Grand Seiko has had an especially explosive and game-changing year for the brand, so we felt it was time to update our old Grand Seiko Buyer’s Guide to include not only the numerous new models, but also new movements, and a bold new design direction in general. It’s never been a better time to be a Grand Seiko fan.
Since we last checked in, Grand Seiko has changed the way it organizes its collections. Historically, GS didn’t have collections per se, but watches were organized simply by the category of movement (i.e. quartz, spring drive, mechanical). Since that system was not especially useful to collectors, GS adopted a simple new system.
Elegance: The Elegance collection is focused on traditional Japanese dress watches. Elegance composed of reserved, tasteful designs, often harkening back to ’60s-era models. This is also the best collection to find hand-wound and ladies’ watches. If you want the dressiest Grand Seiko you can buy, stick with Elegance.
Heritage: The Heritage collection is probably the most all-around in Grand Seiko’s lineup, mostly focusing on contemporary dress watches and everyday watches. Generally speaking, the Heritage line is bolder and more colorful, with a hint of sportiness in many of them. This is also where you’ll find the Snowflake, Grand Seiko’s most iconic watch. People new to Grand Seiko should start with Heritage.
Sport: The Sport collection is, as you might have guessed, the sportiest of the three and is fast-growing in popularity. While not a genre that Grand Seiko has traditionally focused on, Grand Seiko has really stepped up their game over the last few years. Here you’ll find Grand Seiko’s very popular SBGA229 diver, in addition to all of the chronographs offered. The highly sought-after SBGE201 can also be found here. If you’re a fan of lume, large watches, dive watches, or sport watches generally, start with Sport.
Despite these early attempts to create a logical organization of Grand Seiko, the brand remains fundamentally different than other iconic brands like Rolex and Omega. Probably due to the fact that Grand Seiko was, up until recently, a collection of Seiko as opposed to a brand in and of itself, it’s hard to break GS down into distinct models. For instance, in Omega you can find numerous versions of the Planet Ocean, with a very clear resemblance to a wide range of Planet Oceans. Grand Seiko, alternatively, is organized more in terms of broad, stylistic concepts, and thus, we have to address virtually every single model one at a time. We’ll start with the largest, and most popular, collection of Grand Seikos, the Heritage Collection. I’ll attempt to provide some semblance of order by progressing through each collection one movement at a time.
I don’t intend this guide to be the end of your research, but only as the start of it. I wanted to create a list of every currently available model (at least in the US) so that people either new to GS or who want to catch up can simply scroll down until they find models that catch their eye. Then they get some basic information and my thoughts on it, and from there they can decide if they want to check out the product page on our website and learn more.
We begin our journey with one of my favorite, although often overlooked, Grand Seikos, the SBGR299 and SBGR301. Powered by the 9S61, this three-hander omits the fussy date complication in favor of an ultra-clean dial. Also setting these apart are their relatively large size for this collection, at 42mm each. Both are priced $4,300, making a great entry point into mechanical Grand Seikos, especially for those who prefer no-date watches which are somewhat uncommon for the brand.
The next set we will look at has a recent addition, the new SBGR321, the lovely blue model shown above, part of the 60th Anniversary release. Not shown here is its unique blue rotor. All three use Grand Seiko’s 9S65, the mainstay automatic movement of the brand, and are reasonably sized at 40mm. The non-limited edition versions, the SBGR317 and SBGR315 respectively, are $4,700, while the LE adds another $500.
The SBGR251 and SBGR253 have long been the entry-level point to the brand’s mechanical watches, even back when they were the SBGR051 and SBGR053, and still represent superior value in an everyday dress watch. Both feature 9S65 automatics and have sensible 37mm steel cases. At $3,800, these make excellent alternatives to the Rolex Datejust and Omega Aqua Terra for a tasteful all-purpose watch.
For $300 more, you can get these much sportier models, the SBGR255 and SBGR257. The bezel is bolder, the case bigger (39.4mm), and it has crown guards, a rarity in this collection. They remain powered by the 9S65 automatic.
The SBGR307 and SBGR309 are, near as makes no difference, supersized versions of the SBGR251 and SBGR253 (with the nice addition of a blued seconds hand on the SBGR307). They move up to 42mm, rather large by GS standards, and also adopt the more utilitarian 3-link bracelet. Each are $4,600.
