INTRODUCING: The Grand Seiko SBGE263 GS9 Club US Limited EditionZach Blass
Grand Seiko has been celebrating its 60th Anniversary these past few weeks and months, but during today’s Grand Seiko USA webinar some huge news was announced regarding the future of Grand Seiko USA, as well as a new watch – the Grand Seiko SBGE263 US Limited Edition. The 110 watches are a nod to the 10th anniversary of Grand Seiko USA.
Before we dig into the watch, it’s worth noting an announcement fans and collectors of the brand stateside have been eagerly awaiting – the expansion of the GS9 Club in the US. For the first time outside of Japan, US buyers who have purchased a watch at a GS boutique, salon or Mastershop (authorised dealers) after March 23, 2017 are able to join the club and benefit from its special events, gifts, and content afforded only to members. Grand Seiko USA will provide a detailed list of which dealers are considered authorised in regards to joining the GS9 Club.
The website will be, for the most part, available to the public, including a rich and detailed archive of the brand’s history and its models. Most of the content (such as articles and videos) will also be available, but there will be exclusive badged content only viewable by club members. Also exclusive to US Buyers is a GS9 Club shopping portal that will allow collectors to purchase a selection of references online through the portal – with most models exclusive to GS9 Club members. This means American consumers can now directly purchase from Grand Seiko via e-commerce. The only catch, however, is that the club website will only be available to US IP addresses – so those outside the US will have to wait until the club expands into other regions. Now that we have covered the new platform, let’s dig into the new watch.
Grand Seiko SBGE263
The Grand Seiko SBGE263 is a new limited edition take on the recent line of spring drive GMT watches, in a Zaratsu polished 40.5mm stainless steel case. According to Grand Seiko, the watch takes “its inspiration from the eagle, whose dominance has earned it a majestic, yet authoritative reputation. Living on the tops of towering mountains, amid the solitary grandeur of nature, the eagle has long been a symbol of longevity, great strength, and majesty.” It’s also no secret how sacred the eagle is within the US, making it a fitting muse for the expansion of the GS9 Club into the territory.
Grand Seiko further elaborates on its design, explaining: “The distinct deep brown colour of the imperial bird’s feathers is applied on the dial and ceramic bezel as a reminder of the warm tones of the earth – reliable and dignified. The dial pattern represents the radiance of the eagle’s freedom soaring through the vista, swooping downward into valleys below or upward into the boundless spaces above. The gold arrow of the GMT hand is reminiscent of the eagle’s powerful beak used to subdue his quest.” The bezel matches the dial in brown ceramic, and the inner GMT bezel is split between a brown that also matches the dial and lighter yellowish brown to match the eagle’s beak tone of the GMT hand. Known for being incredibly meticulous with the details of their watches, Grand Seiko has truly made a fitting tribute to both the brand and the USA.
In case you are not familiar with the standard production watches within the line, the Grand Seiko Sport GMT models are powered by the in-house Spring Drive Caliber 9R66. As a true GMT movement, the local hour hand is independently adjustable, and the GMT hand then remains fixed to “home” time. This allows the wearer to quickly jump the hour hand upon reaching new time zones without having to reset the watch. Considering the 9R66 is rated to an accuracy of +/-15 seconds a month, there is little reason or desire to interrupt its highly accurate timekeeping. The hands feature a luminescent coating and the dial also features a power reserve indicator.
Grand Seiko SBGE263 pricing and availability:
This watch is offered as a US limited edition of 110 pieces and will be available in January 2021 at Grand Seiko Boutiques and for GS9 Club members. Price: $6700 USD
You can view or pre-order this model directly at the GS9 Club Shop. To pre-order the SBGE263, click HERE.