Caliber 9S63 is a significant addition to the ever growing Grand Seiko family of movements. It has been eight years since the last manual-winding mechanical caliber in Grand Seiko and it has been worth the wait. Caliber 9S63 offers a small seconds hand at the nine o’clock position and a power reserve indicator at three o’clock. Caliber 9S63 has a power reserve of 72 hours and delivers an accuracy rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day.
The dial showcases a form of Japanese craftsmanship, Urushi lacquer. The amber color dial is made from a transparent and long lasting Urushi that comes from trees grown in and around the town of Joboji that lies under Mt. Iwate, the mountain that dominates the skyline above the Shizukuishi Watch Studio. Through this amber colored ‘Suki-urushi’ lacquer can be seen the subtle Mt. Iwate pattern that reveals the watchmakers’ pride in the natural beauty that surrounds their home.
The hour markers and the ‘’GS’’ letters are decorated with the traditional Maki-e technique by Urushi master Isshu Tamura in his studio in Kanazawa on the west coast of Japan’s main island. Through the application of layer after layer of lacquer, these markers are given a three dimensional profile and a delicate yet strong presence on the dial. Tamura then applies the powder, either 24k gold or platinum, and then polishes them by hand using his own special tools to give Maki-e its delicately shimmering appearance. These processes require great dexterity as it is very challenging to give every marker the same depth, especially on a curved surface.