Grand Seiko’s Caliber 9F was critically acclaimed when it was introduced in 1993, touted as “the highest-performance quartz watch in the world.” Over the past quarter-century, the Caliber 9F remains a favorite amongst many and Robb Report believes the watch remains popular for “its less-is-more elegance and its ultra-precision (just +5 to -5 seconds per year).”
In present time, for the watch’s anniversary, the Japanese watchmaker upped the ante by presenting the first-ever Grand Seiko 9F quartz GMT caliber, targeting individuals who are in search of a reliable, accurate timepiece for life on the road throughout their many travels.
Grand Seiko’s Caliber 9F received a total makeover including a new main plate, gear train and process for attaching the time-hands. Of course, the addition of the GMT is also present in the watch, housed in a 39 mm stainless-steel case. The minute and second hands within the watch now extend to the edge of the deal, with the addition of a backlash auto-adjust mechanism that eliminates any shudder in the seconds hand. The watch even has a super-swift date change and it is all done with high precision, thanks to the use of aged and uniquely chosen quartz crystals.
The GMT within the Caliber 9F is distinguished by a metallic charcoal dial imprinted with a pattern that resembles Grand Seiko’s traditional quartz symbol to celebrate the watch’s 25th anniversary. A vivid yellow band is present on the outer rim of the dial from three o’clock to nine o’clock, which is there to clearly identify whether the GMT hand indicates A.M. or P.M. At the six o’clock position on the watch, a five-pointed gold star represents Grand Seiko’s “special” level accuracy.
The Caliber 9F is offered as a limited edition with only 800 pieces being sold. The 9F 25th Anniversary SGBN001 retails for $3,500 and will be available in October.Aside from the Caliber 9F, Grand Seiko is also bringing out two new GMT production models in January, from its Grand Seiko Sport Collection: the SBGN003, with its black dial and red GMT hand, and the SBGN005, with its blue dial and red GMT hand, each retailing for $3,200. Both also feature the same 9F86 in-house quartz caliber as the limited edition, according to Robb Report.