WATCHES & WONDERS: Grand Seiko 2022 novelties overview WATCHES & WONDERS: Grand Seiko 2022 novelties overview

WATCHES & WONDERS: Grand Seiko 2022 novelties overview

Zach Blass

Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders is the biggest watch fair of the year and with nearly 40 brands presenting, there is a ton of ground to cover. So, for your convenience, we’re offering a quick overview of each brand’s new novelties – touching on each new reference or collection and their headlining points. Stay tuned throughout the week for deeper coverage, some of which will include videos, live pics, and our hands-on perspective. But for now let’s run through each of the new watches – here are the Grand Seiko 2022 novelties of Watches & Wonders.

Evolution 9 Sport


Evolution 9, for those unfamiliar, is said to represent the future of Grand Seiko design. This latest generation of Grand Seiko case design notably boasts the most alternating finishes of any of their faceted geometries, and has refined ergonomics to better sit on the wrist. Since its inception within the catalogue, we have seen Evolution 9 cases with “Elegance” collection sensibilities. But today, Grand Seiko unveils Evolution 9 as it pertains to the “Sport” segment of their catalogue – remixing their most faceted – and most varied in finish – case to include crown guards and new complications.

Evolution 9 SBGE283 & SBGE285 Spring Drive GMT Watches


To say that 9R66 powered Sport Collection Spring GMT watches are entirely new is not necessarily true. But, what is novel here is the introduction of Evolution 9 refinements to the format. The first refinement, of course, is its Evolution 9 case geometry, highly faceted and now a tad more curvaceous thanks to the incorporation of crown guards. At 41mm in diameter and 13.9mm thick, the high-intensity titanium watches have desirable and competitive dimensions on par with what many like to see within this market category. As an Evolution 9 case though, its lug-to-lug dimension is welcomely compact and, with its ergonomic design, it sits well on the wrist – superbly comfortable and lightweight. Tied to its GMT complication, the titanium 24 hour bezel is engraved with a new and more legible font set.

You have two options to explore, the SBGE283 with a black dial and the SBGE285 with a textured light grey dial. Among the two, I think the SBGE285 will have strong interest with fans of Grand Seiko as its winter morning mist texture, at least to the naked eye, looks practically identical to their beloved “Snowflake” texture. Each leverage the bolder and stronger indices and handset, all (except for the gliding central seconds hand) coated with lumibrite for visibility in darkness. Beneath the exhibition caseback, the familiar in-house Spring Drive GMT caliber 9R66 runs with unparalleled accuracy – regulated to run within a second per day across its 72 hours of power reserve.

Case Material High-Intensity Titanium
Case Dimensions 41mm x 13.9mm
Water-Resistance 100m (screw-down crown)
Dials Black (SBGE283), Textured light gray (SBGE285)
Strap Bracelet with folding clasp
Movement In-house 9R66
Power Reserve 72 hours
Complications Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, power reserve
Availability August 2022
Price $12,500 AUD, $8,400 USD


Evolution 9 SBGC249 & SBGC251 Spring Drive Chronograph GMT watches

Like the two new GMT watches, the Chronograph GMT SBGC249 and SBGC251 novelties are also all about subtle refinements to a familiar concept and layout. The Achilles heel, for some, will be its 45.3mm diameter and 15.8mm thick high-intensity titanium case. But it benefits from its Evolution 9 geometry, being far more wearable than its dimensions suggest and its lightweight nature will only further aid in comfort. The rotating 24 hour bezels, with ceramic inserts, also utilise the newly developed font for increased legibility, the limited edition SBGC249 with a blue bezel insert to match its dial and the standard production SBGC251 with a dial-matching black bezel insert. Inside, beneath an exhibition caseback, you’ll find two different versions of the same movement architecture in each watch. The SBGC251 is powered by the in-house 9R86 Spring Drive Chronograph GMT caliber, while the limited edition SBGC249 utilises the 9R96. Both automatic column-wheel chronograph GMT movements pledge 72 hours of power reserve, but the 9R96 differs in regulation – specially adjusted to run twice as accurate at plus or minus half a second per day instead of one.

