In 2020, Grand Seiko released its first jewelry masterpiece, a platinum cased Spring Drive watch whose design took inspiration from the winter mornings in the Shinshu region which is home to the Micro Artist Studio where the watch was created. Now Grand Seiko has chosen another unique aspect of the studio’s stunning and varied natural surroundings as the motif of another jewelry watch to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the company’s establishment.
Mishaka Pond, where infinite shades of green are reflected in clear, still water. Mishaka Pond is hidden away in the forest to the east of Lake Suwa not far from Shiojiri where the Micro Artist Studio is located. Its pristine, crystal clear water acts as the perfect reflector of the trees that grow right to the water’s edge and their myriad shades of green. It is a stunning sight, especially in high summer when a quiet serenity seems to embrace and enchant every visitor, including the painter Kaji Higashiyama whose celebrated 1982 work “Vibrant Green” perfectly depicts the pond’s verdant beauty.
With its green mother-of-pearl dial and the green garnet indexes, this new Spring Drive timepiece presents the passage of time with a calm grace that captures exactly the atmosphere of Mishaka Pond. To see the glide motion seconds hand move silently and continuously across the sumptuous dial is to experience the nature of time in a new, unique and profound way.
The carefully selected green garnets and tapered baguette diamonds that accompany them act as minute and hour markers. They are set into an 18k white gold base and are separated by 48 additional diamonds and 12 garnets that are individually set around the markers to further enhance the depth and beauty of the dial. The arrangement of the gems side by side around the entire dial requires a craftsman’s dexterity; the gems are set between a very thin pair of rails with great precision by the most skilled of the jewelry craftsmen and women in the Shinshu Watch Studio which shares the Shiojiri facility with the Micro Artist Studio. The gems are placed exactly horizontally so that they catch the light evenly. The garnet at twelve o’clock is slightly wider than the rest to ensure the perfect legibility of the time.
The watch is powered by the Spring Drive 8 day Caliber 9R01 that delivers an accuracy rate of ±10 seconds a month and offers a power reserve of 192 hours when fully wound. Caliber 9R01 incorporates three barrels arranged in sequence to deliver the extended power reserve which is shown by an indicator visible through the sapphire case back along with the exquisite finishing of the one-piece bridge, designed in the image of Mt. Fuji, and the rubies, which evoke the lights of Suwa City below Shiojiri.
The case is made of Platinum 950 and is finished with a form of Zaratsu polishing that is specially adapted for platinum and makes possible the distortion-free surfaces and sharp ridges that are an intrinsic part of the Grand Seiko aesthetic.