5 timepieces From Grand Seiko for The Best Value
While many Seiko timepieces provide excellent value for money, the Grand Seiko collection stands out both within the brand’s catalog and beyond the industry. What first jumps out about a Grand Seiko is its streamlined design and polished appearance. The overall look is very expressive and stays true to what the first Seiko designs were all about. Today’s video will go through the top Grand Seiko watches you can buy this year. Let us begin without further ado.
Number 1. Grand Seiko SBGA001
I was surprised that the most inexpensive option on this video wasn’t the one I was anticipating. The Grand Seiko SBGA001 is significant because it was the first Grand Seiko to have a spring-driven movement when it was released in 2004. Because of this, the watch is an extremely significant addition to the Grand Seiko line. As impressive now as it was when it was first released in 2004, the watch still appears modern and clean after almost two decades. The SBGA001 sports a 41mm-diameter stainless steel casing that is 12.7mm high and 48.5mm from lug to lug. This ensures that the watch will fit comfortably on wrists of varying sizes. Because of its 100-meter water resistance, it can be worn for both formal and sports occasions.
The case and band offer the classic Grand Seiko look we’ve come to expect. But the beautiful champagne sunburst dial is the real show-stopper. The beautiful dial features a certain allure that I often find missing in white dials but is there on this one. This watch looks and feels more inviting thanks to the color. Furthermore, the sunburst effect ensures that the watch’s appearance will vary from time to time based on the surrounding light. The dial’s superbly applied hour markings and the hands’ fine craftsmanship are a perfect complement. A sense of fun is added by the larger markers at 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. Perfectly emphasizing the dial’s vertical axis are the markers at 6 and 12.
There is also the Spring Drive movement’s distinctive power reserve indication on the dial. Grand Seiko’s Caliber 9R65 is the watch’s open-back mechanism. This mechanism includes a 72-hour power reserve, a quick-set date, and the ability to be hacked. It also contains 30 diamonds. It moves with an accuracy of 15 seconds every month. Since this was the first Grand Seiko to have a spring-driven movement, it was a groundbreaking product.
Number 2. Grand Seiko SBGH003
The SBGH003 is among the earliest models that include the high-frequency Grand Seiko Caliber 9S85. It was the first new hi-beat movement from Grand Seiko in 40 years when it was released in 2009. This watch is one of three in a set that also included a white dial version (SBGH001), a black dial version (SBGH007), and this peacock green dial version (SBGH003). Only 200 of these models were made available, and they were sold only at the brand’s Ginza store. The classic Grand Seiko band is included, and the watch’s case is designed in Grand Seiko’s distinctive 44GS style. The case and bracelet are finished to the highest standards using a combination of brushed satin and Zaratsu polish.
This timepiece comes equipped with the new Grand Seiko Caliber 9S85, so you know it’s a quality timepiece even before you open the case. This autonomous movement, which now serves as a symbol for the whole company, rotates at a whopping 36,000 vph. It has a date window at 3 o’clock, a power reserve of 55 hours, and 37 diamonds. As a bonus, its accuracy is really good, coming in at +/- 5 seconds every day. To this day, the Grand Seiko collection uses the same mechanism. The fact that this watch was one of the first in a series to use this particular movement lends it a certain mystique. That striking green dial is, of course, the most eye-catching feature, much more so than the mechanism.
This dial, like the champagne dial on our top selection, alters its appearance depending on the illumination. The dark green dial is easily readable because of the sharp contrast between the hands and indexes. It’s going to be difficult to track down one of the 200 Grand Seiko SBGH003 versions. You may have to wait a while for one to become available for sale, though. Most likely, the watches are still in Japan, where they were first sold. A short online search reveals that you may expect to pay between $5,000 and $6,000 for one. I consider it a fair price for such exquisite artwork.
Number 3. Grand Seiko SBGA011 “Snowflake”
The next option is the most well-known model ever released by Grand Seiko. For Grand Seiko devotees, this is the first of two instantly recognizable “Snowflake” allusions. Since its debut in the fall of 2005, the SBGA011 “Snowflake” has been a popular choice. After Grand Seiko became its own company in 2017, the SBGA211 was no longer made, and the GS logo was moved to the 12 o’clock position on the new model. On the other hand, this SBGA011 had the “Snowflake” dial that is typical of Seiko watches. Seiko was at the top and Grand Seiko was at the bottom. One of the most iconic dials is white and features a unique “Snowflake” motif. When you look at the dial closely, it does look like a thin piece of paper, not snow.
Like all other “Seikos” and “Grand Seikos,” this one is a fan-created moniker. Although it is unusual for Seiko or Grand Seiko to use a fan-suggested moniker, on this occasion they did. The watch also had a 41-mm titanium case and a strap of the same material. Grand Seiko watches are built using high-intensity titanium, which is more durable and resistant to wear and corrosion than standard titanium. Compared to stainless steel, it weighs 30% less. The titanium case and bracelet, finished at the Shiojiri factory, are just as well crafted as the stainless steel versions, as can be seen in the magnificent photos.
