Today, the pages turn again with the launch of a new high beat mechanical caliber, 9SA5, which, in its design and functionality represents an advance just as important as the first 9S. 9SA5 is more than just a new caliber. It is an entirely new movement and the foundation upon which a whole new generation of Grand Seiko mechanical watches will be created. Deploying all the skills and experience we have gained over the past 60 years, beyond doubt, the finest mechanical caliber that we have ever created.
The precision, power and slimness of Caliber 9SA5 are the result of the radical re-design of three key structures and some components within them for which several patents are either already granted or pending.
The escapement is entirely new and was developed in-house. It enables the escapement wheel to transmit power directly to the balance, leading to an efficiency increase. It is unique in that, in one direction, power is transmitted directly to the balance while in the other it is via the pallet fork, as in a traditional escapement. Both pallet fork and escapement wheel are made using MEMS technology.
9SA5 uses a new and special free-sprung balance developed for this caliber. It retains its precision for longer and is more resistant to shock and friction. The secret lies in the precision manufacture of the components as well as the extraordinary adjustment skills of the watchmakers at the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi. The new caliber is 15% slimmer than the current Grand Seiko high beat caliber, thanks to the innovative horizontal layout of the barrel and gear trains.
The movement is as beautifully finished as it is efficient. The bridge has a gently curving outline that is inspired by the shapes of Mt. Iwate and a bend in the Shizukuishi River that runs near the studio where the watch is made. Just as Caliber 9SA5 makes a significant and defining statement about the next stage of Grand Seiko’s technical development, the design also has a distinctive look that marks a new beginning.
The watch is, of course, true to the Grand Seiko Style that was defined back in 1967 with the celebrated 44GS but it is subtly different in ways that are much more than cosmetic.
This new design has all the hallmarks of Grand Seiko but also offers enhanced comfort and legibility. The slimness of the caliber does much to ensure that the watch can sit easily but it is combined with slightly wider lugs so that the watch also stays more solidly on the wrist.