Editor’s note: At this point, saying Grand Seiko do exceptional dials is a bit of a cliché, but c’mon – look at this thing. It’s flat out incredible – delicate, detailed and still somehow fun. This is what Grand Seiko excel at, and this is why people love them …
The foundation upon which modern Grand Seiko is built is the calibre 9S, first unveiled 20 years ago. Basel 2018 sees the Japanese brand pay tribute to this important movement with this new Grand Seiko model, the SBGH267
Grand Seiko’s dial and case finishes are rightly lauded for their high level of quality. But the far less visible movement is just as significant. And, if the watch is automatic, the chances are high that movement is the 9S. First introduced in 1998, this movement, with its high level of precision, lengthy power reserve and rock-solid construction, was ahead of its time for a high-volume commercial calibre. With a distinctive purple oscillating rotor in the style we’ve come to expect from Grand Seiko’s LEs, it forms the heart of this watch, which features a subtle mosaic pattern dial in Grand Seiko’s blue, as well as a completely new 39.5mm wide by 13mm tall case. This version is in steel, but there’s also a yellow gold version and a platinum model with a V.F.A. (very fine adjusted) movement, which promises accuracy of +3/-1 seconds, compared to the +5/-3 range of the SBGH267.
On the wrist
Classic Grand Seiko. The design is balanced, harmonious and feels right on the wrist. The new case will please many with its size, and combination of ultra crisp finishing and bold lines — it’s much less bulky than its brown-dialled cousin, the SBGR311, but still plenty substantial. The dial — as is so often the case with Grand Seiko — is hard to pin down, moving from dark to very light to almost faded — every time you glance down at your wrist. It’s everything you expect from Grand Seiko and a fitting tribute to a mighty movement.
Who’s it for?
While the pretty blue dial is enough to draw you in and keep you satisfied, this is a watch really aimed at hardcore GS fans.
That pop of purple on the rotor got me the first time I saw it. It’s a nice little Easter egg.
Grand Seiko SBGH267 Australian pricing and availability
Grand Seiko SBGH267, steel, limited to 1500 pieces, $9100