Since the first Grand Seiko watch was released in 1960, the premium Japanese brand has continued to delight with their exceptionally sharp lines and clean designs. Today there are more Grand Seiko fans than ever before thanks to concerted efforts to make it a truly global brand.

Blue Wednesday: 3 Grand Seikos with gorgeous blue dials

Grand Seiko blue dial

Grand Seiko may have been around for 60 years, but the opulent Japanese watchmaker isn't showing any signs of slowing down. 2019 perfectly exemplified their hard-charging ethos of churning out horological hit after hit, with myriad wristwatches being unveiled that got the enthusiast community in quite the tizzy. We'd like to mention all of them, but, to keep it simple, we've whittled down all their releases from last year and focused on three of the best blue dials that the marque unveiled in 2019: GRAND SEIKO SBGK005 The Grand Seiko Elegance Collection got a real boost when reference SBGK005 debuted as part of a range promoting artisanal dial finishes. This blue dial is finished with the Mt Iwate pattern and coated with Urushi lacquer. The dial markings are applied via the ancient technique of Maki-e (gold and silver powder layered atop the lacquer). The Zaratsu method – developed to accentuate the aesthetic appearance of curved surfaces – is used to polish the case. Ref No: SBGK005 / Case size: 39mm / Case material: Steel / Movement: 9S63 / Price: $9600 GRAND SEIKO SBGN009 Released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first quartz watch, the SBGN009's luscious blue dial has… Read More

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INTRODUCING: The bold and blue Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary

Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary

Most brands enjoy celebrating anniversaries based around the centenary, but not Grand Seiko, and it actually makes sense. In watchmaking, the number 60 is significantly more important than 50, as it takes 60 seconds to make a minute, and 60 minutes to make an hour, as well as that in Japan the number 60 signifies the beginning of a new life cycle. As a result, the Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary is being celebrated with the release of a number of new limited editions. The brand has released four new references, and all are offered with stunning blue dials, the signature tone of Grand Seiko. Heritage Collection Hi-Beat 36000 LE SBGH281 The hi-beat 36,000 automatic offers us a steel case that references an original Grand Seiko design from way back in 1967. It was seven years after Grand Seiko had been launched, and the watch manufacturer had employed designer Taro Tanaka to develop an aesthetic philosophy that would help Grand Seiko stand out from its competitors. He did so with The Grammar of Design, based on a series of rules he had developed over prior years, which made its design debut in the 44GS case shape, and lives on in this… Read More

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HANDS-ON: Is this Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK007 a perfect dress watch?

Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK007 review

Unquestionably one of Grand Seiko's most surprising releases of 2019, the SBGK additions to the Elegance Collection had all the makings of a perfect dress watch. There was just one problem, however — if I'm being really finickity, the dial options that were made available upon release were perhaps slightly out of keeping with that of a quintessential dress watch. Someone in the Japanese watchmaker's design team clearly had the same feeling, because less than six months after its initial unveiling, we have this — the Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK007. I was borderline ecstatic when this watch was unveiled, and waited with bated breath for the press watch to find its way into the office, eager to find out whether the crisp white dial I'd seen in countless press images was as arresting in person as it was on my Mac screen. And now that I've been able to spend some time with this svelte dress watch attached to my wrist, I have to admit it's a great dress watch … but it's not exactly what I was expecting. Allow me to explain. The press release for SBGK007, as well as the product description found on Grand Seiko's own website, characterise… Read More

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Blue Wednesday: 3 Grand Seikos with gorgeous blue dials

