Grand Seiko: A recap

“G-rowl!”

Oh well, the Grand Seiko again! We folks been very recently more interested than before in this particular category (yes, we do believe Grand Seiko to be a category rather than just a watch line; reasons are aplenty and we will get down to them very soon. Till then) for it is influencing a large number of watch designs around.

Grand Seiko, despite a brand chiefly created for the Japan Domestic Market, has gone deep into the West! Real enthusiasts are knowledgeable; we come in for the rest.

Grand intro:

The Grand Seiko is a revered thing! Not just its precision craftsmanship or timekeeping accuracy or the material that speaks of wealth. It’s the old school approach, rather; meeting every strict demand from the dial work and to the high-performance parts within.

The Grand Types:

Grand Seikos run upon either of the three: mechanical, spring-drive or quartz movements. These are hand assembled and adjusted exclusively. Master watchmakers do that instead of robots – even with some of the finest among luxury brands! A touch from the old world (not olde worlde) in a shining quality (from its every aspect); perfect mirror and brush finishes (and shapes and forms) that are incredibly sharp and clean! The whole dial work becomes remarkable as well. Especially, sunburst finishes and textured dials like the legendary Snowflake.

The Machine part:

Grand Seiko movements are rated for better-than-chronometer performances. Take the spring drive. A unique movement for high-end Seiko-s, its extraordinary accuracy and incredibly smooth sweep (of the seconds-hand) loses or gains 10 seconds to the max a year. Mostly, it stays within 5. The Grand Seiko mechanical movements, on the other hand, pack-in extra-large power reserves with high-frequency escapements.

The Quartz models carry the legendary 9F movement – extraordinarily advanced not to flick beyond 5 seconds a year! A whole host of innovations – too technical to be discussed here – thus go into the SBGV005-011 and SBGX059-063; the gamut runs from dressy to sporty and some crossovers of the two.  Even the ladies Grand Seiko models are as varied as the men’s; they carry the smaller 9F – the 4J movement.  Check the models STGF075-079.

Notable quartz models:

  • The SBGV005: Classic sunburst dial set with blued seconds-hand.
  • SBGV009 and SBGV011: The dressiest members of the collection. Limited editions honoring the first Grand Seiko dated 1964.
  • The SBGX059: Oldest Grand Seiko quartz model still in production. Also the most affordable type. Subtle and understated, they are beautiful to look at.
  • SBGX115 and 117: Only dial colors are different. The only full production Grand Seiko divers.

In our next episode, we’ll talk about the Spring Drive, the Snowflake and the super high-precision 4J quartz movement. Bye till then.

Watch(es) mentioned in this post are listed below.  Click to see details and buy them:

 

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