high level of the attention to detail symbolizes the evolution of Grand Seiko.
The highest level of case making
The quality of the watch case is part of the understated appeal of SLGH005. The industry leading movement may attract all the attention, but the low center of gravity and the exquisite balance between the bracelet and the watch case make SLGH005 an absolute pleasure to wear.
While the SLGH003 (released in 2020) has the same excellent movement, it also has a superb case design. The diameter is 40 mm, but the low center of gravity keeps the watch steady on the wrist and the proper balance between the weight of the wristwatch and bracelet limit the fatigue associated with longer periods of wear. The narrow bezel and enlarged dial increase legibility.
Grand Seiko decided to emulate this superb case with the new Heritage Collection SLGH005. The comfort and high legibility remain unchanged. With its exceptional movement and excellent case, the balance is as good as one would expect for a flagship of Grand Seiko.
This landmark achievement by Grand Seiko combines sturdiness and high precision with excellent finishing and a unique design. We unreservedly recommend SLGH005 to wristwatch lovers and seekers of quality watches alike.
The raised logo on the buckle prevents damage even in situations where rubbing or scraping is unavoidable.