At this point we upgrade from the 9S6X family to Grand Seiko’s high-end mechanical movement family, the 9S8X, or in this particular case, the 9S85. The 9S85 improved on the 9S65 by offering a Hi-Beat movement, which beats 10 times per second instead of the normal 8. While I personally prefer and wear a 9S85, people new to Grand Seiko should realize that the 9S65 is still a terrific movement, and even has the advantage of a longer power reserve (72 hours versus 55 hours), so don’t be afraid to pick up a 9S6X-powered Grand Seiko if you like how it looks more or if it’s a better value.
These two, the SBGH201 and SBGH205, represent the entry-point to Grand Seiko’s Hi-Beat movement at $5,800 each. They also happen to be among my personal favorite Grand Seikos ever made, and indeed, I wear an SBGH201 (or, at least, its nearly-identical predecessor, the SBGH001) often. They, along with the Snowflake, represent to me the essence of Grand Seiko design, with clear, minimalist, and highly legible dials, along with cases that are modern in both style and size (40mm) yet somehow classic and a bit dressy at the same time.
The SBGH277, SBGH279, and SBGH281 are in some ways, at least in my view, new versions of the SBGH001/SBGH201 and SBGH005/SBGH205. Like those models, they feature the 9S85 movement and a 40mm case, but are ever so slightly sportier, with chapter rings and and more angular cases. The blue-dialed SBGH281 is part of the 60th Anniversary LE collection, so if you really like that one, you may want to move on it before they’re gone. The price of entry for the first two is $6,100, and it’ll cost you another $200 to upgrade to the LE. Personally, however, I’d stick to the two more modest designs.
Grand Seiko rarely makes two-tone watches, so these, the SBGH252 and SBGH254, certainly stand out from most other models. Like those above, it uses the 9S85, and a 40mm case, but with the big distinction being, obviously, gold on the bezel, the center links of the bracelet, and, of course, the hands and indices. As you might anticipate, the addition of gold increases the price a bit, $11,000, nearly $5,000 more than the very similar models without gold, so these only need be considered by those with a strong preference for two-tone designs.
The SBGH269 is something of an outlier for the group, but it should by no means be overlooked. The beautiful red dial of this limited edition remind me of trees, and the coloration that of the leaves changing color. Size wise, it’s a bit smaller than the others in this group, at 39.5mm, and it’s also a hair more expensive at $6,400, owing to its LE status no doubt. However, in this case, I absolutely think the extra cost is worth it for this gorgeous dial.
The last two of this group may be the best, and are both fan and personal favorites. That’d be the SBGH273 and SBGH271, part of the Japan Seasons special edition. The blue dial SBGH273 is reminiscent of Shubun, the autumnal equinox, and the green dial that of Rikka, or early summer, but both are absolutely stunning. Like the last watch, it does command a small premium at $6,300, but it is absolutely worth it if you’re looking for a Hi-Beat Grand Seiko. Case wise, both are quite angular and sporty but remain similarly sized at 40mm.
Next we move to the Hi-Beat GMT watches, with their 9S86 movements, namely the SBGJ201, SBGJ203, SBGJ211, SBGJ213, and SBGJ235 (a boutique LE) respectively. The 9S86 not only adds a GMT hand, for a second time zone, but also gives these watches an independent hour hand, which makes setting the watch while traveling, or for daylight savings time, a breeze. Choosing between them is also easy, as they all have similar 40mm cases and the same movement, so this is the rare case of simply picking your favorite dial from Grand Seiko. The prices do vary though, with the SBGJ201, 203, and 235 priced at $6,300, and the 211 and 213 priced at $7,400. These make great choices for frequent travelers.
This SLGH002 is the pièce de résistance of mechanical Grand Seikos and currently the only watch to feature the high-end 9SA5 movement, the most radical shift in mechanical movement design since the ’60s for the Japanese brand. It’s not just the movement, either. The case’s thick, flat, vertically brushed bezel, the larger hands, and the wider indices mark a bolder, sportier direction for Grand Seiko. Despite its more aggressive looks, it maintains a 40mm case size, and is indeed, much thinner than other automatic Grand Seikos. As you might expect of a gold-cased GS with a unique movement, it commands a price higher than other Hi-Beats, at $43,000.