You already know that the watch is driven by the Spring Drive 9R65 movement that I described before. The Spring Drive mechanisms also have a wonderful “Côte de Tokyo” finish and beveled bridges, so keep your eyes out for those. The GS logo, shown in blue on the rotor, is a great touch. Surely it can’t fail to impress, right? The brand in question is Grand Seiko. It’s not hard to track down a vintage “Snowflake,” SBGA011. One may be had for $3500 or $4500. It’s hard to find something that can compete with the price and the legendary status of this product.
Number 4. Grand Seiko SBGC005
The next choice is a line of timepieces that have become recognizable as Grand Seiko classics. Grand Seiko’s first two stainless steel watches that have a spring-driven chronograph were the SBGC001 and SBGC003. Together with the equally fantastic SBGC004, they were introduced in 2007. Both are made of rose gold and have white dials. The titanium Grand Seiko SBGC005 I used for this film was introduced a year after I shot the video. The watch is functionally equivalent to its stainless steel counterpart. While most people would refer to the SBGC001 as the line’s main reference, I find that the black dial with gold accents looks better.
Let’s start by examining the common ground between these various models. Every one of them has a case that is 43.5mm across and 16.1mm in height, making it a sizable timepiece that isn’t ideal for those with tiny wrists. The watch’s large crown and push buttons are also eye-catching. Many people would rather not have them, but they add a lot of personality to the watch. These really insane screw-down pushers are an acquired taste, but they’re right up my alley. The 43.5mm case size and the protruding pushers give the impression that they are quite irritating to the wrist. However, those who possess and have used Grand Seiko chronographs will attest to their durability and reliability.
The Grand Seiko Caliber 9R86 may be found inside the casing. The first Spring Drive chronograph movement from Grand Seiko is a genuine global timepiece. This remarkable system, which has a column wheel mechanism and a vertical clutch, is still utilized in modern models. The mechanism features 50 jewels and a 72-hour power reserve, and it is accurate to within a second every day. Amazingly, using the chronograph has no effect on the watch’s battery reserve.
The SBGC001 with the champagne dial is the series’ most iconic model. I agree, however, I find the contrast between the metallic gold and the sleek black to be rather pleasing. It elevates the SBGC005 above its contemporaries in terms of style and draws attention to the watch’s distinctive dial design. Regardless of your own taste in dials, I think we can all agree that Grand Seiko accomplished something very remarkable with the 9R86. In terms of precision and technology, the shift is unprecedented. The watch’s ostentatious design would be its sole potential drawback. I know I’m a huge admirer of it. It is feasible to track down an SBGC005, but costs may vary. You may figure on spending between $5,000 and $7,000. The white-faced SBGC001 costs about the same.
Number 5. Grand Seiko SBGR311
The Grand Seiko SBGR311 or SBGR311G has a beautiful sapphire crystal backplate and a brand-new movement. There is little doubt that the skilled watchmakers at Seiko spent many hours perfecting this limited-edition wristwatch.
The Grand Seiko line of watches was launched in the 1960s as part of an initiative to bring Japanese watchmaking up to par with that of the Swiss industry leaders. Since then, Seiko has always made this line of watches better by paying close attention to every detail. Even though Grand Seiko watches like the SBGR311 are not as well-known as Rolex, the brand makes a lot of money because its products are so good.
The essential element of this design is the dial. Some would find this shade of brown monotonous, but Seiko has added some fascinating details to liven things up. like “local traditional blacksmiths working iron with fire,” they say. Even though I’ve always liked tan colors, that amazing description sold me. At first glance, the spiral radial design might seem more flashy than interesting. As long as you look closely, you can make out a complicated swirl of symbols inside the artwork, which is bronze in color and quite stunning once you do. Approximately eighty helical lines make up the dial’s design. Matching the signature at the top of the watch face, the G and the S stand for Grand Seiko. Another sign is a capital S, but it’s written in a different style. manufacturers in Morioka, Japan; their logo represents Daini Seikosha (now Seiko Instruments Inc.). This S is often under the signature on Seiko watches, so you should be able to spot it.
The release of this watch was intended to commemorate the 9S movement’s 20th anniversary. The 9S68 mechanism is housed in the Grand Seiko SBGR311. It’s a step up in size from the 9S65. Even though the SBGR311 is bigger, the power reserve has not changed; it is still just 72 hours. Even though this is a good amount of time for a modern Grand Seiko to go without being charged, it is annoying that the mechanism has become more complicated.
Furthermore, the Grand Seiko SBGR311 is water-resistant to a depth of 100 meters. It’s not a diving watch, and I wouldn’t suggest swimming in it, but if you’re feeling adventurous, the choice is yours. You never know how badly water, especially saltwater, might damage a timepiece, so I advise taking it in for servicing on a more regular basis if you want to put the timepiece’s water resistance to the test. The Grand Seiko SBGR311 might be hard to find and cost approximately $5900; however, it is not the most costly Grand Seiko model. What you’re paying for is the high degree of difficulty and labor that went into creating this.