Introducing The Grand Seiko SBGJ273 Yuka-Momiji Hi-Beat GMT Watch

Grand Seiko's latest watch is inspired by the reflection of Japanese maple trees in wooden floorboards... No, seriously.


Hooray! A Grand Seiko watch that isn’t limited in production! Should I really be typing that? It doesn’t seem like celebrating a watch being put into regular production is worth it, and I’m sure the folks over in Japan will just love my dry wit and invite me to all their parties. Or even respond to my emails.

Anyway, Grand Seiko’s new Yuka-Momiji Hi-Beat GMT reference SBGJ273 is sure to set hearts pounding with its fiery red dial. As you’ll know by now, the Japanese are the masters of having words or expressions for extremely specific things and then turning those expressions into art. Yuka Momiji, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization, means “floor maples” and means literally the reflection of Japanese maple trees on shiny wooden floors. 

The SBGJ273 captures that combination of the natural forms of wood and the colourations of the maple leaves beautifully. Vertical red lines across the dial seem to stand at slightly different heights, creating a very convincing floorboard design, and the red colour just adds to it. We don’t see enough watches with red dials these days. Reading the time and using the GMT function seems easy enough, a gold-coloured GMT hand rotates the dial every 24 hours and can be set independently of the regular time for the timing of two timezones. I wish we got a red backdrop to the date window, though.

The watch is presented in stainless steel with a 39.5mm x 14.1mm case featuring a combination of brushing and polishing to play with the light more, water resistance is 30m. There’s also a three-link bracelet. Inside the case is the self-winding calibre 9S86. It’s made in-house by Grand Seiko and features a high-speed beat rate of 5Hz and 55 hours of power reserve. It’s also visible through the back and has some nice wavy decoration.

As mentioned, this isn’t a limited production run piece, it’s a part of the permanent collection from some time in September and will cost €7,600/$7,100.