Chapter 24

Caliber 9SA5, a landscape in miniature

Caliber 9SA5, Grand Seiko’s finest high-beat caliber, is just as much a work of art as it is a horological innovation. As you look through the sapphire crystal case back, the eye is first caught by the bold statements ‘HI-BEAT 36000’ and ‘POWER RESERVE 80 HOURS’ that stand proud in three dimensions on the rim of the oscillating weight. But then the many curves and contours behind it command your attention. The bridges have gently curved outlines that are inspired by the imposing profile of the nearby Mt. Iwate and the bends of the Shizukuishi River that meanders past the studio where Caliber 9SA5 is manufactured. The flat surfaces are finished with a delicate stripe pattern that echoes the rippled surface of the river and they contrast with the beautifully polished ridges of the bridges and jewel holes which have the sparkle that only precision hand craftsmanship allows.