Over the years, Grand Seiko has proven that they can make superb sports watches, which have no problem competing with their Swiss counterparts. An admirable accomplishment that comes forward from their mentality to create something great, and then perfect it some more. This pretty much sums up the way that Grand Seiko has been making watches ever since the birth of the brand in 1960.
Those first watches where rather understated in design, yet at the same time also very refined. By applying constraint, every detail mattered even more, and Grand Seiko gave them all the attention that they deserved. This is also visible in their current collection, which next to quite a few sports watches, also contains models that follow that same philosophy of understated style as their predecessors. A good example of this is reference SBGK006, which is part of Grand Seiko’s Elegance Collection. It features a 39mm case, made of yellow gold, and is powered by a manual wind caliber. It is not only the shape of the case which gives, combined with the beautifully curved sapphire crystal, the watch a distinct character. Also the position of the sub-seconds, as well as the power reserve indicator, add in a very subtle way to the fact that this watch is something special.
Very focused in design is also reference SBGY003. This is one of the watches that was specially created to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Spring Drive technology, which brings the precision of a quartz movement into that of a mechanical one. Caliber 9R31 is a manual wind movement that shares its dual mainspring setup with that of caliber 9R02, and gives the watch a power reserve of 72 hours. Unlike the SBGK006, can the state of the power reserve here be seen on an indicator on the back of a watch. On the front side, it is the silver dial that commands attention, with a prominent sunray guilloche pattern. The second’s hand provides a splash of color on the dial, being a beautiful shade of blue. It is a brilliant move on the part of Grand Seiko because as the hand glides over the dial, it emphasizes what this watch is all about; the celebration of the Spring Drive technology.
The sibling of reference SBGY003 is reference SBGZ001, for which Grand Seiko used platinum to craft the case. It is carved by hand to match the beautiful ‘snowflake’ pattern of the dial. This watch is created in Grand Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio, where some of the most esteemed and celebrated craftspeople of Japan work. With great patience, they have perfected their skills for years, if not decades before they can create a masterpiece such as reference SBGZ001. Because so few people have reached this level, and it still takes a considerable amount of time to create one, only 30 pieces of this watch will be made.