Grand Seiko celebrates 20 years of Caliber 9R Spring Drive

February 2024

Grand Seiko celebrates 20 years of Caliber 9R Spring Drive

Marking its 20th anniversary, two new watches powered by this movement have been released. The Spring Drive seconds hand moves in a perfect glide motion, mirroring the natural flow of time and marking its passing with quiet precision.


he creation of Spring Drive started as a concept in the 1970s to devise an ideal watch by combining the power derived from a mainspring with electronic watchmaking technologies to deliver a level of precision that no conventional mechanical watch could achieve. After more than 20 years of development, the first generation of Spring Drive was born.

A vision to create a version worthy of the name Grand Seiko led to the development of a movement named 9R, which powers all Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches today. In September 2004, Grand Seiko released the first watch to be powered by this movement, which featured automatic winding and 72 hours of power reserve.

The year 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of this achievement, and today, two new creations are born in celebration of this milestone. The first honours the original Spring Drive watch from 2004 by featuring the same case design and the celebrated ‘snowflake’ patterned dial that debuted the following year, in 2005.

This dial’s beautiful texture and representation of Grand Seiko’s respect for nature won the hearts of watch fans worldwide. The new creation’s dial features a pink gradation that vividly captures the beauty of a sunrise against the snow-covered Hotaka mountain range in Nagano Prefecture, where all Grand Seiko Spring Drive watches are made.

The case and bracelet are made of high-intensity titanium, which is about 30% lighter and more scratch resistant than stainless steel to maximise comfort and durability. A limited edition of 1,500, the watch will be available at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retail partners worldwide.

Grand Seiko celebrates 20 years of Caliber 9R Spring Drive

The second creation is a new Sport Collection GMT whose dark red dial takes inspiration from a vivid sunrise as it illuminates the steep landscape of the same Hotaka mountain range in summer. As with all Grand Seiko GMT watches, its ease of use is ensured through the local hour hand, which can be set independently, forward or backward, while the watch is running, ensuring precision is maintained when changing time zones according to one’s travels.

The ideals of a Grand Seiko sports watch are fully apparent in this new creation, which features a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel. The crown and the case back are secured by screw-down mechanisms, and the watch is water resistant to 20 bar. This second new creation will be made available in a limited edition of 1,300 pieces.

Grand Seiko celebrates 20 years of Caliber 9R Spring Drive

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