Judging by how much wrist time this Seiko Prospex LX watch has been getting on my wrist, I think it is safe to say that I’m pretty excited about this particular high-end dive timepiece. Seiko produces so many diver’s watches, at so many price points — that doesn’t include Grand Seiko diver’s watches — that it continues to be a collector’s challenge simply to keep track of them. Seiko doesn’t make things easy by supplementing its core collection watches with limited editions that arrive with different price points. Wading through the waters of Seiko divers is something even we at aBlogtoWatch get confused by, but when the right watch dons our wrist and makes us smile, we thank Seiko for all their experimentation and variety. This leads me to start my review of the Seiko Prospex LX SNR031 watch, which is near the top of what a Seiko-branded watch will cost you (but not the top for sure). In the United States, the watch is called the SNR031, but interesting enough in Japan and perhaps oth..
“Bring your warmest clothing,” the message stipulated. Nearly one year into the global pandemic and my first opportunity to get out of Los Angeles is to the frozen north where Seiko’s U.S. team is testing out the Prospex Ice Diver watches (debuted on aBlogtoWatch here). Weighing the pros and cons of travel, my hunger for adventure dominates and I succumb to Seiko’s siren song and dust off my suitcases. From traveling monthly to stationary living in California, I worry that my airport navigation skills are rusty.
Strapping on a sports watch, I arrive at LAX during pre-dawn hours and find myself elated to once again hear mid-1990s pop music emanating from no particular place in the airport terminal. “This was a good idea,” I tell myself optimistically as I ponder the question of why I am so happy to visit a semi-frozen lake in Michigan to see diver’s watches… doing their thing. The plan is that of Seiko’s Eric Hofmann, who (together with fellow watch industry veteran Bob Brennan) overse..
When Grand Seiko released the new Caliber 9SA5 Hi-Beat movement last year, the brand debuted it in the sunburst dial yellow gold SLGH002 and followed up with a steel “birch” textured dial model a few weeks back. Now, we see a high-end iteration that shows off what Grand Seiko does best on both the dial and movement sides. The newly released Grand Seiko SLGH007 Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition is a 140-piece platinum watch that shows off a new “tree ring” textured dial on the front and the Caliber 9SA5 Hi-Beat on the back.
The SLGH007 is done in a platinum case that measures 40mm-wide and 11.7mm-thick, what Grand Seiko has dubbed the “Series 9” case, which is a spin on the classic 44GS. Characterized by those large hands and prominent hour markers, the Series 9 is going to be a big part of what the future of Grand Seiko looks like in the coming years. I’ve somehow yet to wear a Series 9 piece, but I’ve heard fairly universally good things about how it wears. Of course, the SLGH0..
The 1970 Seiko 6105 is one of the most enduring and revered references in the brand’s long history. The wide, rounded cushion case and classic Seiko diver dial have become icons among enthusiasts, with Seiko releasing both faithful recreations and stylish modern reinterpretations in the past few years. As part of its 2021 novelties, Seiko aims to bridge the gap between these two approaches, bringing together the original proportions and design of the 1970 original with a dramatic new textured dial treatment and a thoroughly modern movement. While the 6105 line may be best remembered in the West on the wrist of Charlie Sheen’s Captain Willard in the seminal war film “Apocalypse Now,” Japanese enthusiasts associate the watch with famed Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura, who used the 6105 on a solo dog sledding expedition from Greenland to Alaska between 1974 and 1976. Both the limited-edition Seiko Prospex SLA049 and Seiko Prospex SLA051 aim to commemorate the adventurer’s life on his 80t..
I’ll be honest. Given the importance of the original Seiko “Laurel” Alpinist from 1959 and its position as the brand’s first truly purpose-built sports watch (pre-dating even the Seiko’s now legendary collection of dive watches), you’d think that Seiko would have revisited it already. But aside from the long-running SARB017 Alpinist (which was more recently updated to the SPB121 with an upgraded movement and sapphire crystal) with its distinctive twin-crown design and inner rotating compass bezel, Seiko seemed content to rest on its *ahem* Laurels – that is until now. As the brand gets its 140th anniversary celebrations under way, 2021 is clearly shaping up to be quite an exciting year for Seiko fans – particularly with the announcement of the new Prospex Alpinist SJE085 limited edition – a faithful re-creation of Seiko’s very first sports watch, which is joined by a trio of Prospex-badged standard editions that expand the Alpinist collection accordingly.
