Grand Seiko Unleashes The Artistry Of The Katana With The Latest Heritage Collection Release.

by Sameera Gamage

Grand Seiko has bought out three new models for the latest Heritage Collection which is inspired by the Japanese sword known as the katana. These latest three models are exclusively released in US only, through Grand-Seiko boutiques, boutique online and select Grand Seiko Authorised Retailers in the US.

The katana is thought to be a world-renowned masterpiece in steel manufacturing and crafting. The sophisticated process of creating this sword along with the katana’s superb functionality has made it an item of fascination worldwide. The art form of creating these beautiful blades has inspired three new timepieces from Grand Seiko, with the three models reflecting the strength, perseverance, and beauty of the katana.

Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Black (SBGA489)

This special blade is made using raw materials from earth, fire, water, and air. Grand Seiko states that “Iron sand is drawn from the Earth and then heated using fire and air in a furnace known as the tatara. The melted sand forms the Japanese steel known as tamahagane. From tamahagane, two variations can be found. One is the high carbon steel used for the outer sharp edge, known as kawagane. The other is the strong inner core of the blade, shingane. The shards of metal are then stacked individually; heated to a glowing yellow, orange, and red color; forged; folded; and quenched in water until the inner core is welded within the hardened exterior. Forming the katana is a demanding and exacting art, yet it creates the foundation of a perfectly balanced and beautiful sword.”

Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Black (SBGA489)

The latest Grand Seiko collection comes with a 40mm stainless steel case that features immaculate polishing. The polishing of the katana sword takes tremendous skill and dexterity. The same principles can be applied to Grand Seiko and their polishing techniques, especially for the 44GS design which features Zaratsu polishing, first carried out in 1967. Only skilled and experienced hands can refine the shape of the blade or the watch case, using a flat, hard, and abrasive surface to polish surfaces and help to form distinctively sharp edges, multiple intersecting planes, and a perfect mirror finish.

Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Green (SBGA491)

Grand Seiko has released this collection in three distinctive colours. Inspired by the outer sharp edge, kawagne, Grand Seiko has released a black dial (SBGA489). The second timepiece draws inspiration from the resilience and strength of the shingane, which is represented on the dial as dark green (SBGA491). Both of these two dials come with a grain-like texture on the dial, which is a lot more prominent on the green.

Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Green (SBGA491)

Lastly, the third dial variant is a limited edition timepiece. Limited to 500 models, the dial has been inspired by the forge, and uses a unique dial pattern when compared to the other two models. This model still takes inspiration from the katana sword, however, this time more specifically from the fiery spirit needed to craft the blade. The deep red color with yellow gold-tone accents is influenced by the heated blade during the forging process. The pattern emulates the radiating sparks created when the hammer strikes the blade.

Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Limited Edition Red (SBGA493)

All three models come with a large date window at 3 o’clock, a gold minute hand, and a power reserve indicator between 7 and 8 o’clock positions. The stainless steel case is accompanied by a stainless steel bracelet with a three-fold clasp as standard. Grand Seiko has used their Calibre 9R65 movement on all three pieces. This Calibre 9R65 movement offers a power reserve of 72 hours while operating at an accuracy of +/- 1 second per day (+/- 15 seconds per month). The case back of the timepiece is open, revealing the Spring Drive Automatic Calibre 9R65 inside.

Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Limited Edition Red (SBGA493)

This latest trio of watches paying tribute to the katana serves up some beautiful timepieces, backed by reliable and proven automatic movement from the Japanese brand. Undoubtedly, we expect the red dial to be the favourite here, as it stands out well while looking great in the process. The pattern on the red dial along with the touch of gold for the power reserve indicator also makes it more visually appealing. The standard black (SBGA489) and green (SBGA491) will be available in August, while the limited edition red (SBGA493) will be released beginning of September.

Reference: Black (SBGA489), Green (SBGA491), Limited edition red (SBGA493)


  • Case: 40.0mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Dial: Patterned dial in either black, green, or limited edition red colours.
  • Crystal: Dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Water resistance: 100 m (10 bar)
  • Movement: Automatic Spring Drive Caliber 9R65
  • Power reserve: Approx. 72 hours
  • Strap:  Stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp and push-button release

Availability: Black (SBGA489) and green (SBGA491) available in August, with a limited edition red (SBGA493) to be released beginning of September.

International Recommended Retail Pricing:   USD $5,600 (SBGA489 and SBGA491), USD $6,000 (SBGA493)

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