VIDEO: The Grand Seiko SLGA023 brings unparalleled beauty and accuracy to a dive watch VIDEO: The Grand Seiko SLGA023 brings unparalleled beauty and accuracy to a dive watch

VIDEO: The Grand Seiko SLGA023 brings unparalleled beauty and accuracy to a dive watch

Zach Blass

While it may not be the first brand you think of when it comes to dive watches, Grand Seiko produces some of the most handsome, robust and accurate dive watches on the market. And the latest Grand Seiko Evolution 9 Collection SLGA023 diver is a perfect example.

Its faceted hi-intensity titanium evolution 9 case, while a sports watch, has received the same famed hand-executed Zaratsu finishing as their elegance and heritage models do. The combination of rich hairline brushing and distortion-free mirror polishing goes far beyond the case-finishing standards of most, if not all, available dive watches.

Blue is a very common colour in the watch world, an irrefutable fan-favourite. But, this particular shade of Grand Seiko blue is reserved for special and significant creations. The result is a scratch-resistant Grand Seiko blue ceramic timing bezel, with a wave-patterned Ushio dial also executed in Grand Seiko blue. The depth and layers of the textured dial create a dynamic look, the shadowing, depending on the angle, creating lighter and darker surfaces that give the dial a near photo-realistic appearance of rippling waters. The SLGA023 has ample LumiBrite coatings on the hands, indexes and bezel for added legibility, but I would have preferred if the luminous lollipop counterweight were moved towards the top of the hand.

Befitting of a dive watch, the SLGA023 has a case-matching bracelet with a secure lock & push button release three-fold clasp and a solid & slide adjuster to allow the watch to easily extend and fit over a dive suit.

Inside, you have the manufacture’s latest in-house automatic Spring Drive movement, which offers 5 full days of power reserve and an accuracy of plus or minus 0.5 second per day – take that METAS, COSC, and Superlative Chronometer. In this accuracy arms-race some may accuse Grand Seiko of cheating, as Spring Drive blends a quartz escapement with a mechanical movement – to put it simply. But, for me it is more so indicative of Grand Seiko’s mastery in watchmaking and their ability to innovate everything from Spring Drive to a Constant Force Tourbillon on a single axis.

The idea of owning a Grand Seiko dive watch is very appealing. A robust 200m water-resistant diver, incredibly accurate five-day movement, a Zaratsu decorated case, and a stunning nature-inspired dial. The only cause for pause, perhaps, is really the larger dimensions of the case – at least on paper. 43.8mm in diameter, 13.8mm in thickness, and 51.5mm lug-to-lug sounds quite intimidating. But the cambered profile and ergonomics of the SLGA023 make it wear much more manageably than the dimensions may suggest. Lug-to-lug, it is less than one millimetre longer on each side of side of the case then a Seamaster 300M. So, what do you guys think? Is this blue Ushio dial the most gorgeous dial ever made for a dive watch? I am leaning towards yes.

Grand Seiko SLGA023 pricing and availability:

The Grand Seiko SLGA023 will begin shipping in July 2023. Price: A$17,300, US$11,600

Brand Grand Seiko
Model SLGA023
Case Dimensions 43.8mm (D) x 13.8mm (T) x 51.5mm (L2L)
Case Material High-Intensity titanium
Water Resistance 200m (screw-down crown)
Dial Ushio’ blue wave dial
Crystal Sapphire crystal
Strap 23mm High-Intensity Titanium  bracelet with three-fold clasp
Movement In-house Spring Drive 9RA5
Power Reserve 120 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, date, power reserve indicator
Availability Now
Price A$17,300, US$11,600