Returning to earth from the lofty heights of the SLGH002, you might be tempted to think of these three entry-level Grand Seikos, the SBGX259, SBGX261, and SBGX263, as pretenders, but nothing could be less true. In fact, not only are these three more accurate than the SLGH002, they’re way, way more accurate, and that’s thanks to Grand Seiko’s legendary 9F quartz movement, or the 9F62 in particular. The 9F is one of the most accurate movements ever made, good to 10 seconds a year. They’re also extremely reliable and long-lasting.
Aesthetically, these three are more utilitarian than most Grand Seikos, utilizing the simpler three-link bracelet and austere dial designs. They’re all quite tastefully sized at 37mm, and are among the thinnest Grand Seikos at 10mm. These make some of the best “set and forget” watches on the market, and offer an appealing entry point to Grand Seiko at $2,200 each.
For a not-inconsiderable $900 more, you can get one of these, the SBGV205, SBGV207, or SBGV239, each powered by the 9F82. For that you get a larger 40mm case size, the dressier 5-link bracelet, and a blued seconds hand on the champagne-dialed equivalent.
These next three, the SBGP001, SBGP003, and SBGP005, are extremely similar to the last, except that they (A) cost $100 more and that they (B) use the 9F85 movement. It’s no more accurate than the other 9Fs, but it adds an independent hour hand, usually associated with the so-called “true GMT” complication, but here without the GMT. It may not sound like much, but when you’re dealing with a movement that’s accurate to 10 seconds a year, it can be really annoying to have to change it for DST or when you cross timezones, somewhat defeating the benefit of having a watch that doesn’t need the time adjusted for several years. With the 9F85, you can change the hour hand without stopping the seconds, so that glorious accuracy can be preserved.
Priced accessibly at $2,600, the SBGP009, SBGP011, and SBGP013 upgrade to the 9F85 movement over the 9F62 in the similar SBGX259, SBGX261, and SBGX263. Also take note of the new blue dial limited edition, priced at $3,900. That’s quite a jump in price for an LE, but that star on the dial tells you that this 9F is a cut above the rest. The blue SBGP007 is rated for an astonishing 5 seconds per year.
Of course, now that we have an independent hour hand, you might as well go full GMT, and that’s exactly what these three, the SBGN009, SBGN011, and SBGN013 do. Each watch has an added GMT hand that allows the wearer to track two different timezones, perfect for those who do lots of international business (like me) or travel frequently (less like me). They’re a bit sportier in design than the other quartz Grand Seikos we’ve looked at so far, and they’ve got nicely sized 40mm cases to match. While all cost $3,000, the SBGN009 is a limited edition and is quite fetching in person, with a quartz crystal-themed dial motif.
Returning to the high end, we gaze upon the beautiful SBGD201, SBGD202, and the exotic SBGD205. The first two models are so minimalist (finally, spring drives with power reserves on the movement instead of the dial) and practical that, despite a $59,000 price tag for the SBGD201 and a $42,000 price for the SBGD202, they almost don’t feel like haute horology. This is a concern not shared by the SBGD205 ($185,000) which features a dial surrounded by diamonds. All, however, are powered by the absolutely superb hand-wound 9R01, the finest spring drive movement offered in a Grand Seiko. Size wise, each is 43mm, and given their dressy nature, these are probably best appreciated by those with larger wrists.
Staying with the high-end theme for a moment, we have the SBGA384 and SBGA385, both powered by the 9R15 movement. The 9R15 is a special version of the 9R65 movement, identical in most ways except even more accurate. Each uses a 40mm 44GS case, in rose gold or platinum, and cost $29,500 and $53,000 respectively.
Coming back to the mainstream we look at two of the most recent Grand Seiko special editions (the SBGA427 and SBGA429), called the Soko models (the end of Autumn in Japanese). These sensibly-sized 39mm watches are best identified by their vibrant green hands. Both are powered by the mainstay of Grand Seiko spring drives, the 9R65, which is not only extremely accurate, but has a 72 hour power reserve. Both are priced reasonably as well, at $5,000 each, so there’s basically no special edition premium to speak of.
