The fact that Grand Seiko acknowledges 24 seasons rather than four is not surprising considering Japan’s deep reverence for nature and order. That same attention to detail goes into Seiko’s elite sister brand. The GMT Twenty-Four Seasons series acknowledges the tradition of celebrating the course of nature by breaking the four seasons down into six subtle stages within each, for a total of 24 seasonal phases or sekki.
This is the third 24-sekki series, which is part of Grand Seiko’s Heritage collection. It debuted in 2019 with a four-piece limited edition for the U.S. market. Grand Seiko followed up last year with a duo of watches representing soko, the seasonal phase occurring at the end of autumn. This year, a series of four watches represent the four main seasons, embodying the spirit of all 24.
Soft dial colors are used to represent each season. The green background with rose gold accents of the Shunbun (spring) model captures the verdant growth and budding trees of spring. The light blue dial of the Shosho (summer) model is textured in a wave pattern to represent ripples on Japan’s many lakes and ponds shimmering in the summer sun. The textured black dial of the Kanro (autumn) edition represents shorter days, longer nights and a chill in the morning air. The white dial of the TŌji (winter) dial is textured to represent the snow caps of a cool winter landscape. All four incorporate the signature elements of the Grand Seiko line, including the Series 9 case with high Zaratsu polish, dauphine hands and long chamfered markers. All four function as GMT watches with hour hands that are independently adjustable.
Grand Seiko applies its two new showcase movements to the four-piece collection. The Hi-Beat 3600 automatic GMT caliber 9S86 drives the spring and summer versions. The elite movement, accurate to within +5 to -3 seconds per day, has a 55-hour power reserve. The hybrid electronic/mechanical Spring Drive automatic GMT caliber 9R66, used in the autumn and winter models, has a 72-hour power reserve and an accuracy rating of +/- 1 second per day. Because Grand Seiko fits the cases to the movements, there is a slight variance in size: The Hi-Beat spring and summer editions are 39.5mm wide and 14.4mm thick, and the Spring Drive autumn and winter models are 40.2mm thick and 14mm wide. All four have open casebacks.
All four models have a date window large enough to be readable, along with a GMT hand and corresponding index in a contrasting color to the dial for legibility. The corresponding 24-hour index on the Hi-Beat spring and summer editions tracks around the inside of the main hour markers, while on the Spring Drive autumn and winter dials, the GMT index is staggered between the markers. The Spring Drive dials include a discreet power reserve indicator. Like all Grand Seiko watches, they are produced at the brand’s Shizukuishi Studio in picturesque northern Japan.
The GMT Twenty-Four Seasons Hi-Beat versions are priced at $6,800, and the Spring Drive versions are priced at $6,000.