It has been a stellar year for Grand Seiko, with the Japanese watchmaker releasing not only a bevy of new iterations of some of their most popular models, but also a completely new manual-wind dress watch, the SBGK series.
And, as is always the case with Grand Seiko, the arresting dials adorning these new timepieces have been received with a fairly large amount of adoration within the horological community.
So, with that in mind, we thought we’d whittle down all the new dial designs produced by Grand Seiko in 2019 and pick our five favourite examples:
Grand Seiko SBGH269
We couldn’t make this list without mentioning the current hype beast of Morioka, the Grand Seiko SBGH269 ‘Autumn’. There’s no two ways about it – the dial of this watch is gorgeous, with a bright red centre bleeding into a deeper and darker almost-maroon around the edges. Then there’s the vertical pin striping in slightly brighter shades of red, giving the watch’s dial an overall aesthetic akin to that of a boiled candy. Contrasted with gold accents that can be found on the Grand Seiko logo, minute markers and second hand, the SBGH269 certainly deserves its ‘Autumn’ moniker and is definitely reminiscent of Japanese forests in their autumnal splendour. If you’re a fan of this watch you’ll have to act quick, though, because Grand Seiko are making only 900 of them. $9000
Grand Seiko SBGN009
Made to pay homage to the 50th anniversary of Seiko’s first ever quartz watch, the Astron, SBGN009’s dial hosts a handsome shade of dark navy blue that is then complemented by Seiko’s famed quartz crystal logo, which is patterned around the dial in a slightly lighter shade of blue. Adding a decent bit of contrast, the Grand Seiko logo, GMT lettering, GMT numerals, second and GMT hands are all finished in a bright yellow gold colour, which makes for a particularly fetching dial. Like the aforementioned SBGH269, the SBGN009 is a limited edition timepiece, with the Japanese marque making just 2019 examples in total. $4000
Grand Seiko SBGA407
You didn’t think we’d make a list about Grand Seiko dials and not mention a Snowflake, did you? Now, Grand Seiko has actually been making snowflake dials for more than two decades now; however, for the first time in the watchmaker’s history, this year they’ve released a coloured variant of the quintessentially GS design. Perhaps named a tad unoriginally, the “Snowflake blue” is meant to mimic that of the snow that falls around the Shinshu Watch Studio, which is the birthplace of Seiko’s famed Spring Drive movement. It truly is a beautiful dial, and while at a glance it may not seem overtly eye-catching, it’s one of those dials that you tend to get lost in the longer you gaze at it. Thankfully, the Snowflake blue is not limited edition, so you should conceivably be able to get your hands on one. $7900
Grand Seiko SBGE248
If you’re a fan of sunburst dials, then it’s hard not to admire the striking sunburst blue one found on Grand Seiko’s purposeful SBGE248 Spring Drive GMT. There’s nothing OTT about this dial – no patterns, textures or accoutrement – just a simple and exceedingly attractive aesthetic. Coupled with flashes of bright yellow gold — which can be found on the hour, minute, second and GMT hands, power reserve indicator, indices, minute markers, Grand Seiko logo and additional text — the SBGE248 Spring Drive GMT does a great job of balancing decent wrist presence without shouting about it. $16,400
Grand Seiko SBGK005
Last but certainly not least, Grand Seiko’s new range of manual-wind dress watches, designated SBGK, was first unveiled at this year’s Baselworld watch fair to much fanfare. And this particular example, SBGK005, surely has to be the pick of the bunch when it comes to overtly attractive dial designs. Honestly, Grand Seiko is just showing off with this watch, and the level of finishing and detail on this dial is — and I know this is a cliché — normally reserved for watches with a much, much higher price point. The stunningly blue Mt. Iwate pattern dial is almost mesmerising to behold, and the overall layout and pared back design is wonderfully restrained. Like the SBGH269 and SBGN009, the Grand Seiko SBGK005 is a limited edition timepiece, with just 1500 pieces being produced. $9600