Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    The history of Seiko begins in 1881, when at the age of 22, a young man named Kintaro Hattori opened a small shop in central Tokyo. This shop, K. Hattori & Co., specialized in the sales and repair of watches and clocks. 11 years later, the shop moved to a new location and evolved into the Seikosha Factory for developing clocks and pocket watches. Mr. Hattori could not fathom the journey that his company would embark on in the years to come. In his light, Seiko is still striving to achieve his main goal; the perfection of the world’s finest timepiece.

    KHattori130 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    Mr. Hattori passed in 1934. This was 26 years before the creation of Grand Seiko. Tsuneya Nakamura, who joined Seiko in 1944, directed the Grand Seiko project and recognized the importance of perfection. Only Seiko's finest, most experienced and skilled watchmakers were selected to complete this task. Grand Seiko's ultimate ambition was to be the most durable, legible, and accurate timepiece in the world.

    GSoriginal by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    Grand Seiko was created in the Suwa Seikosha factory in Nagano, (central) Japan in 1960 and they are still made in the Suwa factory today. They spared no expense in the manufacturing of Grand Seiko. But Seiko's goal was to create the perfect watch, one that surpassed the highly regarded Swiss Chronometer, no matter the cost. There was very little profit involved due to all the advances in technology Seiko applied to the development of this piece. When it was released, retail was around $350,000 yen, close to $1,000 USD at the time, which was very expensive.

    The first Grand Seiko debuted with their in-house 3180 manual winding caliber. With this movement, Seiko truly had one of the finest quality timepieces in production. Seiko's in house "GS" Chronometer standard was used in certifying these watches. Each timepiece was presented with a rating certificate that showed the results of 15 days of testing and bested any Swiss watch.

    2011 embraces the 130th Anniversary of the Seiko Corporation and the founding of Seiko by Kintaro Hattori. To honor the 130 years of dedication Seiko has brought to perfecting horology, they have taken one of their most amazing achievements and re-introduced it in a very special limited edition. SBGW040...

    GS-SBGW040-1 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-2 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-3 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-4 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    The SBGW040 was one of 3 pieces introduced in 2011 to commemorate the original Grand Seiko produced in 1960. The 3 variations of the 130th anniversary piece were made in Stainless Steel (SBGW033), Platinum (SBGW039) and finally 18kt Yellow Gold (SGW040).

    GS-SBGW040-5 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-6 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-7 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-8 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    The SBGW040 was made to be almost an exact replica of the original release. There are few aspects of the piece that deviated from the original design and only for good reason.

    GS-SBGW040-9 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-10 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-11 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-12 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    The 2011 model (SBGW040) features a solid 18kt yellow gold 35.8mm case. The original was only gold plated, but the same case width.

    GS-SBGW040-13 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-14 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-15 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-16 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    The gold is polished by hand, using the Zaratsu (Blade) polishing technique. This form of polishing was originally used on Katana blades to give them a pure mirror finish.

    GS-SBGW040-17 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-18 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-19 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-20 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    This mirror finish was incredibly useful to the warriors who used the katana; using the reflection of the blade to monitor any actions behind them or around corners.

    GS-SBGW040-21 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-22 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-23 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-24 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    The other offensive strategy used in the katana's Karatsu finish was light. In battle, the reflection of the sun off the blade could easily blind enemies. Seiko applied this to the timepiece in a very unique way.

    GS-SBGW040-25 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-26 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-27 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    Most Grand Seiko's do not have lume applied to the hands or indices. The reason is that the hands and index markers are brought to razor sharp edges and then finished using the Zaratsu technique. As the blade of the Katana would blind enemies with light, the hands and indices of Grand Seiko will reflect light to increase the legibility and also give them a sparkle, almost that of a diamond. In dark settings, the hands and indices will find the smallest amount of light and reflect, making the piece easily legible. Therfore, there is no need for lume.

    GS-SBGW040-28 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-29 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-30 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-31 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    To add to the legibility of these timepieces, Seiko used their High Definition Dual-Curved Sapphire Crystal with anti-reflective coating. Seiko has a whole optical division that manufactures high quality lenses for eyewear. They take research and development from the eyewear division and combine that with their manufacturing of sapphire crystals to create the finest quality crystal for their timepieces.

    GS-SBGW040-32 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-33 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-34 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    Back in 1960, the 3180 movement found in the Grand Seiko was one of the finest available. For the commemorative model, it was vital that Seiko used only the finest movement available today. The 9S64 movement was specially developed for the 130th Anniversary model. Seiko wanted to keep tradition with a manually wound movement, but as they did with the original, only use the latest advances in technology.

