The Manual Wind: Grandiose Black Ceramic Grand Seiko Limited Edition Series
The Quartz battery operated timepiece and the brand Seiko are synonymous. Putting Japan on the watch export map, millions of quartz timepieces made their way around the world starting in the 1960’s. Grand Seiko, the mechanical brand under the Seiko umbrella, quietly stood next to the computer chip driven giant for years. With the rise in popularity of mechanical watches thereafter, Grand Seiko has maintained its presence. Their latest collection, the Black Ceramic Limited Edition Series, is their attempt at a high-end, modern sport timepiece.
Offered in both a GMT and Chronograph GMT, these pieces are both 46mm in diameter. Sharp angles on the case and lugs make the piece dramatically modern. The fixed GMT bezel, crown, and pushers blend well with the case serving more as function where they could have been over-designed parts of the case. The pieces are offered in a few dial variations. The GMT comes in a black dial with brown strap or blue dial with black strap and accompanying blue stitch. The chronograph is offered in a black dial with brown strap as well as a very unique green dial with black strap. The green dial Chronograph GMT seems to be the piece to obtain. The dial has the imprint of a fir tree representing the 1,200 year old local tradition of carrying a fir tree down the mountainside not far from where this timepiece was made. Under the dial lies the in-house caliber spring driven automatic movement. Its accuracy is tested to under ten seconds differential a month. The movement is displayed through a sapphire exhibition case back.
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As most brands seem to be doing these days, the pieces that look the best are produced in a limited number. Three Black Ceramic pieces are limited to just 500 worldwide while the green dial Chronograph GMT is limited to 600. Attempting to make a ceramic statement, these Grand Seiko are not cheap. They offer a lot of watch but it comes at a price; $13,500 for the Chronograph GMT and $10,500 for the GMT. You can take a further look at the four pieces here.