Grand Seiko SBGH281 High-Beat Model Marks The Brand’s 60th Anniversary Happy birthday GS! by Rob NuddsJanuary 31, 2020 MIN READGrand Seiko SBGH281 High-Beat Model Marks The Brand’s 60th Anniversary
Grand Seiko’s journey began in the 1950s. The best and brightest watchmakers working for the brand banded together with a lofty goal: They set out to create the company’s finest watch yet. In December 1960 the inaugural Grand Seiko hit the market. It was the first installment of a story that has now reached its sixtieth year. Leading the celebrations is the Grand Seiko SBGH281.
To celebrate this milestone, Grand Seiko is releasing four new models. We’re going to take a look at the three watches released for men in this article, and follow-up with the ladies’ piece next week (so check back for that update also). These watches don’t just mark this significant birthday, but also look towards the brand’s future. As international recognition of the brand continues to grow, Japan’s leading watchmaker is intent on designing evermore relevant watches for today’s fans of Haute Horlogerie.
Lustrous dials in Grand Seiko’s signature blue adorn all three pieces. The anniversary (60 years) is particularly significant in light of the number 60’s patent significance to watches in general. For every second and minute tracked by the dial, one year of Grand Seiko’s existence has now passed. I normally find this kind of release justification a bit tough to swallow, but there’s a pleasing relevance in this press angle that made me smile so I thought I’d include it here.
The Grand Seiko SBGH281 is, for me, the star of the show. Based on the highly-regarded 44GS from 1967, the established automatic Caliber 9S85 Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Hi-Beat 36,000 Limited Edition watch. It has an accuracy rating of +5/–3 seconds per day when static. A 55-hour power reserve and resistance to magnetic fields of up to 4,800 A/m give this movement above-average specs.
Finished to Grand Seiko’s typically high standards…
The movement is visible through a display window on a threaded case back that ensures a 100-meter water-resistance rating. Caliber 9S85 sits within a 40mm wide, 13.mm thick stainless steel case that is finished to Grand Seiko’s typically high standards. Reference SBGH281 will be limited to 1,500 pieces and priced at €6,200. It will be available in February
As an extra treat for quartz fans, Grand Seiko is unveiling a new movement that features in the other two men’s novelties. Caliber 9F85 drives both the Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Quartz Limited Edition SBGP007 and the Grand Seiko Sport Collection Quartz Limited Edition SBGP015. This remarkable quartz module has annual performance expectations of ±5 seconds per year at temperatures between 5°C and 35°C.
Reference SBGP007 from the Heritage collection has a 40mm wide, 10.8mm thick stainless steel case. An 18-karat yellow gold medallion bearing the brand’s lion logo decorates the threaded case back. Again, water-resistance down to 100 meters is guaranteed. A sharp curvature of the case was added to catch and reflect more light, resulting in a jewel-like appearance on the wrist. The Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Quartz Limited Edition SBGP007 will be available in March 2020. This model will be limited to 2,500 pieces and on the market at €3,900.
The Sport Collection welcomes the new 40mm wide, 12.4mm stainless steel reference SBGP015. A blue ceramic bezel crowns the case. While this colorful external component may not be for everyone, it certainly adds a dash of dynamism to proceedings. This gives the overall package a very sporty vibe. While the Grand Seiko Grand Seiko SBGH281 and SBGP007 models offer magnetic resistance of up to 4,800 A/m and water resistance to 100 meters, reference SBGP015 is water-resistant to a reassuring 200 meters and capable of withstanding magnetic interference up to an impressive 16,000 A/m, thanks in large part to its added heft.
One slight variation in terms of time-keeping expectations is that the reference SBGP015 is accurate to ±10 seconds per year (at temperatures between 5°C and 35°C. This is despite it utilizing the same caliber as reference SBGP007. High-definition sapphire crystals with anti-reflective coating for optimal legibility grace all three models. Additionally, this sports model has hour markers treated with LumiBrite. This improves readability in low-light conditions. Limited to 2,000 pieces, the SBGP015 has a €3,900 price tag. It will be available from April 2020. For more information, check out the Grand Seiko official site here.
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About the author
Rob’s first exposure to the watch industry was a part-time retail role for the Signet Group at the age of 17. An obsession with watches soon developed. Following an ill-advised BSc in Archaeological Science, he applied for sponsorship to undertake… read more
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