Grand Seiko Elegance Hana-Ikada SBGY026
Although we can sometimes nitpick about proportions and balance in some of its watches, in reality, there’s very little to complain about when it comes to Grand Seiko. The fact of the matter is the Japanese manufacture has been on a proverbial roll for the past couple of years in almost all its collections and regularly updates it with different materials, colours or artistic expressions. New for 2023 is a watch that combines the flair of several previous models to produce one very handsome, brilliantly elegant watch. The Grand Seiko Elegance Spring Drive SBGY026 Hana-Ikada gives us another beautiful light-pink dial, this time around set in a rose gold case.
If there is one thing to stand out in Grand Seiko’s work, it’s the dials. Sure, the mechanical engineering is very impressive, but the brand’s dial-making capabilities are pretty much unrivalled. We’ve said it time and time again, and it might get quite repetitive by now, but Grand Seiko is in a league of its own when it comes to textures and colours. Not everything might be up everyone’s alley, but there’s no denying the exquisite craftsmanship on display on a very regular basis. Just think of the Birch watches, the Lake Suwa or the 4 Seasons collection. The range of colours and textures is vast, but oh so delicious!
This new SBGY026 Hana-Ikada combines several key elements of previous Grand Seiko hits into one very tasty dress watch. The 18k rose gold was seen before in the SBGY008 Shizuri-Yuki (and the SBGY013 Omiwatari, but in steel), but now comes without the diamond rows set in the caseband. It measures a very fine 38.5mm in diameter and 10.2mm in height and has a Zaratsu-polished finish throughout. A sapphire crystal on top protects the dial, while the sapphire crystal caseback does the same for the movement.
And speaking of the dial, this is another masterpiece by Grand Seiko. The delicate pink dial is inspired by Hana-Ikada, the time of year when Cherry Blossom trees in bloom start losing their petals, which are then carried by the wind and “land on rivers where they become flower rafts” (according to Grand Seiko). The combination of this colour and texture is simply gorgeous, something we already discovered with the SBGA413 Shunbun. The applied faceted markers and hands are done in rose gold, which are Zaratsu polished to perfection. The applied gold-coloured GS logo, along with fine-printed details in black, provides the finishing touches.
In terms of movement, Grand Seiko has installed its 9R31 Spring Drive calibre, as seen in various other watches such as the SBGY011 Asaborake. This hybrid quartz-mechanical movement combines the best of both worlds with two stacked mainsprings in a single barrel. The movement is regulated to run within a deviation of ±1 seconds per day (or ±15 seconds per month). Once fully wound, which is done by hand, it will keep running for a maximum of 72 hours. A convenient power reserve display is discreetly placed on the back of the movement. The movement’s finishing includes straight graining, blued screws and bevelled edges.
If you’re Grand Seiko, how do you make your best-seller, the SBGA413 “Shunbun,” even better? Put it in rose gold, of course.
That’s exactly what Grand Seiko has done with the new SBGY026 “Hana-ikada,” a new limited edition of 100 pieces that features a familiar, pale pink dial, but now in a rose gold case. If you know Grand Seiko, you’re probably asking yourself: “from which pale pink corner of Japan’s beautiful natural world did Grand Seiko take inspiration for this delightful new limited edition?”