Sticking with the Seasons special editions, we take a look at the phenomenally beautiful 40mm SBGA413 and SBGA415, again powered by the 9R65. Even in a brand that is widely recognized as one of the greatest dial makers in the world, these two stand out. The SBGA415 in particular may have one of the most beautiful dials that has ever been made. They cost a bit more than most 9R65 watches at $6,300, but it’s money well spent. This is a special edition premium worth paying.
The next two watches, the SBGA201 and SBGA203, both 41mm, are very sensible everyday spring drives, good for basically any occasion. They’re priced quite reasonably as well, at $4,900 a piece.
The next two watches, both with 41mm cases, are among the most iconic Japanese watches ever created. The first, the SBGA211 Snowflake (the successor to the SBGA011 with very minor changes), is easily the most popular watch that Grand Seiko offers, thanks to its incredibly realistic depiction of snow flurries on the dial. They’re also quite light, thanks to their use of titanium. For those looking for an alternative to the original SBGA211 Snowflake, the SBGA259 offers a gold-accented version for $100 more ($5,900). Personally, I’d stick with the classic.
The next two, the SBGA283 and SBGA285, offer great entry points for those who want to get a spring drive. These versatile, everyday 40mm watches are $3,800 each, making them accessible to almost any Grand Seiko buyer.
The SBGA373 and SBGA375 are slightly higher-end offerings with edgier, sportier cases, although still reasonably sized at 40mm. The SBGA375 looks black in Grand Seiko’s official photos, but in real life it’s got a lovely dark blue dial. They’re each $5,200.
This last 9R65-based watch is a boutique-only exclusive, but at $4,900, it’s still quite a good deal. It’s got a lovely black dial with rose gold accents that give it a nice warmth, and the 41mm case gives it a touch of sportiness.
Getting to our first spring drive GMT watches, all powered by the 9R66 movement, we find the SBGE205 and SBGE211, both excellent companions for the frequent traveler. Like all Grand Seiko GMT watches, these are “true GMTs,” meaning that the hour hand is independently adjustable, perfect for crossing timezones. Meanwhile, the GMT hand is there either to point to your home timezone or to a second timezone of your choosing, very useful for people who do business internationally. Because it uses a spring drive movement, you will rarely, if ever, have to worry about the seconds or minute hand being correct as these are much, much more accurate than a normal mechanical watch. Both are a bit larger than most Grand Seikos, at 41mm, but GS doesn’t charge a significant premium for the GMT function, as both are $5,400.
We start our Grand Seiko sports watches off with a bang by taking a look at the large (46.9mm) SBGH255 diver, which is unusual in that it’s powered by the high-end mechanical 9S85 movement, generally associated with dressier watches. This hardcore tool watch is rated for 600 meters and has a price to match at $9,600.
Our mechanical tool watch journey continues with the SBGJ237 ($6,800) and SBGJ239 ($6,600), each powered by Hi-Beat GMT 9S86 movements. These aren’t quite the behemoth that the SBGH255 is, but they’re still quite large at 44mm. On the other hand, thanks to their great looking dials and colorful bezel inserts, they’re a lot more approachable as an everyday watch, and, despite their smaller, thinner case, they’re still rated for 200 meters of water resistance if you did want to adventure in them. These two, particularly the SBGJ237 (if only for the bracelet) make terrific vacation choices because they’re accurate, easy to set, track two timezones, and are tough enough to handle pretty much anything you want to do.
Grand Seiko is not known for being a particularly avant garde brand, but the SBGJ233 is most certainly that. Its unique case is a combination of both titanium and ceramic, making for an extremely tough watch, which will be particularly useful in dodging scratches because this has a 46.4mm case. Inside still beats the 9S86 found in the last two, but now it has a more common depth rating of 100 meters. Despite its size, it’s actually lighter than the last two watches as well. At $13,700, however, there is a literal price to pay for the ceramic and titanium case, but if you were looking for a big, bold Grand Seiko, this should still be high on your list.
