As with a lot of Grand Seiko releases, it’s the dial that makes the difference here. Urushi lacquer can be traced back to Japan’s Jomon Period (13,100 BCE– 400 BCE), a gorgeous lacquer made with sap from the urushi tree found in Japan and China and used historically in a restrained form and befitting for a subtle watch like the GS “First”. In this case, the lacquer is sourced solely from Japan and comes in a jet-black color thanks to the addition of iron. The dials, all hand-enameled by a master Japanese craftsman, have 24-karat gold indices and dial text, produced by slowly building up layers of enamel. Next, a gold powder called maki-e, which means “sprinkled picture,” is applied over the raised enamel and then polished to the micron. Finally, the entire dial undergoes a special treatment to preserve it and prevent the color from changing over time.
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