Grand Seiko released new watches tonight, including these two, the SBGA427 and SBGA429, collectively known as the “Soko” special editions. These two models are only available in the US, and were designed to pay homage to sōkō, the first frost at the end of Autumn in Japan (apparently).
Each model features green seconds and power reserve hands, based on the color of the Arashiyama bamboo forest in Kyoto.
They both have vertically brushed dials as well, symbolic of the bamboo once again. The green coloration appears to be somewhat different between them, the almost neon color on the SBGA429 and the more natural looking green on the SBGA427. Regardless of which you choose, they both seem to be extremely legible. I dare say these high-contrast accents give them an almost tool watch look. The SBGA427 represents light, with its light dial, while the SBGA429 represents shadow. Depending on the light, the SBGA427 can look almost white, while the SBGA429 can look almost black, but as usual for Grand Seiko, they’re pretty dynamic.
They use the same case, a quite reasonably sized 39mm (12.3mm thick, although GS apparently has this wrong at 12.5mm) in steel, which gives it a slightly dressier look than many recent Grand Seikos. It should be about 47mm lug to lug, although I can’t say that with 100% certainty. It will have a screwdown crown and have 100 meters of water resistance.
Interestingly, they both come with extra straps and matching accents, giving them a very bold appearance. The straps are a bit different from one another though, with a black leather strap coming in the 429 compared to the lighter brown strap that comes with this 427. GS opted not to use the 5-link alternating brushed and polished bracelet for this model, instead using fully brushed links.
In terms of movement, both use the extremely popular 9R65 spring drive, so you can expect excellent accuracy, a perfectly smooth seconds hand, and long power reserve from either of them. Thankfully, you can appreciate it through the display back.
Both are coming in July this year, and at $5,000 a piece are on the affordable side for a spring drive special edition. You can pre-order them now, and you’ll also receive the Timeless 10-Year Warranty that we now offer on every pre-ordered watch!