VIDEO: The Grand Seiko SBGE251 is a tough GMT with a luxurious twinkle of rose goldThor Svaboe
Suave elegance with muscle and a touch of rose gold – the Grand Seiko SBGE251 is bold at 44mm, but sits softly on even a small wrist while radiating bags of presence. As a superb alternative to a GMT-Master II, the classic combination of rose gold and black turns up the style considerably if you’re used to monochromatic formality.
In a world of tailored shirt cuffs embracing diver’s watches, the SBGE251 is not svelte coming in at 44mm with a 14.75mm thickness. But its unexpected comfort and panache makes you want it with you, no matter if it threatens to pop off your cufflinks. Or why not lend your first post-lockdown intercontinental flight a touch of glamour with Grand Seiko’s first 18K gold, rotating 24-hour bezel framing this piece of Japanese dial art.
The German Sallaz polishing machine (Zaratsu – phonetic translation) brings a sharpness and a shine to the bold case sides so good that a bevel might come out as a black void in a photo, such is the smoothness. If you haven’t held one in your eager hands, this limited Boutique edition of their toughest GMT might be the moment you’ve been waiting for.
The broad-shouldered lugs project a confident, quite muscular image through a dynamic shape, soft to touch in even the most minuscule detail that makes you wonder why you didn’t stray past the Swiss border with your watch buying before. A combination of smooth, sharp inwards angled case sides, creates an ergonomic curve giving you a much smaller wearing touch than 44mm, in a refreshingly bold sports watch. The soft touch, classic three-link steel bracelet on your wrist is the first clue to what you can expect from the SBGE251, draping around the wrist like a soft leather strap, with the same standards of brushed and polished surfaces as the broad case.
Framed by Grand Seiko’s first solid 18K gold bezel sits a black sunburst dial with a rich warmth emanating from rose-gold coloured indices. Even a tiny touch of refracted light will catch your attention – these applied architectural edifices seem to almost need a term more fitting than mere “indices”. Through their five brushed and hand-polished facets, the legibility with the Katana-blade sharp sword hands is exquisite. But the SBGE251 is more than just wrist-porn. An intuitive GMT-function together with a 200m depth rating, makes this a perfect watch for travelling. The separate-setting GMT arrow and the gold-infused 24 hour bezel makes both two and three time zones possible.
In this boutique limited edition, the sapphire case-back and its gold Grand Seiko Lion reveals the hybrid Spring Drive 9R66 calibre, Grand Seiko’s technical tour de force. The silky smooth sweep of the seconds hand comes with a 72 hour power reserve, and an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month, which ranks with the very best of top tier Swiss horology. With a deviation of +/- 1 paltry second per day, I would go as far as saying this is one of the best uses of a quartz crystal in the world today, and yet another reason for considering the Grand Seiko SBGE251 a top spot in your collection.
The Grand Seiko SBGE251, Price and Availability:
The Boutique-only Grand Seiko SBGE251 is available for $18,800 AUD at Grand Seiko here.
Made in partnership with Grand Seiko. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.