Grand Seiko watches have long been regarded highly for their construction, technology and finishing levels which some believe surpass offerings from competing European based brands. To continue on that legacy is the new Spring Drive GMT SBGE248 watch, which takes the crown at the top of the Grand Seiko GMT line of watches. The hands, markers, bezel and crown have all been fashioned out of solid 18K yellow gold for this edition, although no parts of the bracelet themselves are gold this time.
The proportions of this watch haven’t changed either. It’s still rather large at 44mm in diameter and 14.7mm thick. Inside the case remains the Spring Drive calibre 9R66. As you probably know already from the countless articles we and other blogs (just kidding, who reads other blogs?) have done on the Spring Drive system. Celebrating is 20th birthday this year, Spring Drive fuses the benefits of an automatic winding movement with the higher accuracy of a quartz movement. This results in an extremely precise timepiece with a dead smooth seconds hand sweep that can, when worn frequently or placed in a winder, run forever. Unfortunately, I suspect the back of this watch has been closed off, so you won’t be able to appreciate the movement doing its thing in this instance.
But, the front remains very attractive in all the right ways. The dial is well proportioned and easy to read. Despite having three extra complications, a date wheel, GMT hand and a power reserve indicator, it’s obvious which hands are the essential ones at a glance. Also, the contrast between the blue of the dial, hands and bezel with the yellow gold is a striking one.
Although I mentioned earlier that I would have liked to have seen some gold in the bracelet as well potentially. Although, that might make it seem too similar to a Rolex watch which will be the Grand Seiko’s primary competition. While Rolex doesn’t currently make a blue dial with yellow gold GMT Master 2, it does make that colour combination in its Submariner line. The Grand Seiko will be far more accurate than the GMT Master 2, though, whether it will have the hype of the Rolex remains to be seen. The price for the Seiko is $11,500, which is a lot even for a Grand Seiko.