Watches And Wonders 2022 is seeing many firsts for various brands. Be it impressive dials to mechanical complications, the bar just got set higher. And Grand Seiko isn’t holding back either. The Grand Seiko Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon, the brand’s first mechanical complication watch, was unveiled marking a new milestone in the brand’s sixty-two-year existence. Its core is a really novel movement that, for the first time in horological history, combines a tourbillon with a constant-force mechanism as one unit on a single axis, delivering a level of consistent precision unmatched for Grand Seiko.
The watch’s name comes from the Japanese word “Kodo,” which means “heartbeat.” Thanks to the open-work design and sapphire case back, this groundbreaking watch displays its energy both audibly and visually when in motion, with its unique appearance and carefully produced sound.
The way the constant-force mechanism and the tourbillon have been merged to allow the construction of an overall design is quite astounding.
From concept to completion
Grand Seiko debuted the “T0 Constant-force Tourbillon” in 2020, a concept movement featuring this proprietary mechanism. The assembly and finishing of the movement and case needed the total attention of a team of designers, engineers, and craftsmen and women charged with bringing the vision to life in a finished watch. Every single one of the caliber’s 340 components was re-examined and, if necessary, re-designed and re-engineered for manufacturing. Caliber 9ST1 is the outcome. Caliber 9ST1 is not only smaller than its concept movement predecessor, but because of the constant-force mechanism, its outstanding accuracy remains consistent for longer.
Caliber 9ST1 also establishes a new record for accuracy by testing each movement for a full 48 hours in each of six positions and three temperatures. This is twice as long as the Grand Seiko and twice as long as the industry standard. Each movement is tested for accuracy over the period of 34 days, and once the tests are complete and the new standard has been reached or exceeded, the performance characteristics of each movement are stated in the specific certificate that comes with each watch. From the beginning of the project to the completion of Kodo, 10 years of expertise, devotion, and hard labour were necessary.
Innovation in precision, beauty and sound
The engineering and design of Caliber 9ST1 is complex, but it is based on the simple idea that combining a constant-force mechanism and a tourbillon as one unit on a single axis would provide practical benefits. There is no loss or variation in torque sent from the constant-force mechanism to the balancing wheel since there are no wheels or other components between the two systems. The constant-force mechanism’s lifetime is increased to 50 hours, and the balance’s amplitude is more stable. These traits work together to provide the movement with a very high level of accuracy.
These traits work together to provide the movement with a very high level of accuracy. Furthermore, and most importantly for Grand Seiko, the volume of the mechanism could be lowered, preserving Grand Seiko’s aesthetics and making the watch effortlessly wearable and completely comfortable on the wrist.
While this extraordinary watch represents a significant shift for Grand Seiko watchmaking, the practicality for which Grand Seiko is known is fully fulfilled in every detail. A ruby on one of the constant-force carriage’s arms serves as a miniature seconds hand. The watch has a hacking feature, which allows the rotating tourbillon carriage to be stopped when the crown is pulled out, allowing the time to be changed to the second. To improve legibility, the hour hand has an additional facet at its tip. Kodo also has a water resistance of 10 bar.
For that long-lasting beauty, the casing is made of Platinum 950 and Grand Seiko’s Brilliant Hard Titanium. Some case sections are Zaratsu polished, while others have a hairline finish; both techniques are accomplished by hand by highly talented craftsmen and women to ensure that an aesthetically pleasant harmony is shown from every viewpoint.
The watch comes with a calf strap that has been treated in the same way that the high-durability material used in Samurai armour was handled in the past. With the launch of the Grand Seiko Kodo, the Maison has set a new stage on which a new future will be developed in the coming years.
The Grand Seiko Kodo will be available as a limited edition of twenty in October 2022.
Price: CHF 377673 approximately/ INR 31144672 approximately