Grand Seiko Elegance Collection Spring Drive “Hana-ikada.”

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 Best 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 Best Grand Seiko take inspiration for this delightful new limited edition?”
Well, after the spring equinox (i.e., the “Shunbun”), comes real spring – “warm winds flutter Japan’s cherry trees, setting the pale pink petals through the air,” Grand Seiko says. If this is Japan’s version of “April showers bring May flowers,” then, well, the Japanese have a way of framing things much more romantically than Americans ever could.

And this romantic state of mind is reflected in every detail of the new Hana-ikada. Matched with a rose gold case, the effect of the subtle pink dial is enhanced. While in some light and at some angles the pink tone of the Shunbun is hardly noticeable, it’s suddenly hard to miss on the Hana-ikada. Vintage collectors, especially vintage Patek collectors, go absolutely nuts for “pink-on-pink” anything, and that’s because it almost always looks drop-dead gorgeous. It’s hard to replicate the charm of a vintage pink-on-pink watch in the modern world, but Grand Seiko’s managed to do something gorgeous that stands on its own with the SBGY026.

Though the dial of the SBGY026 is flat, the way the light hits the textured dial makes it seem more curved than the titanium Shunbun – there’s also no rehaut, no date, no power reserve. In other words, no distractions. The dial’s finishing is on full display. Inside the SBGY026 is the manual-wind Spring Drive caliber 9R31, perhaps most notable for its dual-spring barrel, meaning it has two mainsprings allowing for a 72-hour power reserve. There’s a sly little power reserve indicator on the back of the movement (and visible through the sapphire caseback), the absolute best place for a power reserve indicator. It’s accurate to +/- 15 seconds per month, and the Best Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement means the seconds hand sweeps smoothly across the soft pink dial. The rose gold case measures 38.5mm x 10.2mm. It’s polished, wears slim on the wrist, and it’s got applied and matching indices. Grand Seiko released a handful of impressive sport watches this week too – more on those coming soon – but to me, a watch like the SBGY026 is Grand Seiko in its purest form. A slim, dressy watch, beautiful textured dial, Spring Drive caliber, and not much more. It comes on a brown croc strap with a three-fold clasp that is (of course) gold.