Moving to watches with broader appeal and much more accessible prices ($3,000 each), these two are true tool watches and among my favorite quartz Grand Seikos. The 9F inside is not only hyper-accurate, but incredibly tough, even more so than the already extremely reliable 9S or 9R. So on a functional level, these 40mm watches deliver, but they also look the part with angular, brushed cases. The high-contrast dial of the SBGV243 has a tone of athleticism to it, while the SBGV245 has a sober, industrial look that’s all business.
The limited edition SBGP015 is still a very sporty watch, this time powered by the 9F85, giving it the benefit of an independent hour hand, but it has a much more fun-loving quality about it. That is, no doubt, the consequences of the bright red accents against a dark blue dial. Rare among Grand Seikos, it also features a ceramic bezel, which not only looks great, but will act as a shield against scratches to this ordinarily vulnerable area. For the price of the limited edition status, and also the nice ceramic bezel and 9F85 movement, it’ll cost you $800 more than the last two, which to me seems reasonable if the design appeals to you.
Of course, with an independent hour hand available, you might as well go all the way to a 9F86 and get a true GMT watch like this SBGN003 and SBGN005. These have sporty, yet not overly large, 39mm steel cases and high-contrast color combinations. They’re priced pretty sensibly too at $3,200, so these are great choices for Grand Seiko fans who want a tough, no-nonsense watch for travel.
These next Grand Seikos, the SBGA403 and SBGA405, have really changed the course of Grand Seiko (along with a few other models), with their novel new case and hand designs. The large 44.5mm titanium cases are extremely bold and angular, eschewing the more common flowing case design of Grand Seikos, and the hands, particularly the hour hand, are far larger than in previous Grand Seikos. Despite their sporty character, they still feature elaborate dials, as the SBGA403 ($10,600) was inspired by the mane of a lion, and the red dial of the SBGA405 ($12,500) was inspired by the “heat ray beam” of Godzilla, of all things.
The next two 9R65-powered watches, the SBGA229 and SBGA231, are among the most iconic Grand Seikos, up there (almost) with the Snowflake. These 44mm watches are pure divers on every level, and backed up with a tough, accurate spring drive movement these can be relied on for many years. The SBGA229 ($6,000) differs from the second watch, the SBGA231 ($7,100) mainly in that the latter is titanium, but it also has some gold accents on the dial. Fans of lightweight watches will probably prefer the latter, but in my opinion most people should probably save the $1,100 and get the steel SBGA229 instead.
These next three are very recent additions to Grand Seiko’s lineup, all with tough, and good looking, ceramic bezels. Each of these 9R66-powered watches has a pretty modestly-sized case, at least for such sporty designs, at 40.5mm, a pleasant change of pace from GS which tends to go large where sports watches are concerned. The SBGE253, SBGE255, and SBGE257 are all GMT watches, and fittingly, have 24 hour bezels, but they’re also rated for 200 meters of water resistance, so these are very versatile pieces. Each are $6,200.
The SBGE201, or rather its predecessor, the SBGE001, is arguably the first great Grand Seiko sports watch, and these days you can also choose from the SBGE215, SBGE251, and SBGE248, all with similar, yet distinctive, 44mm cases and powered by the 9R66 movement. These watches are especially beloved for their unusual use of sapphire for the bezel, a beautiful, and highly scratch-resistant, choice. The SBGE201 costs $5,800, while its gold-accented brother, the SBGE215, costs $7,400, owing to its using of titanium instead of steel. Personally, I prefer the more affordable SBGE201, but if you have a strong preference for light watches, or gold accents, it might be worth the difference to you. The two-tone boutique-only SBGE251 costs considerably more yet at $12,200, the consequence of 18K gold accents, including the brand’s first gold rotating bezel. Finally, we look at the similarly-priced ($11,500) SBGE248 and its lovely blue dial with gold accents.
We next turn to the heart of Grand Seiko’s chronograph line, the SBGC201, SBGC203, and SBGC205. These oft-overlooked watches feature one of the most complex movements Grand Seiko has ever made, the 9R86. In addition to a sophisticated chronograph, it features a GMT (alongside an independent hour hand), power reserve, and date complication. The cases are quite large at 43.5mm and are well-known for their oversized, and polarizing, chronograph pushers. The first two models are $8,200, quite a good deal considering the movement, while the last, the SBGC205, costs $9,600 in exchange for the benefit of a titanium case.
