While Japan, as does most of the world, uses the Gregorian calendar to keep track of the year, it also has a traditional calendar that marks the changing of the seasons. This calendar is divided into 24 parts referred to as sekki, which shows the changing of the natural world. Not only is this calendar a way to keep track of the seasonal changes in nature, but it has also influenced Japan-based Grand Seiko’s watchmaking, as the brand has in recent years used natural phenomena as inspiration for its intricate dials. Now, the Japanese watchmaker has once again used sekki as its muse with the release of the new Sōkō Frost collection.
The Sōkō Frost collection is a U.S.-exclusive pair of timepieces that “celebrates the end of autumn, when winter’s first frost blankets the visible landscape.” It includes two gorgeous pieces: the SBGA471 and the SBGH295. The SBGA471 takes design cues from the Arashiyama bamboo forest’s frost-covered trunks of bamboo trees. It features a brilliant icy-blue dial that’s vertically textured, Grand Seiko’s spring drive 9R65 Caliber movement under the hood, and the iconic and beautiful 44GS case. Its counterpart, the SBGH295, draws inspiration from the Sea of Japan’s clear blue winter skies for its finely textured kirazuri “ice blue” dial. Moreover, the SBGH295 features a reimagined 62GS case design that contains a wide dial opening and bezel-free construction, and it is powered by a 9S85 Caliber movement. Both cases have a stainless steel construction, exhibition-style case back, sapphire crystals, and finishing that includes the brand’s famous Zaratsu polishing method.
Despite the Sōkō Frost collection taking inspiration from the traditional Japanese calendar, these gorgeous timepieces are exclusive to the U.S. The SBGA471 retails for $6,000, while the SBGH295 goes for $6,900. Both watches can be purchased on Grand Seiko’s online store or in one of the brand’s U.S. boutiques.