Grand Seiko blue dial

Grand Seiko may have been around for 60 years, but the opulent Japanese watchmaker isn't showing any signs of slowing down. 2019 perfectly exemplified their hard-charging ethos of churning out horological hit after hit, with myriad wristwatches being unveiled that got the enthusiast community in quite the tizzy. We'd like to mention all of them, but, to keep it simple, we've whittled down all their releases from last year and focused on three of the best blue dials that the marque unveiled in 2019: GRAND SEIKO SBGK005 The Grand Seiko Elegance Collection got a real boost when reference SBGK005 debuted as part of a range promoting artisanal dial finishes. This blue dial is finished with the Mt Iwate pattern and coated with Urushi lacquer. The dial markings are applied via the ancient technique of Maki-e (gold and silver powder layered atop the lacquer). The Zaratsu method – developed to accentuate the aesthetic appearance of curved surfaces – is used to polish the case. Ref No: SBGK005 / Case size: 39mm / Case material: Steel / Movement: 9S63 / Price: $9600 GRAND SEIKO SBGN009 Released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first quartz watch, the SBGN009's luscious blue dial has… Read More

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RECOMMENDED WATCHING: A beginner's guide to Grand Seiko

Editor's note: Ever wanted to know why Grand Seiko is so revered in the horological hemisphere? Well, this video perfectly sums up why the doyen of Japanese watchmaking is considered the crème de la crème on so many levels. So, if you've got the time, sit back and enjoy an explanation as to why Grand Seiko's movements, cases and dials are some of the best on the market, regardless of price.  For years, Grand Seiko was a very underground, for-those-in-the-know type brand; its visibility outside of Japan was limited, and its passionate supporters revelled in the arcana of cryptic reference numbers, nicknames and shorthand galore. All that changed a few years ago when Grand Seiko went global, but there's still an air of mystique around the Japanese brand. So, to help clear a few things up, I decided to run through a short explainer, providing a flying overview of some of the key details, covering off the basics around movements, cases and dials. So, if you don't know your Snowflakes from your Spring Drives, aren't too sure if you're team 9S or 9F, or have ever wondered just what Zaratsu actually is, this video is for you. We can't explain… Read More

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VIDEO: The timelessly elegant Grand Seiko SBGY002

SBGY002

Created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Grand Seiko's prolific Spring Drive movement, SBGY002 is a limited edition dress watch for discerning fans of the Japanese watchmaker's signature snowflake dial. Hewn from solid 18k yellow gold, the case of the rarified timepiece is signature SBGY and, as a result, measures in at just 38.5mm and 10.2mm, ensuring that it will more than comfortably fit under even the tightest of cuffs. The dial is nothing short of mesmerising, with the famed textured snowflake aesthetic doing what it does best — leaving the wearer in complete awe regarding the level of intricacy and detail. The dial is complemented by a solid 18k yellow gold implementation of Grand Seiko's classic dauphine hour and minute hands, while, perhaps strangely, the seconds hand is blued steel. And while I admit there was a hint of trepidation about the almost jarring contrast between yellow and blue when I first saw images of the SBGY002, the dichotomy of colours works wonders in the flesh. Powering the dress watch is the Japanese firm's Calibre 9R31, which is skilfully crafted by hand in the watchmaker's Shinshu watch studio, which, incidentally, is where the first-ever spring drive movement was created…. Read More

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HANDS-ON: The Grand Seiko SBGA407 Snowflake blue

Grand Seiko SBGA407 Snowflake blue

USP – the acronym for "unique selling point". A watchmaker's USP is paramount to their success, and if you look at the general consensus of what's considered the best brands out there, they've all got it — they each excel at something that puts them a cut above the rest. Whether it's Rolex and their storied robustness, A. Lange & Söhne and their prolific levels of movement finishing, or Patek Philippe and their ability to make a steel sports watch so damned hard to purchase. What these USPs translate to, most importantly, is sales – if a brand is considered to be the pinnacle in a discipline of watchmaking, they will always be desirable. Grand Seiko's USP is their dials – in the eyes of many, including my own, they represent the zenith of the horological industry in both design and finishing. No word of a lie, you need to look at their dials through a loupe to properly appreciate the aesthetic, craftsmanship and attention to detail on offer with these timepieces. Made to mimic the snow that falls around Grand Seiko's Shinshu watch studio –the birthplace of the marque's fabled Spring Drive movement – the Grand Seiko SBGA407 Snowflake Blue… Read More

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