The million dollar questions
Seiko, undoubtedly, maintains some lofty standards. It’s enough to boggle not just a watch lover’s mind, but also of those with a keen eye and appreciation for art. But, does the Grand Seiko HI-BEAT Automatic Power Reserve Men’s Watch equals – if not exceeds – the fine Swiss timepieces? What do you get for the money that fetches you the Grand Seiko HI-BEAT Automatic Power Reserve Men’s Watch?
All that you get are...
• A technically-perfect movement that proves its worth both short- and long-term.
• GMT, regular time-telling aside; power-reserve indicator and date.
• The latest in materials, engineered to excellence.
• A splendid craftsmanship.
• The enthralling feel of owning a Grand Seiko; not just a high-precision, high-beat watch!
Oh, there are none beneath the fluted crown, slightly integrated to the case. Pressed in, it winds the mainspring with every turn; to reset the date, pull out to click 1, for resetting the hands, pull out to click 2. But that’s beside the point here; currently, we see the Grand Seiko HI-BEAT Automatic Power Reserve Men’s Watch and the iconic Rolex GMT Master II locking the fictitious horns. The rivalry, beyond doubts, is highly consensual.
The Grand Seiko HI-BEAT Automatic Power Reserve Men’s Watch is built on the same concepts as the Rolex and shares many of its elements. Casual-chic, robust and rather sporty to look at, the GMT High Beat 36000 GS is a seamless fit into daily city life.
Now, both the Rolex and this GS are produced entirely in-house. The GS is as pure to its entirety; the Calibre 9S86 has high-specs and is as accurate. Fluctuating between -5 to +3 seconds a day and storing power worth running 55 hours on a fully wound mainspring, it’s the GMT function that steps up the previous Calibre 9S85 to the existing one.
• Exterior design: This modern take embodies a new and stunning twist on Grand Seiko’s design philosophy from ’67 when the 44GS was introduced. The reflections are distortion-free and it is a wide mirror-surface throughout. Beautiful and delicate is its polished finish, also on the dial.
• Fast-beat movement: Extreme precision always stays the chief advantage over lower-frequency movements; it also makes the 9S86 more shock-resistant than lower-beat mechanisms. An added boon, for sure.
• Internal material: Spron 610 is the fruit of Seiko’s five-year old experiment to develop a special alloy. The calibre’s hairspring is made from this alloy, bringing greater shock resistances and being more anti-magnetic than any standard alloy. The additional stress due to high frequency is buffered by redesigned lever, pallets and escape-wheel, resulting in increased longevity. There’s also Spron 530 that makes the calibre’s mainspring, enabling it to withstand a stronger torque; essential for the high-frequency balance. All that is viewable down the window of sapphire making for the larger part of the case-back; the name Grand Seiko Watches shows on the winding rotor. Boldly engraved letters inlaid with gold; the sapphire window showcases the elegance of the high-quality craftsmanship through functional details visible from all angles.
Lastly, the Special:
Steeply sloped, polished and stylized, the GS receives zaratsu treatment - the blade- polishing method of yore. A rotating tin plate does that, placed at a very precise angle, creating a mirror finish, even on the fine bevels of the lugs.
All in all:
Solid, lightweight with a supple and rich leather band, the functional details of the Grand Seiko HI-BEAT Automatic Power Reserve Men’s Watch harmonizes with the carefully crafted aesthetic abundance, making it a GS to be lured at.
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