Timeless Luxury Watches is very proud to announce our first limited edition collaboration with Grand Seiko, one of our earliest partners and one of our all-time favorite brands. It’s long been a dream of ours to create a watch with GS and it’s wonderful to finally see the result of that dream in real life.
The SBGE249 is a love letter to some of the best modern Grand Seikos, as well as our own love of blued hands. We’ve combined elements from classic watches like the SBGA125 and SBGA211 while also incorporating other design changes to make it our own.
We love the contrast of blued hands and silver dials, so we really wanted to bring that to the front. On our new LE, every hand other than the main hands is blue. This looks great, but it also increases the legibility of the watch as your eyes can easily separate the two most important hands from the rest.
One of those blued hands, as you might have noticed, is a GMT hand, making this watch well-suited for travelers. Like all Grand Seikos GMT, this is a “true” GMT complication, so you get an independent hour hand as well, allowing you to easily adjust for new time zones or for daylight savings time.
But that’s not to say that the hour and minute hands are unremarkable. These are the classic polished dauphine hands that Grand Seiko is so well known for. These are likely my favorite watch hands in the entire world, so while they are not unique to our limited edition, it was a joy to be able to use them in this project.
The hour markers, too, are my favorite within all of Grand Seiko, some of my favorite ever made. This style of hour markers, as found on legendary watches like the SBGA211 Snowflake, is really the perfect companion to the dauphine hands, owing to their similar shape and polishing.
The GMT numerals are placed on a chapter ring, keeping the dial clean and legible. The GMT complication isn’t subtle here, but neither does it intrude in telling the time, a far more important need for most wearers.
The power reserve complication, from hand to markers, is also entirely blue. The power reserve is one of my favorite complications, but it’s nicely separated by color from the hour and minute hands, allowing the wearer to focus on either the time or one of the secondary functions of the watch.
The part we’re most proud of, however, is the dial. No watch brand is better connected to snow and ice than Grand Seiko, and we wanted to focus on that unique connection. We’ve created a dial, inspired by blizzards, but with our own special take.
Instead of solid white, our dial is actually silver, although it looks white in some situations. This gives it a slightly more dynamic character, shimmering at certain angles.
As is always the case with Timeless designs, the date ring matches the dial, although, given that the dial is silver, this was a considerably easier task than with watches like the Timeless Club II.
The 41mm case is a versatile, modern size for a watch that we wanted to be able to be worn everywhere. It is neither a dress watch, owing to its complications, nor is it purely a sports watch, thanks to its understated design. We want the SBGE249 to be a daily-wear watch that’s suitable for almost everything.
Unlike some of the watches that inspired it, namely the SBGA211 Snowflake and the SBGA125 “Blizzard,” we opted to use a steel case instead of titanium.
In general, we prefer to work with the hardest and most scratch resistant materials available, which means that we’ll generally go for steel over titanium. We also don’t mind a little mass to our watches, which contributes to a feeling of solidness and quality.
Powering the new SBGE249 is, of course, the 9R66, the spring drive GMT movement. The 9R66 is outstandingly consistent, accurate to about a second a day, thanks to its unique combination of quartz precision with mechanical sophistication. Almost as impressive is its 72 hour power reserve, and, as I mentioned before, its complications, which include an independent hour hand, date and power reserve.
But the 9R66, like all spring drives, is more than a collection of impressive stats and performance figures. It’s an extremely beautiful movement, more than worthy of its sapphire back. This is, perhaps, the most important aspect of the spring drive. It is the only movement that unifies our rational desires for extremely accurate, reliable movements, like quartz, with our emotional desires for beautiful mechanical works of art.
The SBGE249 was a dream project for us, one where we were able to pick from a lot of our favorite aspects of Grand Seiko. From GS’ connection to snow and ice we created our version of the blizzard dial, we used their most beautiful hands and hour markers, a mid-sized case and an incredible spring drive movement.
The Timeless GS SBGE249 is a limited edition of 250 pieces, each priced at $5,900. The first orders will begin arriving in August or September of this year.