Case Material High-Intensity Titanium
Case Dimensions 45.3mm x 15.8mm
Water-Resistance 100m (screw-down crown)
Dials Blue and black
Strap Bracelet with folding clasp
Movement In-house 9R86 (SBGC251), 9R96 (SBGC249)
Power Reserve 72 hours
Complications Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT, chronograph, power reserve
Availability June 2022 (SBGC249, limited edition of 700 pcs.), July 2022 (SBGC251)
Price $18,500 AUD, $12,400 USD (SBGC249) / $16,950 AUD, $11,400 USD (SBGC251)


Evolution 9 SLGA015 Spring Drive Dive watch

While I was hoping for a a smaller diver from Grand Seiko, the new high-intensity titanium and 200m water-resistant SLGA015 comes in at 43.8mm in diameter and 13.8mm thick. Fortunately, the camber of the Evolution 9 case design, as I have alluded to with the chronograph GMT pieces, mitigates how these dimensions truly wear. Probably the most striking aspect of this release is its new wavy-textured black dial, inspired by the violent tides caused by the Black Stream – which also inspires the deep black colour. Matching the dial, you also have a scratch-resistant black ceramic timing bezel with strong knurling to aid in its in grip. Interestingly, while Evolution 9 is emblematic of the brand’s future, the SLGA015 is the only model of the new collection to utilise a latest-gen calibre. The 9RA5 offers 120 hours (five days) of power reserve, two days more than your standard Spring Drive caliber. It also utilises a different architecture and finishing style, with a full bridge with diamond-cut bevels and hairline brushed surface. But, with the caseback a solid screw down, you aren’t able to take it all in and, understandably, its movement-side power reserve indicator has been moved to the dial.

Case Material High-Intensity Titanium
Case Dimensions 43.8mm x 13.8mm
Water-Resistance 200m (screw-down crown)
Dials Textured black
Strap Bracelet with folding clasp, push button release, secure lock and extender
Movement In-house 9RA5
Power Reserve 120 hours
Complications Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve
Availability August 2022
Price $16,950 AUD, $11,600 USD


High Jewellery: The Grand Seiko SBGD209 Limited Edition

Grand Seiko 2022

In 2019, Grand Seiko celebrated the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive with two limited editions inspired by their mascot of 62 years: the lion. The watches leveraged a lion’s mane textured dials, along with a new faceted case geometry inspired by the strength and paw of a lion. Today, the lion inspired format gets a masterpiece makeover, with a platinum 950 case, 44.5mm in diameter and 14.5mm thick, expertly set with 112 diamonds. The screw-down crown is set with a diamond as well, and the dial, set with 94 diamonds, brings the total count to 267 diamonds totaling at 5.97 carats. One thing I love that the Micro-Artist studio does with their masterpiece high-jewelry watches is the fact that they pair diamonds with other gemstones to increase the legibility of the dial. Black spinel are set every fifth minute, or for each hour index, to distinguish themselves from the diamonds – both aesthetically pleasing and practical. The central medallion of the lion’s mane textured dial is white in colour, and above it you’ll find sharply polished hours and minutes hands in 18K white gold. The central gliding seconds hand has been tempered to a delightful grey colour in order to maintain the greyscale aesthetic of the piece. Inside, beneath an exhibition caseback, you have the in-house Micro Artist Studio Spring Drive caliber 9R01. Its architecture evokes Mt. Iwate, with its near full bridge bevelled on its top to create the mountainous imagery. The hairline brushed bridge incorporates a stepped power reserve indicator, which reveals how much gas the eight-day manually wound movement has left in the tank.

Case Material Platinum 950
Case Dimensions 44.5mm x 14.4mm
Water-Resistance 100m (screw-down crown)
Dials Gemset and textured white
Strap White crocidle leather with platinum 950 deployant clasp
Movement In-house 9R01
Power Reserve 192 hours
Complications Hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve
Availability May 2022, limited edition of 5 pcs.
Price $250,000 USD