Last year at Watches & Wonders Geneva, Grand Seiko debuted three Spring Drive sports watches in the Evolution 9 Collection. These introductions brought enhanced legibility, wearability, and comfort to some of its most popular styles through the new Evolution 9 design codes, which are firmly grounded in the original Grand Seiko Style that was born in 1967.
These watches included a 200m Spring Diver, which marked the first time the new 9RA5 movement with five days of power reserve was used in a regular production Grand Seiko diver’s watch. The 9RA5 is a next-generation Spring Drive movement that boasts a range of enhancements designed to improve accuracy and performance. These include a new IC, dual-size barrels, and an offset Magic Lever. The movement is also slimmer and more structurally robust (than previous 9R automatic movements), with an accuracy of ±10 seconds per month and a power reserve of five days.
In addition to the new movement and the next-generation styling of Evolution 9, the standout feature of last year’s diver was its dial, inspired by the Kuroshio Current, also known as the Black Stream. The coastal waters of Japan are influenced by the flow of the Kuroshio Current, one of the world’s major ocean currents, as well as by the nutrient-rich waters of the Oyashio Current, creating one of the world’s most diverse ocean regions.
This year, Grand Seiko has a new version of its Evolution 9 Spring Drive diver that features a ceramic bezel and “Ushio” dial in Grand Seiko blue, named after the Japanese term for “tide.” Thanks to the new colour palette, the pattern that characterised last year’s watch is even easier to discern, if perhaps slightly less mysterious. The markers and hour, minute, and seconds hands are all coated with Lumibrite to ensure that the legibility for which this watch was designed applies not only above deck during the daylight hours, but also when diving and in the dark.
The ergonomic characteristics of the Evolution 9 Style are readily evident in the SLGA023. Like the SLGA015 before it, the SLGA023 features a case and bracelet made of high-intensity titanium. The case measures 43.8mm in diameter and 13.8mm thick, with faceted lugs and a crown guard. Thanks to the 23mm lug width, the titanium bracelet is wider toward the top and tapers down toward the three-fold clasp, enhancing the comfort and stability of the watch on the wrist.
Pricing for the SLGA023 is AUD 17,300. It will be available from Grand Seiko boutiques and select retailers from August 1, 2023.