As the days go by, I see more and more love for Grand Seiko, and
totally understand why. They’re all gorgeous pieces, beautifully
crafted and have some of the finest motors in watches today. The
piece I would like to discuss today is one of our best selling models
here at AZ Fine Time…. The Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT – SBGE001.
Grand Seiko is notorious for their meticulous manufacturing. One of
the finest attributes to a high-end “travel” watch is the operation of
the GMT function. Seiko is using their completely in-house
manufactured 9R66 Spring Drive movement in this traveler’s master
piece . This gives the watch accuracy unattainable by any other
spring driven watch including what seems to be service free for many
years over most of the Swiss competion.
For those not familiar with Spring Drive, it is basically a fully
mechanical watch where the traditional escapement is replaced by a
tri-synchro regulator. The tri-synchro regulator utilizes the energy
from the mainspring to make electricity, that powers an extremely high
accuracy quartz crystal, and transfers the frequency of the crystal to
an electromagnetic brake that regulates a glide wheel (what would be a
balance wheel, but rotates in only one direction) to 8 rotations per
second. Of course, that’s the simple explanation. This in turn gives
the watch a rating to +/- 1 sec a day accuracy, but actual performance
within 1-3 sec a month deviation. On top of that, the 9R66 has an
independently controlled hour hand as opposed to GMT hands you will
see on most other pieces. This gives the wearer ability to change the
time without having to stop the second hand and ruin the time you had
so masterfully paired to the atomic clock. Pull the crown out, turn
to move the hour hand forward or back, screw the crown back in and
you’re ready for the next city. Now you have the ultimate, accurate,
The other key feature on this piece is its sapphire bezel. Seiko
actually develops a domed Sapphire crystal just for the bezel! It
truly gives the piece a gorgeous look on top of the fact it is scratch
resistant. Under that crystal lies lumed indexes and numerals that
glow like there’s no tomorrow. They actually use the same natural
lume that illuminates the Seiko Space Walk, just in slightly smaller
applications. The bezel is bi-directional and allows you to view up
to three time zones at once. The bezel operates smoother than any I
have ever felt and the toothed edge only adds benefit to it’s
operation. Naturally, there is a domed – dual AR coated –
high-definition – sapphire crystal that covers the dial of the watch.
As I’m sure you can imagine, they are not easy to manufacture.
Karatsu “blade” polishing is something I have mentioned in many of my
posts. The SBGE001 uses this ancient form of artistry to polish the
stainless steel in this watch. Everything in Grand Seiko, from the
steel they use, the way it is forged, and the polishing technique
applied, derives from the art form in manufacturing the katana blade.
This gives the piece a gorgeous sparkle that competes with the finest
pieces in the industry. It is also applied to the steel on the
indexes and hands to make for supreme legibility.
The deep matte black dial also contributes to the legibility of the
timepiece, making it very easy to see the glitter of the indexes
reflecting light. The red GMT hand is also incredibly legible against
the black matte. As you will notice, legibility is a major attribute
to all Grand Seiko’s.
Overall, the SBGE001 is an incredible timepiece and a true thing of
beauty. It’s the ultimate watch for the ultimate traveler (or even if
your not). Grand Seiko has yet again set a new standard in quality.
And soon, you will have the opportunity to own it’s very limited
counter part, SBGE021.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoyed. Please let
me know if there’s ever any help I can be.