Best known as “ref. 14041,” t..
2021 is a big year for Japan’s Seiko given that it is the 140th anniversary of the major watchmaker. The color theme of the year is horizon blues, meant to mimic the tones of the sky as they meet the ocean or another large body of water. In one of the five versions of this new Seiko Presage Sharp-Edged GMT watch (the reference SPB223), you can see these color tones, which will be reflected on a number of other limited- and non-limited-edition Seiko products this year.
As one of many Seiko 2021 watches launched today, GMT fans will no doubt be excited by this “Grand Presage,” which takes inspiration both from some of the sportier Grand Seiko GMT watches and the older Seiko Ananta collection. The watches are known as the Seiko Presage Sharp-Edged GMT models, and at the outset of 2021, they are being debuted in five different color styles.
I was in Japan back in 2009 when the Seiko Ananta collection was launched. It was a big deal because it represented the first mo..
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT 140th Anniversary SBGC240 debuts as the latest rendition of Grand Seiko’s mighty impressive Spring Drive Chronograph GMT. Having owned the predecessor of this watch, I have written an extensive review, a long-term review, and a comprehensive look at the amazing history and functionality of Spring Drive. Together, they are longer than two dozen news articles, so I invite you to read those, as I shall refrain from lifting too many bits and pieces. Long story short, there are many ways one could argue that the Spring Drive Chronograph is the most accomplished, most impressive technological creation in (quasi-)mechanical watchmaking.
All images by Grand Seiko.
Available at Grand Seiko boutiques and select Grand Seiko retailers worldwide from July 2021, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT 140th Anniversary SBGC240 is, as its name implies, done in celebration of Kintaro Hattori’s 1881 founding of his company, which he led until his deat..
The natural beauty of Japan has been at the heart of Grand Seiko’s design inspiration for the past several years, with models inspired by everything from snowdrifts to tree bark to the delicate tones and textures of cherry blossoms. One of the standout examples of this philosophy is the 2019 Seasons collection, a series of four North American exclusive designs aimed at highlighting the unique seasonal feel of Japan at different times of the year. Grand Seiko has returned to this concept for 2021 with the GMT Seasons collection, which breaks down the year further into the traditional Japanese concept of sekki. Sekki, or seasonal phases, are the 24 distinct phases of the Japanese natural year, with six each for spring, summer, fall, and winter. The new Grand Seiko GMT Seasons series includes the Grand Seiko SBGJ251 Shunbun, Grand Seiko SBGJ249 Shōsho, Grand Seiko SBGE271 Kanro, and Grand Seiko SBGE269 Tōji, showcasing the brand’s naturalistic design ethos with both Spring Drive and Hi-Be..
The Grand Seiko Quartz Diver SBGX115 and SBGX117 are a pair of luxury Japanese watches that I think were just a little too ahead of their time. A clean and immaculately finished dial, a quirky but uniquely designed bezel, and a 9F quartz movement came together in a simultaneously mainstream and wonderfully Japanese package that stood out in a sea of same-old, same-old Swiss divers. Here, you’ll see my personal well-worn SBGX117, but I’ll reference Ariel’s review from 2015 that had both the white dial SBGX115 and black dial SBGX117.
2015 was only a short six years ago, but in that time, Grand Seiko has gone from a niche enthusiast brand to a luxury sales powerhouse here in the states. This was the time of the Seiko and Grand Seiko branding on the dials, and the idea of luxury HAQ (High Accuracy Quartz) was still not in the mainstream. Back in those days, when these Grand Seiko quartz divers was released, Ariel spent much of his review simply explaining how elaborately and lovingly the ..
When it comes to dial design and finishing, few brands can currently match Grand Seiko. The Japanese marque’s wide array of nature inspired textures from freshly driven snow to cherry blossoms and lion manes have garnered fans the world over, and its latest release offers a serene new concept in the series. Beyond an intricate new dial texture and a subtly cool colorway, the new Grand Seiko SLGH005 introduces a new case and dial design standard for the brand that remains true to its heritage while refreshing the look for the future.
The 40mm stainless steel case of the Grand Seiko SLGH005 certainly looks like a Grand Seiko design, with razor sharp faceting across the lugs, mid case and bezel punctuated by fine vertical brushing and the brand’s signature Zaratsu polishing. Knows by the brand as the Series 9 design, the lines of the case are shared with 2020’s limited edition SLGH002, but the SLGH005 presents the case concept for the first time in a regular production stainless steel gu..