Introducing The Grand Seiko Caliber 9S 25th Anniversary Limited Edition GMT Watches

Grand Seiko's newest limited edition watches pay tribute to the calibre 9S which is 25 years old this year.


Not so long after we covered the last special editions from Grand Seiko they are back at it and releasing two new more special limited edition watches. Does anyone else feel like Grand Seiko has become a bit like Mr Bean in that homework copying sketch? Pretty sure they’ve taken the “blast the market with a zillion special editions” thing right out of Omega’s book of tricks. Anyway. Grand Seiko is marking the 25th anniversary of its 9S calibre with two special limited edition pieces. Perhaps I can give this one a pass as I recently celebrated my 25th anniversary of existing in this world.

While Grand Seiko is most revered for its Spring Drive movement, which fuses mechanical and electronic watch components to gain the benefits of both, it also makes loads of its watches with traditional mechanical-only movements. The 9S is the basis on which those movements are created, including three-handers, GMTs, chronographs, hi-beat watches, innovative escapements and more. 

The two new watches feature a 9S calibre with GMT function and date added and come in two flavours. The first is from the Elegance collection, reference SBGM253, meaning it has a brushed/polished 39.5mm stainless steel case with a matching bracelet. It comes with a light blue sunray-finished dial with sharp markers and sharper hands. Inside is the self-winding calibre 9S66 which runs at 4Hz for a total of 72 hours. The rotor has had a special treatment to make it blue which looks very cool. This one is priced at €6300 and will be available soon through Grand Seiko boutiques and certain retailers.

The second piece is much more sporty as it hails from the Sport collection, SBGJ275. It comes in at 44.2mm across and also has a stainless steel case with a steel bracelet. It also has a GMT bezel with a sapphire crystal insert and blue and white markings which are modern and classy. The markers also match the blue of the dial which has a cloud formation type finish. The blue on both of these watches is said to represent the sky over Mount Iwate, which is located in the Honshū prefecture of northern Japan. The artisans in Grand Seiko’s studio can clearly see it from their workshop, which inspired these watches.

Like SBGM253, SBGJ275 has a self-winding movement based on the 9S architecture. In this case, it’s the calibre 9S86, which beats at 5Hz rather than 4, and has a 55-hour power reserve but is more accurate (generally) and has a light blue anodised rotor finish, which again looks really cool. Like SBGM253 this watch is also limited in production, to just 2000 watches, and will be sold at a price of €8600.