The GrandSeiko Evolution 9 collection, 9SA5 movement and SLGH005 reviews.

Hey there, watch lovers! Today I’m going to share with you my thoughts on the Grand Seiko SLGH005 “White Birch”, one of the most anticipated releases from the Japanese brand this year. This watch features the new 9SA5 movement, a stunning textured dial inspired by the white birch trees near the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, and a sleek case design that is part of the new Evolution 9 collection. Let’s dive in and see what makes this watch so special!


The 9SA5 movement

The heart of the SLGH005 is the 9SA5 caliber, a brand new high-beat movement that Grand Seiko developed from scratch. This movement is a remarkable achievement, as it offers 80 hours of power reserve, a beat rate of 36,000 vph, an accuracy of +5 to -3 seconds per day, and a thickness of only 5.18 mm. That’s 15% thinner than the previous 9S85 caliber, which had a power reserve of 55 hours and an accuracy of +5 to -8 seconds per day.

How did Grand Seiko achieve such an improvement? Well, they redesigned every single component of the movement, using their in-house expertise and technology. One of the key innovations is the Dual Impulse Escapement, which combines direct and indirect impulse to transfer power more efficiently from the escape wheel to the balance. This escapement also uses MEMS technology to create lighter and more precise components that can keep up with the high oscillation speed.

Another innovation is the new Grand Seiko overcoil, which is specially shaped to improve the isochronism and stability of the balance. The overcoil is made of a new alloy called Spron 610, which has higher resistance to magnetism and temperature changes. The balance itself is also made of Spron 610, and has four adjustable weights to fine-tune the performance.

The movement also features twin barrels that provide the long power reserve, an instant date change mechanism that switches the date at midnight in a flash, and a hacking function that stops the second hand when the crown is pulled out. The finishing of the movement is superb, with polished bevels, stripes, perlage, and blued screws. You can admire all these details through the sapphire caseback, which also reveals the gold lion emblem on the rotor.

The White Birch dial

The face of the SLGH005 is equally impressive as its movement. The dial has a unique texture that resembles the bark of the white birch trees that grow near the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi, where this watch is made. The white birch is a symbol of resilience and purity in Japan, and its delicate pattern creates a beautiful contrast with the sharp and angular hands and indexes.

The dial is not pure white, but rather a silvery hue that changes depending on the light. In some angles, it looks almost metallic, while in others it glows with a soft radiance. The texture also adds depth and dimension to the dial, making it more interesting to look at. The hands and indexes are polished to perfection, reflecting light from every direction. They are also filled with Lumibrite for legibility in the dark.

How Grand Seiko Makes the SLGH005 White Birch Dial : GS9 Club HK | Grand  Seiko

The dial has a simple layout, with no subdials or complications. The only extra feature is a date window at 3 o’clock, which has a matching white background and black numerals. The Grand Seiko logo is applied at 12 o’clock, while the words “Automatic”, “Hi-Beat”, and “36000” are printed at 6 o’clock. The dial is protected by a box-shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface.


The Evolution 9 case

The SLGH005 belongs to the new Evolution 9 collection, which introduces a new case design for Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches. The case has a diameter of 40 mm, a lug-to-lug length of 47 mm, and a thickness of 11.7 mm. It is made of stainless steel and has a mixture of brushed and polished surfaces. The case shape is inspired by the 44GS style that was defined in 1967, but with some modern updates.

The case has a distinctive silhouette, with sharp edges and curves that create dynamic reflections. The lugs are short and slightly curved downwards for comfort on the wrist. The bezel is thin and polished, while the caseband is brushed for contrast. The crown is screw-down and signed with the Grand Seiko logo.


The caseback is also screw-down and has a sapphire window that allows you to see the movement. Around the window, there are some engravings, such as the serial number, the water resistance (10 bar), and the magnetic resistance (4,800 A/m).


The bracelet

The SLGH005 comes on a stainless steel bracelet that matches the case design. The bracelet has three links, with the center link being polished and the outer links being brushed. The bracelet is solid and sturdy, but also flexible and comfortable. It has a three-fold clasp with a push-button release and a micro-adjustment system. The clasp is engraved with the Grand Seiko logo and name.

Grand Seiko Series 9 Design

The bracelet is easy to adjust and resize, thanks to the pin-and-collar system. The links are also tapered, from 20 mm at the lugs to 18 mm at the clasp. The bracelet complements the watch very well, but you can also swap it for a leather strap or a rubber strap if you prefer.


My verdict

The Grand Seiko SLGH005 “White Birch” is a stunning watch that showcases the brand’s craftsmanship and innovation. The 9SA5 movement is a masterpiece of engineering, offering high performance, long power reserve, and slim profile. The dial is a work of art, with a captivating texture and a refined appearance. The case is a modern interpretation of the classic Grand Seiko style, with a sleek and elegant shape.


The watch is not cheap, at $9,100, but it is worth every penny in my opinion. It is a luxury watch that can compete with any Swiss counterpart, and even surpass them in some aspects. It is also a versatile watch that can be worn in any occasion, from casual to formal. It is a watch that I would love to own and wear for years to come.

I hope you enjoyed this review of the Grand Seiko SLGH005 “White Birch”. Let me know what you think of this watch in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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