In the withering year that is now coming to an end, a bright spot is the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Grand Seiko, a brand loved by many of us. The celebration brought some very cool limited edition anniversary watches, and even a new Hi-Beat movement, cal. 9SA5, the debut of the new double-pulse escapement system. This is no small matter. As my colleague Jack Forster pointed out: “Despite thousands of experiments, only a few escapements have been truly widely used: rims, cylinders, levers, and coaxial escapements, and it’s been a while. Watchmaking history of about five hundred years.”
Just last Friday, we arrived at Grand Seiko’s actual 60th birthday, which is December 18th. Although GS separated its eye-catching new things in the year before this day-no major trade show gave up everything at once, and waiting until mid-December might not be ideal-they did save Some big news for this day itself.
This includes a new watch Spring Drive GMT’Eagle’ American limited edition SBGE263. It has a patterned brown dial and brown ceramic bezel. Although it is a neutral tone, it distinguishes it from most sports watches in black, blue, red, green and orange that we are used to seeing.
The company also introduced the American GS9 Collector’s Club. This is an exciting development for Grand Seiko fans who want to interact more directly with their favorite brands. Collectors who like Grand Seiko-and I certainly include myself-tend to be very stubborn. Once someone dips their toes into these waters, they usually end up risking buying more watches. The club’s “GS9” name comes from Grand Seiko and the number 9. The number 9 familiar to collectors is the beginning of the names of many Grand Seiko movements. Membership benefits will include gifts (with a cool lapel pin); special events (currently online, including the planned Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi virtual tour, face-to-face events where the global situation allows); and exclusive content, Includes articles about Grand Seiko watches. Some of these articles are only open to members, while others can be read by any visitor to the new website. There are also plans to publish an American edition of a printed magazine in Japan.
The GS9 website has an e-commerce component, the GS9 Club Shop, which allows members and non-members in the United States to purchase watches classified as Shop models by cheap Grand Seiko. GS9 members can purchase Master Shop and Salon models as long as they log in to their GS9 account. Timepieces classified as boutique styles by Grand Seiko cannot be purchased directly through the online store; however, the GS9 team can provide virtual demonstrations and information, and can coordinate purchases through the club member’s nearest Grand Seiko boutique. Although there is no fee for club membership, you must be a Grand Seiko owner to join.
SBGE263 has a lot in common with the three Spring Drive GMT models with ceramic frames announced earlier. They are SBGE253, SBGE255 and SBGE257, which have black, blue and green ceramic bezels respectively. Ceramics have many benefits, the most important of which are scratch resistance and the ability to look new after years of wear and tear. I have a watch with a ceramic bezel, and I sometimes use it as a watch shield. I bet you know this feeling: when you hear the clink of the watch sweeping over the doorknob, you will pray that it is a sapphire crystal, or a ceramic bezel, if you have one. Anything other than the case or lugs.
The brown of this limited edition watch is inspired by the color of an eagle. Its golden GMT hands are composed of eagle beaks, and its Spring Drive second hand is depicted by a bird flying in the sky. The SBGE263 is limited to 110 pieces and will be sold online at Grand Seiko boutiques and GS9 Club in the United States. Pre-orders are currently being accepted.
Despite the colorful and durable ceramic bezels, it is their size that really makes the latest batch of steel Spring Drive GMT worthy of careful observation. The watch you see here has a diameter of 40.5 mm and a thickness of 14.7 mm. One might argue that it is actually a thicker side for a watch of this diameter, but compared to some 44mm Spring Drive GMT options in the Grand Seiko Sport series, it presents a truly wear-resistant appearance. .
Fans of Grand Seiko are already familiar with the company’s famous dials. Improving the interface—the content you spend the most time viewing and participating in—has been one of the biggest differentiating factors in the brand’s history. Despite being a sports watch, those luminous hands and markers have the diamond-polished advantages that we all expect from Grand Seiko. Creating this polished look on the dial of a sports watch is much more difficult than it looks.
Water resistant to more than 200 meters, the offset crown makes the SBGE263 very comfortable to wear on the left or right wrist. The last two factors are important because despite the limited size and neatly made dial, this is a truly sporty watch that you will want to use actively.
Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT’Eagle’ American limited edition SBGE263. 40.5mm x 14.7mm stainless steel case with brown ceramic bezel. Water-resistant to 200 meters. Brown dial with embossed pattern. Spring-driven calibration. 9R66 displays hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT and power reserve (72 hours). Stainless steel bracelet with fine adjustment buckle.