Back in December of 2011 I wrote about the Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE001, the ideal travelers watch. In that I included a sneak peak of a new limited edition labeled SBGE021. This exquisite green dial has finally landed at AZ Fine Time……
As a quick overview, the original SBGE001 is one of the most coveted Grand Seiko’s in the collectors market. The supreme accuracy and quality of Spring Drive (rated +/- 1 sec a day, but performs within a 3 sec a month deviation); a sapphire crystal protecting the lumed, bi-directional, 24 hr bezel; and the convenience of an independently setting hour hand (so you can change timezones without deviating the immaculate accuracy of Spring Drive) are some of the attributes that make this watch so renowned. Now Seiko has introduced a very special, small batch, variation of this piece that will have only 150 lucky owners.
Green is certainly a color of luck in most cultures. In Japan, green is also a symbol of eternal life. The inspiration behind the deep green dial on the SBGE021 is, much like the adored “Snowflake”, a seasonal tribute to the home of Grand Seiko, Suwa Nagano Japan.
The rich spectrum of green found in the dial was designed and inspired from the lush green plant life you will find in Suwa during Spring time. Lake Suwa, in the Nagano prefecture, is surrounded by beautiful forest preserves. The vegetation in the area has been well preserved and protected by the towns people. There is great pride in the conservation of these natural environments.
In the past, Seiko introduced limited edition model SBGA005 which had small fir trees embossed into the dial, also baring the dark green color as a tribute to the firs. Fir trees are actually treasured in the Suwa region. Every 6 years (the year of the monkey or tiger) the Onbashira Festival is held in Suwa, where 6-10 men will take down and ride the fir log down a steep hill. It’s actually very dangerous with many injuries and even deaths during the event. To die while coming down the hill is believed to spiritually renew the 4 Suwa-taisha Shrines and considered a very honorable death. While the SBGE021 is not specific to firs, they do make up a lot of the green color found in the region. Being of the evergreen family, they stay green all year round, which is a perfect example of green symbolizing eternal life.
The SBGE021 is the exact model as the SBGE001, but with the beautiful dark green embossed sunburst dial and gold plated GMT hand. The shades of green in this dial are unbelievable. In darker settings, the dial almost looks black and is difficult to notice the texture. Inside lighting seems to bring out much more variety in color. It ranges from the almost black and has what would look to be an hourglass of vibrant green. In sunlight, the hourglass grows larger and brings out tremendous ranges of green, with almost a reflective appearance to the sunburst embossing. This dial is truly unique and indescribably gorgeous. I have included a video to help capture the wide range of color in the dial. Also included are the smoothest gliding second hand of Spring Drive, the independent hour hand adjustment, and the phenomenally strong lume.
On the subject of green…..
I wanted to take the time to mention Seiko’s dedication to being “Green”. Seiko utilizes and keeps producing new Clean Energy for their watches. While many people may not see the cause for concern in watchmaking, over 1.7 billion watch batteries are thrown away every year. Technologies such as Kinectic, Solar, Spring Drive and Mechanical all contribute to the prevention of throwing away batteries. On top of that, Seiko does a lot more to contribute to a “green” earth. Please feel free to learn more at Seiko’s Clean Energy website.
I hope you all enjoyed. While there are only 150 of this model, and I’m sure will all be sold out soon, the beauty of this Spring Time Spring Drive will be greatly remembered.
Please check below for more pictures…
As always, please let me know if I can ever be any help.
Joe @ AZFT