Grand Seiko has announced a limited edition timepiece that’s inspired by Naruto’s Tidal Whirlpools.
Last week Grand Seiko unveiled the latest of their limited edition models; the Grand Seiko Naruto Whirlpools inspired Watch. As the name of the timepiece suggests, the inspiration behind this watch comes from the spectacular natural phenomenon that can be spotted of the coast of Naruto, Japan. This isn’t the first time Grand Seiko has created a timepiece dedicated to whirlpools, with the brand releasing quite a few variations throughout the years. This particular model, however, is dedicated specially for the Naruto Whirlpools.
To be exact, the Naruto whirlpools that occur along the Shikoku coast of the Naruto Strait. The whirlpools are created when large volumes of water moving between Seto Inland Sea and the Pacific Ocean between high and low tide combines with the unique underwater geography of the narrow strait. With the change in tides, the whirlpools can be spotted every six hours and can typically be seen once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
These mesmerising whirlpools have been a source of inspiration for many, with Grand Seiko being the latest to use this phenomenon on their dials. On this latest timepiece (ref SBG11331), Grand Seiko showcases this phenomenon in a unique and artistic way. The watch is presented on a 39.5mm stainless steel case with matching stainless steel three-link bracelet.
The dial is certainly up there as one of the best horological artworks created on a dial. The light blue textured dial is adorned with a geometrical pattern to reflect the swirls on a whirlpool. Grand Seiko states that “the intricate pattern on the dial is achieved through meticulous craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, showcasing the brand’s commitment to precision and artistry.”
A touch of colour is added to the dial, with gold being used on the seconds hand and also on the Grand Seiko logo. This gold actually stands out and complements the blue of the dial nicely. The hour indices are baton-style raised design, which gives the dial a three dimensional look. Finally a date window at 3 o’clock completes the look of this artistic piece.
The Grand Seiko Naruto Whirlpools edition comes equipped with brand’s Calibre 9S85 Hi-Beat movement. This is one exceptional movement. It beats at an extremely high frequency of 36,600 VpH (10Hz). Normally on timepieces you would expect the frequency of a movement to sit around 3Hz or 4Hz, as the higher you go, reliability of the movement can be compromised (read out article on how the frequency of a movement works here). However, with the Calibre 9S85, Grand Seiko were up to the challenge of achieving both accuracy and reliability.
In regards to movement, Grand Seiko states “the challenge of making a high-beat movement is one that only a few watchmakers choose to accept. With its higher oscillation rate of ten beats per second, greater accuracy is achievable, but this increased precision comes at a price because the faster rotational speed can take its toll on the power reserve and even the longevity of the whole movement. Grand Seiko’s 10 beat movement meets these challenges and delivers an accuracy of +5 to –3 seconds a day, a power reserve of 55 hours and the durability for which every Grand Seiko watch is renowned. Caliber 9S85 is the result of many years of development and of advances both in the design and manufacture of components and in the materials themselves.”
The Grand Seiko Naruto Whirlpools will be limited to 150 models worldwide, with each timepiece being numbered “1 of 150” on the case back. This model will be available for purchase through select Grand Seiko boutiques and authorized dealers from the 1st of November. With a stunning artistic dial and the watch also being a limited edition model, we cant expect this Naruto Whirlpools edition to be in stock for too long!
- Case: 39.5mm, Thickness: 12.96mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel case
- Dial: Light blue textured dial with geometrical pattern.
- Crystal: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
- Case Back: Sapphire crystal
- Water resistance: 10 Bar / 100m
- Movement: Calibre 9S85
- Power reserve: Approximately 55 hours.
- Bracelet: Stainless steel three-link bracelet with three-fold clasp with push button release.