These next two, the SBGC221 and the SBGC223, are among the most aggressive watches that Grand Seiko makes, thanks to their very large 46.4mm titanium cases clad in ceramic. They use the same movement as the last three, but are quite a bit more expensive at $14,800 due to the materials.
The limited edition SBGC229, as well as the next three watches, uses a 9R96 spring drive movement. In almost every way it is identical to the 9R86 movement, except that it’s somehow even more accurate. Like the last two watches, it combines ceramic and titanium, but this one is far less reliant on titanium than those two. It’s also just as large, at 46.4mm, but priced higher at $21,000.
Continuing with the 9R96 theme, these next three watches use newer, more angular case designs that I’m quite fond of. They remain large, but not quite as large as some of the other models here, at 44.5mm. All three are limited editions, and the SBGC230 ($42,000) and SBGC238 ($44,300) command a price premium for their gold cases. The SBGC231 is instead made of titanium, so it’s considerably more accessible at $12,900.
The last member of the Sport collection is potentially the most exciting, the SLGA001 which features a unique 9RA5 movement made just for it. The 9RA5 will eventually expand into other models in the future, but right now, the SLGA001 is the only way to get it. While the titanium case is huge at about 47mm, I still like it angular, squared-off look, and the 9RA5 movement promises to be among the most stable and tough spring drives ever made. It’s $11,100, which is certainly on the higher end of Grand Seikos, but there are plenty of other titanium models in this price range that lack a next-gen movement, so for those who want the absolute best Grand Seiko diver, it’s not a bad deal.
Turning finally to the Elegance collection, we see three fine examples of what it’s all about. These, the SBGK006, SBGK007, and SBGK009, are fantastically restrained designs that feature the hand-wound 9S63 mechanical movement. These are unique as one of very few mechanical Grand Seikos with a power reserve complication, along with the gone, but not forgotten, 9S67 automatic. Being a manual winding movement instead of an automatic is helpful not only because the movement looks better, visible through the back, but at 11.6mm, it’s one of the thinnest mechanical Grand Seikos available today. The case size is just right for these tasteful designs too, at 39mm. Price wise, the gold SBGK006 costs $19,000, the steel SBGK007 $6,900, and the SBGK009, thanks to its cool bracelet, is $7,700.
Moving to an even more restrained, tasteful watch, this simple SBGW231 ($4,300) might be regarded as a Japanese Calatrava competitor, dressy enough for literally any event. Likewise, it remains hand wound, although it omits the sub-seconds and power reserve for a cleaner dial thanks to its 9S64. The size matches the style, at 37.3mm, and it remains reasonably thin at 11.6mm.
Arguably the best dress watches in the entire Grand Seiko portfolio, the boutique-only SBGW257, SBGW258, and SBGW259 are all modeled after the very first Grand Seiko in 1960. Each 38mm case is made from a unique material, platinum, gold, and titanium respectively, and have prices to match, at $38,000 for the SBGW257, $26,000 for the SBGW258, and $8,000 for the SBGW259, so people looking for accessible ultra-dressy Grand Seikos are probably better off sticking to the SBGW231, but those with the budget should take a long look at these.
The next three, also powered by 9S64s, move into haute horology territory. The gold and black $30,000 SBGW262, my favorite of the three, features a unique Urushi lacquer and is absolutely stunning. The SBGW263, priced considerably higher at $97,000, is a limited edition of just 20 pieces, made from both platinum and gold (thanks to a medallion on the back), features beautiful engraving on both the dial and hands. Finally, the SBGW264 ($24,000) has a gorgeous green textured dial and is a limited edition of 120 pieces. All are a bit larger than the others in Elegance so far at 39mm, but with designs this bold, discretion is not exactly the point.
Turning now to a staple of Grand Seiko dress watches, the SBGR261 (formerly the SBGR061), a watch that is itself somewhat reminiscent of the original 1960 Grand Seiko. This one, however, has an automatic movement and a date, making for a more everyday-friendly watch. The size is also a bit more contemporary at 39.5mm. Priced very reasonably at $4,300, this is another great way to jump into your first mechanical Grand Seiko.
