The Evolution 9 concept is incorporated into a durable titanium diver’s watch.
This year, Grand Seiko’s main mission will be to expand the Evolution 9 concept, which is now not just limited to the Heritage Collection. It’s time for the Sport Collection to evolve and enter the 21st century with a newly defined design specification, an in-depth study of ergonomics and refinement, and innovative mechanics. This year, the Evolution 9 Sports collection will release five new watches, including two classic GMTs, two bold chronographs and this timepiece, a large, sturdy diver’s watch. This is the new Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Diver Spring Drive 5 Days SLGA015.
As we explain in this in-depth article, Evolution 9 is all about the evolution of the classic style syntax that the brand defined in 1967. While maintaining the founding elements, the brand has decided to up its game in terms of refinement, comfort on the wrist, precision of movement, boldness and legibility of the mechanics. We’ve seen this strategy deployed on watches like the White Birch, and now is the time to update the sporty models. And, of course, that means a dive watch is included in the 2022 package.
The cheap watch in question, known for its reference to the SLGA015 (always easier than the GS’s long and less glamorous name), is a quintessential diver’s watch hunk in Grand Seiko fashion. At 43.8mm in diameter and 13.8mm in height (objectively thinner than I expected), this is a watch that feels big on my small wrist. No debate; this is a bold dive watch. However, since the case is made of high-strength titanium, it is very comfortable, making it light and balanced.
The shape of this new Spring Drive 5 Days Diver 200m SLGA015 follows the principles of the Evolution 9 series. The lines are more curved, the angles are smaller, and the structure is more refined. Visually, it makes the watch quite attractive, but also more comfortable, as the curved profile benefits ergonomics. In addition, Grand Seiko explained that the center of gravity of all Evolution 9 models has been moved down, which means the weight of the watch is closer to the wrist. In addition, the watch now features a classic crown at 3 o’clock, which is screwed down and inserted between the two protective shoulders.
As for the equipment, you’ll find classic specs. The SLGA015 features a unidirectional titanium bezel with a smooth black ceramic insert. The latter is engraved with a white-filled 60-minute full scale graduation and a luminous pearl at the 0 marker. A domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating protects the dial, while the caseback is screwed in solid titanium. All in all, it’s a classic diver’s watch with 200m water resistance and 4,800 A/m magnetic resistance. Although the brand doesn’t mention this, it appears that the SLGA015 has all the necessary features to comply with the ISO 6425 standard, including a small glowing spot on the inner flange next to the date.
The dial of this Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Diver 200m has texture, as do many of the brand’s recent watches. The black base has an embossed pattern depicting “the ocean around the Japanese archipelago (…) being criss-crossed by powerful currents. One of these is the Kuroshio, also known as the “Black Current.” The dial has a wavy texture, only Visible at specific angles that do not affect readability. The top is a large raised application marker, and the hands also contrast with the dial. All elements are filled with luminous material and the display consists of a central HMS, date and power reserve indicator.
The SLGA015 is worn on a solid high-strength titanium bracelet with a brushed finish. It is closed by a complex folding clasp with a push-button release, a safety lock element, and has a diving extension.
Beneath the closed caseback is Grand Seiko’s latest Spring Drive calibre 9RA5 movement. Debuted in another dive watch in 2020, it is a next-generation movement with two barrels, a power reserve of 120 hours, and new electronics for improved accuracy (±0.5 seconds per day or month ±10 seconds), the overall shape is slimmer, increasing the comfort of the watch.
Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Diver 200m Spring Drive 5 Days SLGA015 as part of the permanent collection.
Technical Specifications – GRAND SEIKO EVOLUTION 9 DIVER SPRING DRIVE 5 DAYS SLGA015
Case: Diameter 43.8mm x H13.8mm – High-strength titanium case, brushed and polished – Sapphire crystal with AR coating – Solid screw-down titanium case back – Screw-down crown – Single Insert to bezel, black ceramic 60 minutes – 200m water resistance – resistant
Dial: Dark black dial, wavy texture – applied markers and hands, faceted finish, luminous material
Movement: In-house Caliber 9RA5 – Self-winding – 38 jewels – Accuracy of ±0.5 seconds per day or ±10 seconds per month – 5-day power reserve – hours, minutes, seconds, date and power reserve
Bracelet: High Strength Titanium 3-Link Bracelet – Foldover Clasp with Push Button Release, Safety Lock and Diving Extender