BY DHANANJAY PATHAK
While 2020 would sadly be remembered as the year of the Coronavirus pandemic, it also happens to mark the 60th anniversary of Grand Seiko. To commemorate this special occasion, Grand Seiko released watches such as the cutting edge SLGH002 and the bold looking SLGA001 earlier this year. And now, the celebrations continue with the SBGH281, which we already covered briefly. This new limited-edition watch features a deep blue dial and is powered by the brand’s in-house true high beat movement.
Grand Seiko watches have always been known for their exceptional dials and the SBGH281 is no different. The inky blue dial has a lot of depth to it and provides the perfect backdrop for all the other elements. The hour index comprises highly faceted batons that add a nice of depth to the dial and have been exceptionally finished in true grand Seiko style to offer great light reflectivity. The sword-shaped hour and minute hands look razor-sharp and are well proportioned to make sure that time is easily readable in most circumstances. The stick style second’s hand has been painted red and along with the “Automatic” and “Hi-Beat 36000” text at 6 adds a nice pop of color to the dial.
The case on the SBGH281 has been crafted from stainless steel and features the famous 44GS style silhouette. It measures 40mm in diameter and has a thickness of around 13.3mm. Like the dial, it is the execution and finishing of the case that makes this watch special. The case features a nice blend of finely brushed and mirror-like polished surfaces that are achieved using a technique called “Zaratsu”. Thanks to a threaded crown at 3, the case is water-resistant to a healthy 100 meters, making this a capable everyday watch.
Powering the SBGH281 is Grand Seiko’s in-house caliber 9S85. This is an automatic movement that operates at a frequency of 5 Hz and offers an ultra-smooth sweep of the second’s hand. The movement has been fine-tuned to be accurate within -3 to +5 seconds a day and offers a power reserve of around 55 hours when it’s fully wound. It has been nicely decorated using Tokyo stripes but is only partially visible through the sapphire case back thanks to the Grand Seiko’s line and the 60th-anniversary text.
The Grand Seiko 60th anniversary limited edition reference SBGH281 is accompanied by a stainless steel bracelet. The production run is limited to 1500 pieces and the watch would retail for USD 6,300.