FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Down under with Blancpain, Grand Seiko debuts new “Oruri” at GS9 event in NYC FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Down under with Blancpain, Grand Seiko debuts new “Oruri” at GS9 event in NYC

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Down under with Blancpain, Grand Seiko debuts new “Oruri” at GS9 event in NYC

Zach Blass

This week, Blancpain invited our new(ish) staff writer Borna to the Great Barrier Reef to showcase their latest endeavours in the Ocean Commitment initiative. Having supported many conservation efforts over the years, Blancpain partnered with the Biopixel Oceans Foundation and their production company to make a series of documentary films and support their scientific research.

While commendable on paper, the impact of all this didn’t fully hit home until Borna got to meet the people that directly benefit from Blancpain’s partnership and see the appreciation they had for a brand that’s been involved in such projects for many years. Whether this was through their research into venomous marine animals, the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, their tracking of megafauna or the restoration of the coral reef via AI-powered robots, the passion behind this calling was clear.

Borna and Blancpain’s other guests got to scuba dive and snorkel to explore the beautiful seascapes and wildlife of the reef that Blancpain and Biopixel are looking to protect and help thrive. This wasn’t just a bucket-list experience for Borna, but an eye opener that helped him understand that, if we don’t act now, he may be one of the last generations that get to experience it. Stay tuned for his full story coming soon.


Back in NYC, a GS9 Club USA meeting was held to give those who are Stateside a chance to dig into the recent debuts from Watches & Wonders hands-on. The room was perfectly silent, as Grand Seiko’s Joe Kirk meticulously ran through each of the releases down to every screw and facet.

Zach intently listening to Joe run through the new “Oruri” release

His encyclopedic knowledge of the brand is unrivalled, so when you have the chance to listen to Joe explain all things Grand Seiko you should definitely take it. The real instigator of the meetup, however, was the debut of the new Grand Seiko SBGW279 “Oruri”.


Of course, the second Joe’s presentation ended, the attending GS9 Club USA members were eager to get their hands on the new U.S. exclusive – Ricardo and I included.


Like many recent SBGW releases, it utilises the 37.3mm elegance case in stainless-steel, fully zaratsu mirror polished to give it a dressier edge and formal flair. The dial is a rich sunburst blue, best experienced “in the metal”. It takes inspiration from the “Oruri” song bird, capturing its blue feathers within the hue of the dial. As you can see from the above angle, the detail-oriented manufacture has taken the time to actually hand roll each of the three central hands, so that they curve down in alignment with the boxed and domed sapphire crystal – vintage vibes to the max.


Inside, beneath an exhibition caseback, you have the entry in-house mechanical calibre 9S64, regulated to the Grand Seiko standard of +5/-3 seconds per day and with a power reserve of 72 hours. The calibre has a German sensibility to it, with a 3/4 or more bridge plate – making this hand-wound calibre robust for its size. If you are in the USA, and are looking to purchase one, it is competitively priced at $4,600 USD.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

– Zach

Watch meme of the week: I feel personally attacked… 😂


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While it initially felt like a personal attack, being a tiny-wrister has its advantages. Mock me all you want. Too often I see macho guys comment that a given manufacturer should have made a 37mm watch at least 40mm or larger instead. To those who say this, A: you are wrong (and likely the manufacturer makes the watch in a larger size as well). B: While an IWC Big Pilot or larger Panerai will look rather foolish on me, I leave them to you. Instead, I’ll happily dig into the bargain buys in 34-37mm diameters because the bigger wristed have not caught on that classic sizes are back in fashion – and they are here to stay.

Wrist shot of the week: Why so serious?

It is not often you get to wear a piece unique, so this past weekend in Zurich I was stoked to try on the watch before it headed off to the lucky winner of the Joker XXX Car + Watch + NFT set auctioned by Ineichen Auctioneers. The Joker is a watch I wish I had jumped on upon its debut in 2017, the original and now discontinued configuration within the series is now selling well over its original retail.

Time+Tide select of the week: Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto GMT

The Khaki Aviation Converter GMT makes it easy to travel the world. A bi-directional, rotating slide-rule bezel converts units and currency; and a GMT function ensures you won’t be late in any time zone. With 80 hours of power reserve, this sophisticated 44mm pilot’s watch is guaranteed to take you from the cockpit to the conference room in style.

Price: $2,235 AUD

Buy it now at the Time+Tide Shop, available for Australia only.

Our favourite Time+Tide coverage of the week:

Inclusivity, diversity and wristshots: Welcome to Complecto’s first meetup

We recently introduced you all to the Complecto community that Jason and David have created,  which aims to accomplish the “goal of building an inclusive community that reflects and celebrates the true diversity of watch enthusiasts and collectors around the world”. This past Friday, they set off on that goal in earnest with Complecto’s first meetup and here is a photographic journey of that amazing night courtesy of our contributor Ricardo Sime.

HANDS-ON: The Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph delivers looks, utility and value

Hamilton has released a faithful-yet-contemporary chronograph inspired by an RAF-issue watch from the 1970s, the new Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph. Head here for the full hands-on review.

VIDEO: Hands-on with the Grand Seiko SBGW283, SBGW285 and SBGE277

We dug into three new releases, two of which are elegant 37 millimetre SBGW references and the third a sporty GMT with a beautifully textured black dial. Check out the video above for a full overview of each.

SUMMER WATCH ALERT: The Brellum Pandial LE.1

The new Brellum Pandial LE.1 Chronometer is set to become the microbrand’s carefree, I-wake-up-at-11-on-my-boat, kind of summer watch, owing to its colours and design. Read more here