While Grand Seiko is always known for their excellent craftsmanship and timepieces, the SBGZ007 is an absolute masterpiece in watchmaking. In honour of Seiko’s 140th Anniversary, Grand Seiko and the craftspeople of the Micro Artist Studio brought out this beautiful watch. As with most Grand Seiko watches this one also takes inspiration from nature, as this watch has taken inspiration from the night sky above Achi. Achi is a village located in the Shinsu region and is known for its spectacular night skies, and has also been dubbed as the most beautiful village in Japan.
There are a few things that is instantly noticeable on the watch, first being the case of the watch which is made out of 950 Platinum. The case is entirely engraved by hand by the Micro Artist Studio, with each groove being made individually. The pattern itself is not random but made out in the shape of bright stars. The dial is a blue starry dial, which is done through a very complex manufacturing and finishing process. This process gives the dial a different view from every angle. The hour and minute hands as well as the hour markers are made out of 14k white gold which are also polished and faceted. The Grand Seiko name, minute markers, spring drive text as well as the eight-pointed star are all etched into the dial. The eight-pointed star on the dial is to signify that it is a “Special Dial” that has precious materials/metals for the dial, hands and/or hour markers. This is not to be confused with the five-pointed star which is to signify that the particular watch is accurate to 5 seconds per year.
The case back of the watch reveals the 9R02 movement, which is a completely hand assembled Spring Drive movement which has a power reserve of 84 hours. This is partly due to the combination of a Dual Spring Barrell and a unique Torque Return System. Another small detail that can be seen on the movement is the barrel that is shaped like a bellflower, which is the symbol of Shiojiri, where the Micro Artist Studio is located. The movement itself also has an 18K yellow gold insert with the words “Micro Artist Studio” engraved on it. Grand Seiko do give the choice to the customer to be able to exchange that insert with a plaque engraved with the customer’s choice of words. The movement also shows a power reserve display that can be seen through the exhibition case back. The watch comes paired with a dark blue alligator leather strap with a threefold clasp with a push button release made out of 950 Platinum. It has a 30m water resistance, which means it is only suitable for splashes and should never be submerged in any depth of water. With a watch of this calibre it comes with domed sapphire crystal on the dial and also has sapphire crystal for the exhibition case back.
The sad news for this watch is that it is only limited to 50 pieces worldwide and comes at a price of €80,000 or $79,000. For that price and what is being offered it is a ridiculous amount of craftsmanship and value that one will get for that price. There are a lot of watches from bigger named manufacturers and brands particularly such as Rolex, where for the same price it would be impossible to find a watch that can stand head-to-head with the SBGZ007 especially in terms of craftsmanship and detail.