Dating back to its creation in 1960, Grand Seiko has come a long way with the introductions of uniquely beautiful collections that seems only Grand Seiko can master. One of the most popular collections is without a doubt the recently new design philosophy known as the Evolution 9 Style - an evolution line developed in 2020 to further refine the aesthetics that have always been at the heart of Grand Seiko from the beginning and is definitely here to stay.
As the world keeps changing by the second with new technologies, materials and ideas invented in every form possible, Grand Seiko has continuously evolved alongside of it all which led to numerous new design possibilities and hence - the Evolution 9 Style is born. Based on the Grand Seiko Style, the Evolution 9 Collection is another step forward in truthfully preserving the fundamentals while successfully adapting them for a new stage of life by setting new standards to beauty, clarity, and ease of use.
At the core of the Evolution 9 Style are three new design principles: Evolution in Aesthetics, Evolution in Legibility, and Evolution in Wearing Comfort. Though firmly implanted in the Grand Seiko Style since the very beginning with the fundamental focuses of watchmaking, beauty, legibility and comfort, these three principles are exponentially employed by Grand Seiko in the Evolution 9 Collection with giant steps taken with a renewed energy and new direction.
The Grand Seiko Style has always emphasized the unique Japanese sense of beauty and nature that lies at its heart - passion for the interplay of light and shadow - commonly using this in their designs. And to further bring out this Japanese aesthetic, the Evolution 9 Style celebrates this contrast of light and dark and the many stages in between in every detail possible by expanding visual emphasis on the balance, and the soft and subtle gradations between them. Such is done by using shapes composed of planes and flat surfaces arranged three-dimensionally and by minimizing the use of curved surfaces. The flat, polished mirror surfaces give distortion-free reflections and allow deep blacks and bright whites to emerge while the frequent use of a hairline finish brings out the many subtle shades of light and dark between these two extremes. All these aesthetic changes are prominently adopted on the case, bezel, dial and indexes of the Evolution 9 Collection.
Drawing inspiration from the first Grand Seiko created in 1960, the hands and indexes of the Evolution 9 Style have evolved to become even more distinguishable. The hands are bold and multi-faceted and the indexes are distinctly three-dimensional - resulting in enhanced legibility.
As an evolution in wearing comfort, the case’s center of gravity is lowered and the bracelet is widened so that the watch sits firmly and comfortably on the wrist, producing a stable feel when worn.
With the three new design principles defined by the Evolution 9 Style, nine design elements have emerged to complement the collection and make it possible:
1. A flat dial
2. Curved side profile of the case
3. Double wide index at 12 o’clock
4. Multi-faceted hour and minute hands
5. Deep middle grooves on the indices
6. Multi-faceted case with a flat upper surface and contrasting finishing
7. Lower center of gravity on the wrist
8. A bracelet at least half the width of the case
9. A bracelet with the right thickness and heft
Wrapping up the mirror-finished surfaces on the case are elegant hairline finished surfaces on its top and side faces, with both finishes adopted on the bezel as well. As light shines on the delicate grooves of the flat hairline finished surfaces, it highlights their shape and produces subtle shifts in light and dark tones depending on the angle and strength of light. Zaratsu polishing is used to create these distortion-free surfaces and produce deep, bold shadows and sharp reflections. The result is a more pronounced look with a refined level of finishing.
To further enhance legibility, the hour hand is clearly distinguished from the minute hand, with the minute hand extending to the outer edge of the dial and touching the minute track. The three-dimensional, multi-faceted indexes all have deep grooves at their centers to catch any light that strikes them, making it possible to read the time with an even greater degree of accuracy, with the double wide index at 12 o’clock being most prominent. And to boost wearing comfort, the glass attachment position has been lowered and the case side has been given greater volume and curve to lower the watch’s center of gravity. The bracelet is at least half the width of the watch case and has a weight and depth that give just the right thickness on the wrist.
All these nine elements that arose from the three design principles craftily make up the Evolution 9 Collection and the result is some of the most refined Grand Seiko watches to date. The Evolution 9 Style designs are evolutionary - with care and attention to every single little detail, even in areas where you don’t see it at first.