When, in 2020, Grand Seiko introduced a jewelry watch into the Masterpiece Collection for the first time, its design evoked the landscape of the region where it was created. Today sees the introduction of another Spring Drive jewelry timepiece whose craftsmanship is of the same high standard but whose inspiration is very different. Since 1960, the lion has symbolized the strength of Grand Seiko but now it finds a new expression. The white lion has arrived.
The strength and power of the lion are still at the heart of this watch but the white lion has a beauty that is as striking as it is rare. Sparkling diamonds, black spinels, white gold and Platinum 950 combine to create a stunning timepiece of exquisite artistry. It is offered in a limited edition of just five and will be presented at selected Grand Seiko Boutiques in May 2022.
While the strong and angular lugs speak of the power of the lion and the graceful tresses of its mane are reflected in the pattern on the dial, it is the jewels that attract the eye. 112 diamonds are embedded in the upper surfaces of the case and a further 60 baguette diamonds surround the dial on the bezel. No fewer than 94 diamonds are set in the dial, contrasting with the 26 black spinels to create a stunningly intricate effect. The seconds hand is tempered to a perfect grey color to match the overall tone and a single brilliant-cut diamond is set into the crown.
Hand craftsmanship of the highest order
On the dial, the carefully selected spinels and baguette diamonds are tapered and serve as minute and hour markers. All these gems are set by hand between a very thin pair of 18kt white gold rails by the most skilled of the jewelry craftsmen and women in the Shinshu Watch Studio in Shiojiri. The diamonds on the bezel are also set by hand with a precision that allows the light on their table surfaces to flow evenly, as if the bezel were a single surface. The same high level of jewelry expertise is to be seen on the lugs where the diamonds are set so exactly that they also seem to create a single, flat surface.
The case is made of Platinum 950 and has the sharply defined edges and prominent ridges that are among the central characteristics of Grand Seiko. This is achieved by the cold forging of the case and by a special kind of Zaratsu polishing that was designed especially for Platinum 950.
The combination of the muscular case design and the exquisite detail of the gemstones is strikingly unusual. Powerful yet graceful, just like the white lion itself, this new Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection watch has a beauty all its own.
A Spring Drive movement with eight days of power and a view of Mt. Fuji
The watch is powered by the Spring Drive 8-day Caliber 9R01 which was created by the Micro Artist Studio, the elite team of watchmakers who create all the Spring Drive watches in the Masterpiece Collection and whose home is in the same Shiojiri facility as the Shinshu Studio. Caliber 9R01 delivers an accuracy rate of ±10 seconds per month and offers a power reserve of eight days, or 192 hours, when fully wound. It incorporates three barrels arranged in sequence to deliver the extended power reserve which is shown by an indicator visible through the sapphire crystal case back along with the exquisite finishing of the one-piece bridge, designed in the image of Mt. Fuji.