Our friends at Seiko provide TimeZone with a look at some of the 2012 Novelties, including special edition Ananta and Grand Seiko models, as well as the new Astron GPS Solar.
For 2012, the Ananta collection pays tribute to the richness of Japan’s cultural heritage. Seiko commissioned master Maki-e lacquer artist Isshu Tamura to hand paint its dials with Japanese lacquer and accent them with the bold colours of Kumadori, the stage makeup used in the traditional kabuki theatre. Each dial is painted, black layer by black layer, and polished by hand by Mr. Tamura in his studio in Kanazawa, Japan. Once the black lacquer is finished, the red Kumadori rings are applied to create the dramatic highlights around the inner dials.
The limited edition Ananta Kumadori Chronograph, Ref. SRQ015J1, features a stainless steel case and band with black hard coating. The case measures 42.8 mm in diameter and is fitted with Caliber 8R28, a high-grade 34-jewel automatic chronograph movement with column wheel, vertical clutch and Seiko’s unique one-piece three-pointed hammer for instant reset. The timepiece has a 45-hour power reserve. The jet black lacquer dial is hand painted, hand polished and must be seen to be fully appreciated. Limited to 800 timepieces.
Ananta Kumadori Chronograph 8R28 with jet black hand painted and hand polished lacquer dial, Ref. SRQ015J1 (LE of 800)
The limited edition Ananta Kumadori Chronograph, Ref. SSD001J1, features a stainless steel case and band with black hard coating. The case measures 43 mm in diameter and is fitted with Caliber 6S28, a new high-grade 34-jewel automatic chronograph movement with column wheel and 50-hour power reserve. The jet black dial is hand painted and hand polished lacquer. Limited to 800 timepieces.
Ananta Kumadori Chronograph 6S28 with jet black hand painted and hand polished lacquer dial, Ref. SSD001J1 (LE of 800)
The Grand Seiko collection represents the very best of Seiko. This year, the three important GS novelties include a Spring Drive Diver and two blue GMTs.
The limited edition Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver, Ref. SBGA071, features a stainless steel case that measures 44 mm x 14 mm. The blue dial is fitted with luminous hands and markers, a power reserve indicator between 7 and 9 o’clock, and a date window at 3 o’clock. The blue dial is framed by a black PVD-coated unidirectional bezel with a luminous tracer dot. The timepiece houses a Spring Drive 9R65 movement. In 1999, Seiko launched the Spring Drive movement, which replaced the traditional lever escapement with technology that enables a mechanical movement to be regulated by quartz technology. The result was a hybrid movement that achieves a one-second-a-day accuracy. Water resistant to 200 meters. Limited to 150 timepieces.
GS Spring Drive Diver, Ref. SBGA071 (LE of 150)
To mark the 10 year anniversary of the first Grand Seiko GMT, Grand Seiko’s traditional blue colour is the design theme of two new mechanical GMT models. For each GMT, the dial is blue, as well as the blue anodized titanium rotor with tungsten weight.
One limited edition Grand Seiko GMT, Ref. SBGM029, is a sporty design that features a 39.2 mm stainless steel case with GMT bezel and stainless steel bracelet with deployant clasp. The timepiece houses a Caliber 9S66 mechanical automatic movement that can also be hand wound. Limited to 700 timepieces.
The other limited edition Grand Seiko GMT, Ref. SBGM031, is a classical and elegant design. The timepiece features a 39.5 mm stainless steel case with a 24-hour GMT dial, hour markers, a gold GMT hand and polished dauphine hands. The timepiece houses a Caliber 9S66 mechanical automatic movement that can also be hand wound. The timepiece is fitted with a blue crocodile strap with deployant clasp. Limited to 1,000 timepieces.
Grand Seiko GMT with bracelet, Ref. SBGM029 (LE of 700)
Grand Seiko GMT with crocodile strap, Ref. SBGM031 (LE of 1,000)
On 25 December 1969, the Quartz Astron revolutionized horology as the world’s first quartz watch. This year, the new Astron GPS Solar revolutionizes horology as the first analog GPS solar watch. The Astron GPS Solar is a highly technical, feature-rich timepiece that provides atomic clock precision that is accurate to less than one second every 100,000 years. The perpetual calendar is correct to the year 2100. Only Astron offers full coverage of all 39 time zones; whereas the other watches cover 24 to 29 time zones at most. All this technology is powered by a high-efficiency solar battery that absorbs light through the dial. Although the case diameter is a prominent 47 mm, Seiko achieves a comfortable weight through the use of either lightweight high intensity titanium, or a stainless steel case paired with a silicon strap. The dial has so much depth and is three dimensional.
Astron GPS Solar 7X52 stainless steel, Ref. SAST009
Astron GPS Solar 7X52 Titanium Limited Edition (LE of 2,500)
Perpetual calendar, world time, signal reception indicator, daylight savings time indicator, power save function
Seiko also provides TimeZone with further details about the Astron GPS Solar in this informative video, which can also be found in the Video Corner of our new Home Page (www.timezone.com):
Photos: Kohei Saito © Timezone