The first Grand Seiko debuted in Tokyo in 1960. The reference 3180 was made by Suwa Seikosha. Rather than sending its 25 Jewels Chronometer movement to the Swiss to be tested, Seiko decided to do the testing themselves. The European Chronometer Official Association believed that a chronometer-rated watch had to be independently tested to be awarded that designation. Seiko watches were not independently tested so therefore they could not be chronometers. The ECOA did what irritated watchmakers do, they wrote a stern letter to Seiko requesting that the designation of Chronometer on Grand and King Seiko watches stop. Seiko obliged and ceased using "Chronometer" on their watches. In response, the Japanese Chronometer Authorization Association was started in 1968 as an independent group to test timepieces to chronometer standards. The Association was short-lived: due to the rise of quartz watches, it closed in 1983. Today Grand Seiko movements are tested over 17 days in 6 positions compared to COSC testing over 15 days in 5 positions. In 1985 Suwa Seikosha became Seiko Epson Corporation In 2017 Seiko announced that Grand Seiko would become an independent brand.
Here we have a 2018 Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 SBGH267 Limited Edition launched to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Grand Seiko calibre 9S. In 1998 it was the first mechanical movement made by Grand Seiko in 40 years. Limited to 1500 pieces, ours is number 1092. The 39.5mm stainless steel is expertly Zaratsu-polished by a true craftsman. The case gently curves over your wrist tapering at the lugs with a lug to lug length of 47mm and a case thickness of 13mm giving the watch a striking and impressive wrist presence. On the right side is a recessed screw-down signed crown. A polished sloping smooth bezel holds a sapphire crystal above a deep blue dial. This dial has the letters of Grand Seiko and the symbol of the Daini Seikosha factory (known today as Seiko Instruments Inc.) in an interesting spiral engraved pattern. The outer minute track has applied Zaratsu-polished batons with crisp chamfered edges that catch the light as you rotate your wrist. At 3 o’clock we have a framed date window. Elegant dauphine hands have Zaratsu-polished edges complemented by a sweeping gold second hand. At 12 o’clock you find the “GS” motif in gold with Grand Seiko underneath, at 6 o’clock Automatic Hi-Beat 36000 is precisely printed. On the reverse, a screw-down exhibition case. Inside a Grand Seiko Automatic Cal. 9S85, 37 jewels, 36,000 beats per hour. This 10 beat movement has incredible accuracy and is made with new materials like Spron 610 alloy used in its hairspring that took 5 years to develop. This movement has an anodized titanium and tungsten rotor in a striking blue which can be similarly found on the 10th Anniversary GMT Grand Seiko. The movement went through its in-house testing in 6 positions and in varying temperatures before the movement was passed. The watch comes fitted on a Grand Seiko 19mm 3-link stainless steel bracelet and signed folding clasp with polished and brushed finishing and comes with its Grand Seiko presentation box and papers, plus an original Grand Seiko Blue Leather Strap with Deployment Buckle.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold with its original Grand Seiko box & Grand Seiko paperwork. The watch comes paired with its original stainless steel Grand Seiko bracelet with a signed clasp, all links included, plus an original Grand Seiko Blue Leather Strap with Deployment Buckle. The watch is from July 2018 and is sold in worn condition, however as you can see from the photos the watch is in excellent condition despite its age. The watch comes with our 12-Months Warranty.