The new Grand Seiko SBGH341 & SBGH343 debut the modern 62GS case in a new 38mm size The new Grand Seiko SBGH341 & SBGH343 debut the modern 62GS case in a new 38mm size

The new Grand Seiko SBGH341 & SBGH343 debut the modern 62GS case in a new 38mm size

Zach Blass
  • The new SBGH341 & SBGH343 present Grand Seiko’s 62GS case in a 38mm diameter for the first time in the modern era.
  • They are also the first fully mechanical 62GS-cased watches to be encased in Grand Seiko’s high-intensity titanium.
  • Grand Seiko first introduced the 62GS case in 1967, and it was the first to use an automatic movement in their catalogue.


Ever since Grand Seiko debuted the 36.5mm 44GS case, I really got my hopes up that they would continue to scale down their Heritage Collection cases across the collection. Typically speaking, their more compact diameters have been limited to the more dressy Elegance Collection. But, in 2024, and in the wake of multiple new 36.5mm 44GS-cased watches over the last year, Grand Seiko has been on an absolute tear presenting more compact takes on their watches. We just recently were treated to a new 37mm “Snowflake” and now Grand Seiko has just presented two new models that debut a new 38mm size for the 62GS case: the new SBGH341 and SBGH343.


A 2mm drop down from 40mm, which the 62GS case was previously limited to in the modern era, does not sound like much to the average ear. But, we watch geeks know better. The 38mm size is largely held as a bridge between the vintage 36mm sizing and modern 40mm sizing, a sweet spot many watch buyers favour. While the 47mm lug-to-lug of the 40mm 62GS cases is on the tamer side for its size, this new 38mm case has a lug-to-lug of 44.7mm – giving the case much more of a pseudo-vintage stance across the wrist. In its scale-down, these two new 38mm references are effectively just as thick as the 40mm configuration with a measurement of 12.9mm. They are likely only .1mm thicker because, for the first time, we have hi-beat mechanical 62GS watches in high-intensity titanium.

SBGH341 versus SBGA413

With the 62GS in titanium previously limited to Spring Drive-powered models, it is interesting to see that once again we have a subtle Studio Shizukuishi (full mechanical) versus Studio Shinshu (Spring Drive and quartz) style in finishing. The previous 62GS hi-beat models had steel cases with the upper facet from lug-to-lug in full mirror polish, while the titanium spring drive models, like my SBGA413 above, have a brushed finish. While I initially thought the difference in finish was due to the material used, it would seem that the delineator is actually the movement and the studio behind it rather than the material. There is nothing wrong with either finishing style, the greater real estate afforded to the Zaratsu distortion-free mirror finish increases the elegance of the aesthetic ultimately. Those precious about scratches and blemishes, however, may be more concerned with so much of the front-facing elements being mirror polished. But, keep in mind that high-intensity titanium, while not invulnerable to blemishes, is a very lightweight yet robust material. Also, while we have them side by side, two ‘live’ shots, it appears that the SBGH341 has a similar subtlety to its pink hue like the SBGA413.


The dials are both inspired by the 24 “Sekki” (seasons). They also each utilise a texture, while not billed as ‘Kira-zuri’, that is very similar – at least effectively so to the naked eye. Under a macro lens, the dial texture almost appears like grass or a basket weaving material that is pressed into a disc. For the SBGH341, Grand Seiko explains that the pink dial is inspired by the “Sakura-Kakushi” (hiding cherry blossoms) in the Tohoku region in late March (the vernal equinox and fourth term of the 24 seasons). Following this fourth term-inspired dial, the SBGH343 conveys the fifth term of the 24 seasons – in particular “Semi” which translates to “clear and bright.” Its light green dial is meant to mimic “Sakura-Wakaba” (cherry blossoms and young leaves).


Inside you have Grand Seiko’s proven entry hi-beat 9S85 automatic calibre. The in-house movement offers 55 hours of power reserve and it is accurate to +5/-3 seconds per day when static.

The lingering question, which I unfortunately cannot answer fully, is its higher pricing of US$7,300. Without a hi-beat titanium model in a 40mm 62GS case to compare with, I cannot say whether or not in its scale-down it is equal or less in pricing to a 40mm model of an otherwise identical configuration. What I can say is that while early models like the 40mm 62GS hi-beat steel SBGH271 and SBGH273 were US$6,300, the SBGH295 U.S. exclusive, of the same size, material, and case geometry as the SBGH271 and SBGH273, was priced higher due to its blue Kira-zuri dial that is closer in aesthetic with these two new references. So, it is fair to say the US$400 premium over the SBGH295 is due to the jump from steel to titanium which is typically priced higher across the watch marketplace.


The other lingering question you might have is: can an existing Spring Drive movement make it into a 38mm 62GS case? The answer I suspect is possibly, but the only contender would be the manually wound Spring Drive calibre 9R31 that is primarily found in Elegance Collection models like the SBGY007 ‘Omiwatari’ and has only been used once outside of that 38.5mm Elegance case with the SBGY009 (which is a 40mm 44GS-cased model). Considering the fact the 62GS case debuted Grand Seiko automatic movements, it seems unlikely that Grand Seiko would force a manually wound Spring Drive movement inside. They would likely need to develop a smaller automatic Spring Drive movement, which I have been dying for them to create, for a 38mm 62GS model to use Spring Drive.

Putting an end to the ‘what could be’ conversation and returning to ‘what is’, I think the Grand Seiko SBGH341 and SBGH343 are two very strong releases that are priced fairly within the context of their catalogue and I hope this is only the beginning for 38mm 62GS watches. Going off the expansion of the 36.5mm 44GS line over the last year, it is safe to say my wish will be fulfilled.

Grand Seiko SBGH341 & SBGH343 pricing and availability


The Grand Seiko SBGH341 and SBGH343 will be available in March 2024 via Grand Seiko Boutiques, the Grand Seiko Online Boutique, and authorised retailers. Price: US$7,300

Brand Grand Seiko
Model SBGH341 “Sakura-Kakushi”
SBGH343 “Sakura-Wakaba”
Case Dimensions 38mm (D) x 12.9mm (T) x 44.7mm (LTL)
Case Material High-intensity titanium
Water Resistance 100m (screw-down crown)
Crystal Sapphire crystal and exhibition caseback
Dial SBGH341: Pink
SBGH343: Light green
Strap High-intensity titanium bracelet w/ three-fold clasp
Movement In-house hi-beat automatic 9S85
Power Reserve 55 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Availability March 2024
Price US$7,300