Editor’s note: When I first saw this video in the middle of last week, I hit the team WhatsApp message thread with a vengeance. Omitting some more colourful language, the gist was: “I am mind blown by these GMTs, they can’t possibly look as good in the metal as they do in this video?” Both Nick and James responded immediately with a barrage of emojis. The answer was clear. They absolutely do. It’s rare to be moved on such a visceral level when you’re looking at watches every day. I expect you might have a similar reaction. If you once connected Grand Seiko with dress watches, you’re in for a mind shift. Enjoy – Andrew
Over the past 12 months we’ve witnessed Grand Seiko unveiling more and more novelties that move away from their traditional dress watch modus operandi, and really start to hone in on the steel sports watch market. The Japanese watchmaker has released a bevy of dynamic divers, three-handers and GMTs, and the sheer breadth and diversity of these new sporty models has been quite profound, with enough different case shapes and sizes, dial colours and designs, and complications to keep their ever-growing fan base happy.
Two of their latest models that represent this steely shift are the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ237 & SBGJ239. These hefty new sports model GMTs have got a lot going on, and it takes only a short glance to know that GS weren’t messing about when they began designing them. Firstly, the stainless steel cases measure in at an ample 44.2mm across and a hefty 14.4mm thick, and they feel robust and nigh on bombproof on the wrist. The domineering cases aren’t all show and no go though – with water resistance rated at 200 metres, thanks to features like a screw-down crown located at four o’clock.
Inside the muscular case of both models is Grand Seiko’s manufacture Calibre 9S86. This fabled hi-beat movement offers up 36,000 vibrations per hour, which provides that famous smooth ticking of the seconds hand that we all know and love. Calibre 9S86 also offers up a GMT complication, date complication, self-winding, 55 hours of power reserve and an accuracy rating of +5 to -3 seconds per day.
Pricing and availability of the Grand Seiko SBGJ237 & Grand Seiko SBGJ239
The Grand Seiko SBGJ237 on steel bracelet has a recommended retail price in Australia of $9950, while the Grand Seiko SBGJ239 on alligator leather has a recommended retail price in Australia of $9750. Both these watches are available from Grand Seiko’s standalone boutiques and authorised dealers across the country.