INTRODUCING: The Grand Seiko SBGX341 is a formidable everyday optionZach Blass
Are there any manufacturers that do quartz better than Grand Seiko? The brand, after all, makes their own quartz crystals in-house and upholds them to the most rigorous standards of accuracy – the 9F series of movements, for example, are regulated to run within +/- 10 seconds per year at a minimum. The deviation is so low, its accuracy over the course of 365 days is equivalent to the accuracy per day of a standard movement. While quartz and its high accuracy is not limited to Grand Seiko, the exquisite Zaratsu finishings bestowed on the watch cases by the brand’s artisans are always a gorgeous sight to behold. Today, they return with a sport model that leverages both their renowned finishing skills and top-notch quartz movements – the Grand Seiko SBGX341.
The stainless-steel case shares the same geometries found among the other sport quartz watches within their catalogue – think squared-off lugs and Zaratsu-polished facets that harmonise light and shadow. The intricate case finishings work to alternate the way in which the metal reflects the light around it, with the distortion-free mirror polishes turning black when facing light head on, and the satin surfaces lighting up. Yet there is one distinct difference here: the screw-down crown has been shifted down to 4 o’clock from the usual 3 position.
The Grand Seiko SBGX341 has a majority satin-brush finish. But the squared ends of the lug are mirror polished, the hairline bevel of the case flanks tapering into the faceted lug like a small stream into an estuary. These contrasting surfaces are always adjacent, creating a feast for the eyes. Coming in at 40mm in diameter, 11.7mm thick and approximately 45mm lug to lug, the 200 metre water-resistant watch should suit a wide spectrum of wrists and activities.
The dial, beneath the AR-coated sapphire crystal, is a crisp white with coloured accents that provide a subtle pop of sporty colour. The outer minute track is half black and half orange, the colours alternating in each quadrant of the dial. The first and third quadrant utilises a black minutes track ring with white hash marks, and the second and fourth quadrants utilise an orange minute track ring with black hash marks. There is no date complication and the result is a cleaner aesthetic sure to please enthusiasts worldwide. Above the sixth hour marker the magnetic resistance of the watch, 40,000 A/m, is proudly printed in orange on the dial.
The movement is the in-house manufacture caliber 9F61. This is the same 9F we have come to rely and count on, but without the date complication built in. It runs within the previously mentioned standard of +/- 10 seconds, effectively allowing the wearer to set the watch once a year unless travelling to a new time zone. The battery powering the movement, according to Grand Seiko, will last approximately three years – offering plenty of hassle-free wear time before the watch will need a small checkup.
Grand Seiko SBGX341 pricing and availability:
The Grand Seiko SBGX341 is 407,000 yen (tax included) and is available online.