To be perfectly clear, that is not the name Grand Seiko has given the watch – instead, they prefer to call it the Grand Seiko SLGH005. While I admire the artistry and total dedication to superb finishing in their watches, GS doesn’t give near as much love to naming them. Hence, me calling it the White Birch.
Then again, that name comes directly from the inspiration for the dial of the Grand Seiko “White Birch”. That would be the slender white birch trees that grow around the studio where GS does it’s magic. For me, the birch tree has a special spot in my memory as we had a few in the first house I remember growing up in. Additionally, it’s one style of tree that I’ve not worked up the guts to try painting (no matter how many times I’ve seen Bob Ross do it).
Rather than go with a super-stark white-and-black pattern in the dial, the Grand Seiko “White Birch” does it via a subtle texturing, something that looks akin to a sort of angular hammered finish. On one hand, the monochromatic look might feel plain, but I’ve a feeling that this – along with those polished indices – dial is going to be a fun one to just look at in various lighting conditions.
Surrounding that dial you’ve got the case with the superb – and alternating – finishing that the brand is known for. Tucked into the case – and visible through an exhibition caseback – is the Caliber 9SA5, which among the many other technical marvels, gives you an 80-hour power reserve. as well as being a high-beat movement.
The Grand Seiko “White Birch” isn’t quite available yet, but should be coming next month (March 2021) at the usual places – the Grand Seiko Boutiques and a handful of other approved stores. That’s fine, though, as that’ll give you some time to ensure you’ve got the $9,100 together that this slice of forest will run you. grand-seiko.com
Tech Specs from Grand Seiko
- Mechanical Hi-Beat 36000 80 Hours Caliber 9SA5
- Driving system: Automatic
- Vibrations: 36,000 vibrations per hour (10 beats per second) Accuracy (mean daily rate):+5 to -3 seconds per day
- Power reserve: 80 hours Number of jewels: 47
- Stainless steel case and bracelet
- Box shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating See-through screw case back
- Water resistance: 10 bar
- Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m
- Diameter: 40.0mm, Thickness: 11.7mm
- Three-fold clasp with push button release
- Approximate recommended retail price in USD: $9,100.