When Seiko’s Spring Drive was first launched at the 2005 BaselWorld watch fair, it was hailed as the brand’s most important movement after the famed Astron quartz watch of 1969.
While timing in a mechanical watch is regulated by the escapement, this is not the case for Seiko’s Spring Drive.
There is no escapement in the Spring Drive; rather timing is controlled by what is termed the Tri-synchro regulator which boasts of an accuracy of plus / minus 0.5 seconds a day.
At the annual BaselWorld watch fair in 2014, Seiko unveiled three Grand Seiko Spring Drive models powered by the Calibre 9R15 where two are in steel and one is in platinum. Moreover, these pay tribute to the Seiko “Self-Dater” watch of 1964.
However, there are more: the Grand Seiko SBGA111 Spring Drive in stainless steel (seen above) and the Grand Seiko SBGA109 in titanium, both commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Spring Drive.
The Grand Seiko SBGA111 also utilises the Calibre 9R15 spring drive movement which has 72 hours of power reserve after being fully wound.
Observe the dial and you’d see a patterned dial with multiple “GS” alphabets (for Grand Seiko). This commemorative edition has two blued steel hands: one is for the power reserve indicator hand and the other is for the continuous sweep seconds hand.
Take a close look and one can visualise a “cross” on the dial which is symbolic of the numeral “10” in Mandarin. Obviously, this is a special design highlighting the 10th anniversary of the Spring Drive.
There is even the Grand Seiko lion emblem on the dial; this can be seen at the 2 o’clock position. This logo is placed here as this is the reference for the 10 minute index, aptly representing the 10th anniversary of the Spring Drive.
Production of the Grand Seiko SBGA111 Spring Drive 10th Anniversary Limited Edition is limited to 1,500 pieces.
The indicative pricing of the Grand Seiko SBGA111 at the time of writing is around HK$48,000 / SGD7,800 (Singapore dollars) / MYR20,300 (Malaysian Ringgit).
To compare the SBGA111 in stainless steel with the Grand Seiko SBGA109 Spring Drive limited edition in titanium, check out the timewerke.com article: “Grand Seiko SBGA109 Spring Drive in titanium: 10th Anniversary Limited Edition: Spot the lion and the differences“