One of the finest aspects of Grand Seiko is the way the watchmaker has made a virtue of melding tradition with technology. More than that, Grand Seiko, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year, insists on reaching for the highest standards on its own terms.
Take, for example, the reference SBGZ001, which was unveiled at Baselworld 2019. Internally, the timepiece is powered by Grand Seiko’s pioneering and outstanding Spring Drive movement, which combines the best of mechanical and quartz watchmaking for an unparalleled accuracy of +/- one second a day. The impeccable interior is matched only by the exterior: the famous ‘Snowflake’ dial, offset by the mirror-polished hands and indices that are perfect reflections of light, and a level of finishing that is nothing short of superlative.
While some might think this level of devotion only extends to a limited edition of only 30 pieces, it is, however, a facet of the dedication that Grand Seiko extends to all its timepieces.
And, so, what is true for the SBGZ001 is just the same for recently released SBGE267G. Part of the Grand Seiko Sports series, the dual time watch is an exclusive to the Thong Sia Group, Seiko’s long-time distribution partner, and available only in Malaysia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore in a limited run of 140 pieces.
The most striking thing about the piece is, undoubtedly, its colour. Grand Seiko has always held a reverence for nature, the most famous example being the earlier mentioned ‘Snowflake’ dial, which is inspired by the beauty of the snow in the Shinshu region in central Japan, home to Grand Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio.
For the new timepiece, nature is represented by the use of the colour brown, the colour of the earth. While it is more commonly found on straps, the metallic brown here coats the dial and bezel, made all the more striking with the champagne gold hands and indices, both of which are coated with luminous material. The highly polished dial is also finished with a sunray pattern, creating a fascinating display when struck by light.
A date display is located at 4 o’clock, while a power reserve indicator is at 9 o’clock. The bezel is printed with a luminous 24-hour scale and a second, inner 24-hour scale is printed on a ring around the dial. A silver central axis hour hand serves as the GMT indicator, allowing the user to tell the time in a different time zone with a glance. The hour markers and hands are fabricated by a diamond-tipped tool, giving them sharp edges and near-mirrored surfaces.
Under the gleaming surface is Grand Seiko’s 9R66 Spring Drive movement, which was first developed in 2006, and comes with a GMT time display function and 72 hours of power reserve. The built-in three-energy trimmer brings high accuracy comparable to that of a quartz watch, with a daily difference of only +/- one second. The biggest feature of any Spring Drive watch is its seconds hand – as it is driven by a consistent, rather than small pulses, of energy, the seconds hand glides effortless and continuously.
With a 44mm stainless steel case and a thickness of 14.7mm, the SBGE267G is no dainty dress watch. Indeed, with a stainless steel strap, it is robust on the eye and yet it sits comfortably on the wrist, thanks to curved lugs. Its generous size is certainly commanding, while its metallic brown and champagne gold gilts do catch the eye. Its construct is tough enough to withstand the vigours of your favourite sporting activity without compromising its accuracy and, as a bonus, it is water resistant to 200m. It is, in short, a reflection of Grand Seiko’s commitment to high horology. What more could you want from a timepiece?
The Grand Seiko SBGE267G is exclusively available in Malaysia through Thong Sia Malaysia. Find out more here