    GS-SBGW040-35 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-36 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-37 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    The 9S64 is a 24 jewel movement that uses Spron 510 (an in house developed alloy proprietary to Seiko) mainspring which gives the movement a 72 hour power reserve. This is one of the longest power reserves on the market for a one-barrel movement.

    GS-SBGW040-38 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-39 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-40 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-41 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    The escapement is (IMHO) one of the finest aspects of the movement. Seiko uses MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) for the manufacturing of the Escapement Wheel and Pallet Fork. This engineering allows shapes and designs not possible with traditional methods. Intense hardness, ultra precise parts with enhanced durability and smoother surfaces with less abrasion are some of the characteristics associated with this manufacturing process. Not only does the MEMS technology allow for a stronger more durable product, but also provides a longer lubricant reserve, giving the piece a longer length of time before servicing.

    GS-SBGW040-42 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    GS-SBGW040-43 by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    The newly developed Spron 610 alloy is used for the balance spring, giving the timepiece improved shock resistance and anti-magnetism. This is one of the leading alloys used for a balance wheel in the industry today.

    All mechanical Grand Seiko's are certified and tested to -3 to +5 seconds a day accuracy and are issued with certificates as the original Grand Seiko was. The new 130th Anniversary model is no exception.

    GS130Esc by JoeAZFT, on Flickr

    Only 130 of these magnificent commemorative pieces were produced. There were originally supposed to be around 5 or 6 that came to the US. Unfortunately, that allotment was cut short due to high demand for the piece in Japan. This is the very 1st piece to come to North America.

    The Platinum (SBGW039) is scheduled to arrive in Sept. sometime and the Stainless Steel (SBGW033) is scheduled for Oct. I will post many pictures when they arrive. Most of these pieces are pre-sold but we do still have some available for reserve. They will not be around for long. Please feel free to contact us at 1-800-486-3996 for more information.

    Please keep in mind, on Friday, October 14th, AZ Fine Time will once again be hosting the Grand Seiko Roadshow. We will have a master watchmaker from the Suwa factory in store building a Grand Seiko timepiece. We will have many of Seiko's staff here to answer questions in addition to complimentary food, drink and (our other business) cigars. It would be a pleasure to get some friends from the forum in attendance. There is no charge for admission, so please feel free to come by if you can and make yourselves at home. This is a great opportunity to purchase a Grand Seiko or Ananta watch and have the box autographed by the master watchmaker. Please feel free to contact us for any additional information.

    I hope you all enjoyed the read and thank you very much for your support!

  2. #2
    Member BrownyHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Long Island, NY

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    I now have a totally new appreciation for Grand Seikos! Great review and INCREDIBLE pictures. I want to express how beautiful this piece is, but words escape me!
    altez likes this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    Nice write up! I saw someone cross-post this thread, and here is what I had to say there.
    Quote Originally Posted by omegabenz View Post
    I've been really getting into the GS and the Credor line from some post I have seen on another forum. I love the grey and gold hands on that first watch. The 130th anniversary edition looks great too!

    The contour plot by atomic force microscopy (AFM) shown in this photo

    illustrates that the pieces are made almost perfectly flat using of microelectro mechanical systems (MEMS).

    Edit: I didn't know this was from last year. I wanted to go to the show!
    Last edited by omegabenz; January 20th, 2012 at 08:39.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    My fathers Seiko 5 lasted more than a lifetime. 3 times opened for cleaning only and accuracy is always at its best. Band, color and water resistance still the same.

  6. #5
    Member nickalew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Orange County, CA

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    Man, grand Seikos are amazing....hope to afford one one day. The 130th anniversary ones are just majestic
    Citizen Eco-Drive G900-T009379
    Flüd Big Ben
    Fossil CH-2695
    Pulsar PT3005
    Seiko SSB009P1
    Orient Mako

  7. #6
    Member fasthandssam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Southern California

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    Without exaggerating or using hyperbole- the Grand Seiko 130th anniversary is one of the greatest looking watches of all time. Perhaps THE greatest looking watch at its price point. Such a fantastic piece!

  8. #7
    Moderator at Large stuffler,mike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    The Hague-Amman-London-Berlin

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    Great write up.
    Kind regards

    Instagram @mikestuffler

  9. #8
    Member igorRIJEKA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    I'm speechless,this is


  10. #9
    Member Kid_A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    wow. this is amazing watch. reminds me how longines took classic conquest watch and made of it nice retro-look piece. indeed, grand seiko is far far from mass-production longines.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014

    Re: Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW040

    Thanks for sharing ... GS's are awesome! Need to start saving up for one ; ) Lol just realized this thread is a few year old

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