The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.

Now Taking Pre-Orders for the Grand Seiko "Kira-zuri" US-Exclusive Limited Edition

Topper Jewelers is thrilled to participate in the launch of Grand Seiko's first ever U.S. Exclusive Limited Edition.

These three watches have been incredibly popular points of discussion since we first saw them at Couture Time back in June, and there are several reasons for this. First off, these watches are part of the group of 2018 watches that combine the iconic 44GS case with a Spring Drive. The angular 44GS case is considered Grand Seiko's most difficult case to polish, and is thus the best canvas to showcase a zaratsu polish at its very finest due to all of the different contrasting facets and angles. Internally, this case is also referred to as "the grammar of design," as it is considered the starting point for all Grand Seiko case designs. These special watches are all Spring Drive-powered, which for those new to Grand Seiko, is of course the unique movement type that features an ultra-smooth, continuously sweeping second hand, instead of the traditional beats-per-time unit as offered with traditional mechanical and most quartz watches. But perhaps most interestingly is how this combination of case and movement has never occurred in the same watch until this year's Basel announcement of the SBGA375 and SBGA373.

What differentiates this limited edition from the other models that share the same case, such as the blue SBGA375 and champagne SBGA373, is the dial. This watch can easily be considered alongside the "Snowflake" SBGA211 and "Blizzard" SBGA125 in the conversation for most interesting Grand Seiko dial.

Since the unofficial sneak preview at Couture Time, these watches have informally been referred to as "kimono" dials, due to the resemblance of the patterns on traditional Japanese kimonos. However, the actual influence of the pieces come from traditional Japanese painting. The dials are inspired by a Japanese painting technique called Kira-zuri, which translates to "sparkling painting." This process is commonly found in traditional ukiyo-e paintings to create a texture that contrasts the background from the Kabuki actors. Similarly in the watch, this inspired technique adds further depth and emotion between the case and dial under different levels of light. The unique blue dial of the stainless steel model (which we predict to be the quickest seller) gets its inspiration from the clear blue skies over the sea of Japan.

The quantities of each are extremely limited: platinum (SBGA385), which features additional plating process to create its unique texture and sparkle, is limited to only 20 pieces. 18k rose gold (SBGA386) is limited to 50 pieces, and stainless steel (SBGA387) will be limited to 558 pieces. The retail prices for each are $53,000, $29,500, and $6,800, respectively. Both precious metal references are accurate to within half a second a day, while the steel model is still stunningly accurate (it is a Grand Seiko, after all) to within a second a day.

How will the new Kira-zuri wear? When we saw the prototype at Couture Time, we quickly noticed it exhibited the same 40mm proportions as featured on the popular Hi-Beat GMT models, such as the SBGJ201, but it felt at least a millimeter or two thinner. While we await the official thickness with calipers in-hand, we'd safely prime expectations to be about halfway between the GMT (14mm) and the Quartz SBGV207 (10.4mm). Frequent strap-changers will also appreciate that Grand Seiko will be including two handsome alligator leather straps with SBGA387 (the stainless steel model). These straps enable you to tailor the look between a formal alligator band and a more casual brown with blue stitching that matches the color of the dial.

The alligator band that comes with the steel Kira-zuri model.

The brown alligator band with contrast blue stitching that comes with the steel Kira-zuri model.

We expect to fulfill all pre-orders and new orders in October. Some orders will fill as soon as this week. You can reserve the steel model, SBGA387, directly on shop.topperjewelers.com by clicking on the following link. You can also reserve any of the three models by calling the store or emailing info@topperjewelers.com.







The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.