It’s also available as a GMT watch, powered by the 9S66 automatic, in the SBGM221 for just a little more ($4,600). The size remains the same at 39.5mm, so frequent travelers looking for a dressy, traditional Grand Seiko should absolutely consider this model.
These next two dress watches, the SBGH213 and SBGH263 (both $6,200) get a movement upgrade with the 9S85 Hi-Beat, but are almost as dressy as the other watches here, and it even manages to keep the size decent at 39.5mm. They are highly unusual in that they use numerals, as Grand Seiko rarely uses numerals of any kind in its design, much less 12 of them (well, minus one for the date).
These next two, the SBGJ217 and SBGJ219, are quite a bit more contemporary than the others we’ve looked at so far, and although dressy, would make great everyday watches. Both are powered by the 9S86, still the highest-end mechanical GMT movement Grand Seiko offers, and they keep the size reasonable at 39.5mm. There is, however, a price increase for the beautiful dials and 9S86 movements, as they’re both $6,500. Nonetheless, I think anyone looking for a mechanical GMT GS should check these two out, as they’re among my personal favorites.
The next two models, the SBGZ001 and SBGZ003, are absolutely stunning in person. The former features a very unique Snowflake dial and an even more unique textured platinum case, all of which will cost you $76,000. The second, the SBGZ003, is much more restrained and dressy, but its 38.5mm case is also made from platinum, leading to a price of $57,000. They’re both quite thin for a Grand Seiko though, at 9.8mm, and that’s thanks to the special, and gorgeous, 9R02 movement in each.
Continuing that trend, now with the also magnificent and rare 9R31 spring drive, we spy the 38.5mm SBGY002 and SBGY003. The SBGY002 enjoys a Snowflake dial, now absent the date complication for a cleaner, more modern look, and possesses a gold case. It’s priced accordingly at $25,000, which makes the SBGY003 an absolute steal for a watch with this movement. Thanks to its stainless steel case, and despite its also-beautiful dial, it was only $7,600, which is why it sold out almost instantly.
The next two are more at home in the Elegance Collection (I’d suggest the last four could just as easily have been in the Heritage Collection). Those are the SBGA407 and the SBGA293. The SBGA407 ($5,800) is a lovely blue alternative to the Snowflake, particularly for those who prefer steel cases to titanium, while the SBGA293 is a little more affordable at $5,200 and goes for a more austere, traditional look that I think works fantastically. Both have fairly contemporary sizes at 40.2mm.
Rounded out the last GMT watch of the day, the SBGE227 ($5,600) is a great everyday choice given its extremely accurate 9R66 movement and 40.2mm steel case. It’s a good fit for world travelers looking for a dressier, more restrained design.
And now we finally get to the ladies’ watches, namely the STGK003 ($29,000), STGK004 ($28,000), and STGK006 ($28,000). Each of these elaborate watches uses a special movement just for smaller watches, the 9S27 automatic. This allows the case size to be far smaller at just 27.8mm, and it’s great that Grand Seiko didn’t take the easy path out and just toss in a quartz movement from a lower collection. These are real Grand Seikos in every respect.
These next two, the STGK007 and STGK009, are a bit more down to earth and everyday-wear friendly. They’re also just slightly smaller at 27.8mm, although they still use the 9S27 automatic. They’re also priced much more affordably, at $5,500 and $5,100 respectively. If it were me, I’d get the STGK009 over any of them. It’s just got that classic Grand Seiko look, only in a smaller size.
Those looking for a more exciting and visually interesting watch should check out the STGK011 and STGK013, both $10,500. Each incorporates bold, elongated, and diamond-filled cases with beautiful dials, increasing their size to a still-petite 30.6mm.
Which takes us to our very last watch, at least to date, the STGK015 limited edition. It has a fairly conventional 27.8mm case, but this time with diamonds on the bezel and dial. The case is steel, which helps keep the price accessible, but thanks no doubt to the diamonds, this one is $9,500. Like the other ladies’ watches in this collection, it uses the 9S27 movement.
So that concludes our brief introduction to every model still being produced by Grand Seiko today. Hopefully, if time allows, I’ll expand this to include an introduction to each family of movements as well.