These Grand Seiko GMT Watches Celebrate 25 Years Of High-End Mechanical Movements

The modern era of Grand Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking started 25 years ago, with the development of the first 9S calibre. Today, the 9S family of calibres lives on in many different forms throughout the Grand Seiko range, from simple no-date hand-winding movements to the latest in technological developments such as the revolutionary 9SA5 and its Dual-Impulse Escapement released in 2020 or the Tentagraph high-beat chronograph from earlier this year.

Grand Seiko has released a pair of watches to mark this 25th anniversary. Both are bracelet GMT watches with quick-set local hour, and come with the fine case and movement finishing and high precision (+5/-3 seconds) that collectors know to expect from the brand. Both also have blue dials inspired by the sky around Mount Iwate, a mountain in the Iwate prefecture in the north of Japan’s main island. It was here, in the town of Morioka, that Seiko formed a production base in 1970. It would later become the centre of all the brand’s high-end mechanical watchmaking, including that of Grand Seiko. Today, Mount Iwate’s distinctive profile stands watch over the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi.

SBGJ275 (RM34,100) is the sportier of the two, with a 44.2mm diameter and 14.8mm thickness. It has a rotating bezel that can be used to keep track of a third time zone, and is equipped with calibre 9S86, which ticks at 5Hz. The patterned dial is mottled white and light blue, inspired by cloudy skies. Visible through the display caseback is the titanium oscillating weight, which has also been coloured light blue thanks to an anodic oxidation process. This also marks the first time that a Grand Seiko mechanical watch with a 200m water resistance rating has been outfitted with an exhibition caseback.

SBGM253 (RM24,900) is part of the more traditionally styled Elegance collection, coming in at 39.5mm in diameter and 13.7mm in thickness. Its GMT features are more subtle, and it lacks a rotating bezel, making it a valid option for dressier occasions. It is equipped with calibre 9S66, and beneath the box-shaped sapphire crystal is a sunray-brushed light blue dial that takes after clear skies. It, too, has a display caseback with a blue-coloured titanium rotor.

SBGJ275 is limited to 2,000 pieces, while SBGM253 is limited to 1,700; both are Grand Seiko boutique exclusives.

Grand Seiko

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