A New Milestone
Brian Cheong 
Hi-Beat 36000 in stainless steel with blued titanium oscillating weight.

Caliber 9S was an important movement for the Japanese watchmaker as it was designed with high precision and unprecedented durability in mind, two qualities that Grand Seiko is famous for. Since then, the 9S has equipped all Grand Seiko timepieces.

Over the years, the movement has also been enhanced with various innovations including new Spron alloy for the main and balance springs as well as the MEMS engineering that allows key components to be manufactured to tolerances as small as one-thousandth of a millimetre.

For the anniversary collection, the first watch is Hi-Beat 36000 V.F.A. rendered in platinum. The acronym in the name refers to “Very Fine Adjusted”, which in turn indicates the movement’s high precision rate that exceeds even the Grand Seiko Standard.

The incredible precision of the 9S85 Hi-Beat 36000 caliber is +3 to -1 seconds per day, achieved via 34 days of adjustments and tests.

The platinum 950 case is treated to Zaratsu polishing for extra shine, while the dial features an intricate pattern that incorporates a mark developed by the team at Daini Seikosha (now Seiko Instruments Inc.) that was responsible for the first Grand Seiko hi-beat watch in 1968. This mark alternates with the GS initials on a mosaic design that radiates geometrically from the centre of the dial.

Two automatic Hi-Beat watches complete the collection. The first watch appears in 18k gold case and powered by the same 9S85 movement adjusted to the Grand Seiko Standard precision rate of +4 to -2 seconds per day. The oscillating weight with the Grand Seiko lion emblem is also in 18k gold.

The second watch is in stainless steel, also powered by the same movement. However, the oscillating weight is a combination of titanium and tungsten, with the titanium surface coloured in blue.

This article first appeared in Focus Malaysia Issue 279.