VIDEO: Hands-on with the Grand Seiko SBGW283, SBGW285 and SBGE277 VIDEO: Hands-on with the Grand Seiko SBGW283, SBGW285 and SBGE277

VIDEO: Hands-on with the Grand Seiko SBGW283, SBGW285 and SBGE277

Zach Blass

This past Watches & Wonders in Geneva, Grand Seiko dropped a ton of really cool novelties. There was the Evolution 9 chronographs and GMTs, the white lion high jewellery piece and, of course, the Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon. But that first wave of releases wasn’t enough for the Japanese manufacture. While not technically Watches and Wonders novelties, Grand Seiko also introduced a second wave of new releases shortly after. So, today we are going to dig in to these three new releases, two of which are elegant 37 millimetre SBGW references and the third a sporty GMT with a beautifully textured black dial.

Grand Seiko SBGW283 & SBGW285

Now, you would be right for thinking the new SBGW283 and 285 are reminiscent of the highly sought after limited editions released last year, but the good news here is that this stainless-steel duo is neither a limited edition nor region restricted – so, if are prepared to buy one, it is not a case of if but when.

Their 37.3mm cases are 11.7mm thick, including the boxed sapphire crystal, and wear 44.3mm lug-to-lug across the wrist – all of which helps maintain the vintage vibes of the references. In Grand Seiko fashion, each dial utilises nature as its muse – the SBGW283 evocative of the transitional period between spring and summer through a rich dark green textured dial, the SBGW285 conveying the transitional period between summer and autumn with a icy blue dial. Each dial presents a clean aesthetic – there is no date, just dauphine hours and minutes hands, a central seconds hand, and diamond-cut applied indices.

Inside each of the 30m water-resistant references, beneath an exhibition caseback, is the entry in-house mechanical calibre 9S64 – with 72 hours of power reserve and a regulation of +5/-3 seconds when static. They are also both outfitted on crocodile leather strap with a pin/buckle closure.

Grand Seiko SBGW283 & SBGW285 pricing and availability:

The Grand Seiko SBGW283 and SBGW285 are now available worldwide. Price: $7,150 AUD, $4,800 USD

Grand Seiko SBGW283

Grand Seiko SBGE277

On the other side of the coin, larger and sportier, we also now have the SBGE277 Spring Drive GMT. The watch, which has a faceted, mixed finished and zaratsu-polished, stainless-steel case, clocks in at 44mm in diameter, 14.7mm thick,and 51mm lug-to-lug – which, considering its diameter, makes it very wearable for a 44mm watch.

Grand Seiko SBGW283

Being larger and sportier does have its benefits for daily wear. The 200m water-resistant watch, with a screw-down crown, is very luminous in darker settings. Not only are the hours, minutes, and GMT hands coated in Lumibrite, but the GMT bezel as well. A point of criticism, however, may be the number of lumed indices, with some, perhaps, wanting more than just the 12’, 3’, 6’, and 9’ indices to incorporate lumibrite. Nonetheless, it certainly gets the job done. As a 200m water-resistant watch, you’ll be glad to know that its outfitted on the standard mixed finished five-piece link bracelet. Before you start complaining about micro-adjustment, definitely keep in mind that the right combination of the provided full and half links, which are really more like two thirds links, will actually do a better job of fine sizing then you might expect. Believe me, I am more nit-picky about fit than anyone.

Grand Seiko SBGW283

Its black dial is by no means plain, meant to evoke what Grand Seiko describes as the beauty of the Hotaka mountain range, with its many dark peaks and ridges having been formed by volcanic activity. But Grand Seiko die-hards will recognise that the black dial utilises the rock-pattern texture found on beloved references such as the SBGA413 Shunbun “Spring” from the Four Seasons collection. In fact, if you are familiar with the SBGE271 we covered last year, the SBGE277, to an extent, is a remix of this very dial. In this iteration, though, unlike other Sport GMTs from the brand, the date has been moved from 3’ to the controversial 4:30 position. I think a white on black disc would have been preferable, casuing less interruption to the dial, but the pop of the black on white ensures the date is easy to see and read. Also, while the dial is black, the power reserve indicator found between eighth and ninth hour indices remains very legible – again, upholding Grand Seiko’s grammar of design.

Grand Seiko SBGW283

Inside you have the in-house automatic Spring Drive calibre 9R66, with 72 hours of power reserve and incredible regulation within a second per day – typically performing even better from personal experience. It also features a calendar-linked time difference adjustment function, so as you cross time zones the date can safely move forwards or backwards as necessary.

Grand Seiko SBGE277 pricing and availability:

The SBGE277 will also be available worldwide in May 2022. Price: $9,250 AUD, $6,200 USD