The Best Watches Introduced by GRAND SEIKO in 2023
In the world of watches, Seiko and Grand Seiko are a lot like Ford and Lincoln. The first is a reliable brand that appeals to the average person’s budget. The second is a premium, luxury brand that is designed for people with the most discerning tastes. Even so, both of them exist under the same umbrella.
These watches are made primarily with Seiko parts, although most of Grand Seiko’s parts are made with many higher-grade materials. They’re also made by hand by skilled watchmakers, whereas your run-of-the-mill Seiko watch is manufactured by machine on an assembly line. This includes hand polishing on many components, which you won’t see on an ordinary Seiko.
Today, I’m going to discuss five of the best Grand Seiko watches for collectors of high-quality timepieces. These come in many varieties to meet many tastes, but they all come with the quality you’d expect from a high-end watchmaker.
1 – Grand Seiko Spring Drive 20th & NISSAN GT-R 50th
The Nissan GT-R was introduced in 1969 as the Skyline 2000 GT-R, and in the past 50 years, it has become an enthusiast favorite. It’s one of those cars that aren’t always mentioned in the same breath as its exotic European competition, but those who know will consistently tell you it should be. In that sense, there’s an obvious link between the GR-R and Grand Seiko, with the latter seemingly always discussed with a “but you’ve got to see it in person” caveat by watch nuts. For that reason, I think there’s probably an appeal to this watch that extends beyond GT-R owners to those who are simply interested in great things that fly under the radar.
It measures a shade over 46mm in diameter and is 16.2mm thick. The case is a combination of titanium and Grand Seiko’s blue ceramic, so while it has a significant footprint, the watch should feel relatively lightweight for its size on the wrist. The colorway is really striking and different from anything I can remember seeing from Grand Seiko before. Looking at pictures of the “Bayside Blue” GT-R, I have to say that they got all the details right to pay tribute to the car. The white crocodile strap, coupled with the silvery white textured dial, really does call to mind a racing stripe and feels innately automotive.
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive 20th & Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Limited Edition (the official name of this timepiece) will be available in an edition of 200 pieces with a retail price of $21,000.
2 – Grand Seiko Sport Spring Drive Titanium Chronograph GMT 20th Anniversary Limited Edition
Grand Seiko is adding a new design to its Sport Collection to mark the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive. The design was based on the Grand Seiko lion, which has been the company’s logo for a long time. The lion mark first appeared in 1960, alongside the first Grand Seiko. It reflected the Grand Seiko team’s ambition to create a watch that was as precise, long-lasting, and beautiful as possible, as well as their tenacity. Their goal was to create the “king of watches.” So, the lion became a symbol of Grand Seiko’s inner strength, which encouraged its watchmakers to make the best watches they could.
The case, which looks like a lion’s strength and pride, is angled inwards to make sure it fits comfortably on the wrist. The lug of the case, which looks like a lion’s nail, has a flat surface without distortion from Zaratsu polishing and a hairline finish. The dial has a pattern representing the mane of the lion, which is proof that it is the king of the beasts. A second hand with a glide motion unique to the Spring Drive slides gracefully on the lion’s mane.
The lion symbol appears in this anniversary watch’s oscillating weight, indicating the improved accuracy of the specially adjusted movement. If you appreciate elegance and want a watch for special occasions, this is the watch for you.
3 – Grand Seiko Mechanical Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Triple zona horaria SBGJ237
This timepiece achieves unparalleled functionality, as the rotating 24-hour bezel simultaneously displays three different time zones. The design has a profound presence, while still maintaining the traditional shine of a classic Grand Seiko model. Combined with a tough exterior, water-resistant down to 20 bar, and highly resistant to shocks, this timepiece has been perfected as the ideal luxurious sports watch for those active on the global stage. The high-quality sapphire glass on the surface of the ring provides a strong sense of transparency, breadth, and depth.
The midnight blue dial and blue/white bezel made of sapphire crystal give the watch a distinct look.
This model incorporates Caliber 9S86, a high-specification movement that provides the same accuracy (+5 to -3 seconds per day) and power reserve (55 hours) as the core Caliber 9S85 while also providing the GMT function that international travelers require to ensure that the accuracy of the time displayed is not compromised when the time zone is changed. The white GMT hand displays the current time in the home time zone.
4 – Grand Seiko Elegance Calibre 9S 20º Aniversario Edición Limitada SBGM235
It’s important to say 4Hz right away because “Grand Seiko GMT” may evoke memories of the popular Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT watches we first saw hands-on here, of which Seiko has continued to produce limited-edition versions. I like those watches a lot, but the Grand Seiko GMT SBGM235G has its own charm, albeit of a different kind. This limited edition is not the first “Grand Seiko Elegance Collection” SBGM model. It has a small case, a raised crystal, and a 24-hour GMT track that forms a ring around the inner part of the dial.
That ring, along with the short, arrow-shaped GMT hand, helps to distinguish the SBGM dial from other Grand Seiko offerings. While the non-limited SBGM221G has a cream-colored dial that gives it a vintage or faded appearance, the white dial with its intricate pattern on the new Grand Seiko GMT SBGM235G feels lavish and fresh to me. Grand Seiko is known for the high quality of its finishing on important elements such as its hands, and the GMT hand is prominent here. I wouldn’t go so far as to say the main hands were too short, but I believe they could have been made a little longer.
5 – Grand Seiko SBGK009
The model, which will be available to watch enthusiasts at Baselworld 2019, has a stainless steel case that measures 39 mm in diameter and 11.6 mm in height. The case is the best example of this, with a nicely balanced diameter of 39 mm and an elegant design with matte and glossy surfaces and smooth lines. The watch has strong lugs that meet modern standards, and the GS logo on the easy-to-grasp winding crown makes it easy to use. The classic theme of the model is well shown by the curved sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on the inside and the glossy bezel. The case has a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal display case back and is only splash-resistant.
The dial is undoubtedly another component of the model that is appropriate for the classic dress watch style. The dial is finished in anthracite and features wide, retro-looking hands and elongated markers that reinforce the vintage theme. The small second indicator at 9 o’clock and the vertical power reserve indicator right across from it give the watch a balanced look. The bag, which only has the brand’s logo and no other text or markings, shows how simple and elegant the model is.
The Grand Seiko SBGK009 is not a model for most people because it is hard to change and doesn’t appeal to many people. But it’s clear that it’s one of the most refined examples of the idea, which is an important part of making traditional luxury watches. If you like the model but aren’t sure about the bracelet, consider the Grand Seiko SBGK007 with a leather strap from the same collection.