Surprisingly, I found the SBGK004, the black dial, to be my favorite of the four in real life. It was probably my 3rd or 4th favorite in the photos, but that flawless black dial, especially combined with the box crystal, really makes an impression.
It is perhaps the model of these four that best manages a truly timeless appearance, a model that, aesthetically speaking, could just as easily be released in 1965 as 2019.
In real life, the dial is a deep, dark red, and the Mt. Iwate texture a bit more subtle than in the stock photography. There’s a certain richness to the design. The watch just feels special, more so even than any of the new SBGKs.
The SBGK005 is the coolest and most laid back of the four, the one I’d go for if I were looking for one of these to wear every day. It doesn’t hurt that it’s the most affordable either. The Mt. Iwate dial is very visible in the SBGK005, and the gold GS logo accents the blue perfectly. It seems that I am doomed to repeat what I say about a few new GS models every year, specifically that I wish it were a regular production model.
The new 9S63 is a welcome addition to the GS lineup. I’ve said for years that Grand Seiko needs to produce more hand-wound watches, and the new 9S63 makes this a reality. Simultaneously, they allow for a thinner overall watch. The basic stats are the same as existing 9S6X movements, which is to say, superb, but the big difference here is the addition of sub seconds and a power reserve.
The first four new SBGKs are also arguably the most interesting Grand Seikos in some time, at least since the 9R01. With these you get a new dial layout, a new movement, and a thinner case, so it’s a pretty special watch indeed.