Grand Seiko Mechanical GMT 10th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGM029

2012 commemorates the 10th Anniversary of the 1st Grand Seiko to posses a fourth hand, displaying GMT time.  To honor this achievement, Seiko has released 2 Limited Editions.  One, SBGM031 to pay tribute to SBGM003 (leather strap) and another SBGM029 to honor SBGM001 (bracelet).  Today, Arizona Fine Time has received the 1st small allotment of the new SBGM029, and much earlier than anticipated.

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Arrival for these exquisite time pieces was originally planned for October.  Luckily, production was completed early and AZ Fine Time was one of the 1st to receive them in the US.  I am very happy to share this commemorative  piece for the 1st time with pictures of it in the metal.

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

The design of the  SBGM029 replicates the SBGM001 (the 1st GS GMT), with a few new changes.  The dial is a gorgeous deep blue with gold GMT hand, boasting the official Grand Seiko colors.  This is the 1st time a Grand Seiko mechanical GMT has ever been exhibited with a blue dial.

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

The blue dial is incredibly executed, with a pretty vast range of hue.  In bright lit settings, the dial is obviously a rich royal blue.  Take it to a slightly darker room and it deepens to a navy blue.  In a fairly dark setting, the dial looks black.  The nice part of the dial, is that you can get the range of all three shades,  depending on the angle you look at the watch.  As you will see in some of the pictures, the dial almost appears to be a gradient from certain angles.  Seiko has done a tremendous job (as they usually do) making the dial more than it appears.

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

The gold GMT hand has perfect contrast and compliments the blue perfectly.  Legibility is a key element to Grand Seiko and this watch lives true to the tale.  The combination of brushed and Zaratsu polished hands and markers only add to the legibility.  Even in dark settings, the non-luminescent timepiece will be legible.  The polished aspects reflect the most minimal amounts of light giving near an outline of the hands and indexes.  The more broad brushed attributes show contrast over the dark dial, so the hands and indexes do not reflect more of the night sky.  If the hands were fully polished and reflecting the dark, the hands would show no contrast to the dial and make it near impossible to read.

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

One of my favorite parts on this piece (as well as on any Grand Seiko) is the movement.  Seiko has taken the impressive 9S66 movement with 35 jewels, Spron 610 hairspring (for supreme durability and elasticity), and Spron 510 mainspring (for 72 hr power reserve as well as supreme durability and elasticity) and added something special to this commemorative Limited Edition.  The oscillating weight of the SBGM029 takes up near the entire case back is made of titanium, making the watch more resistant to corrosion and shock.  The titanium can actually  absorb 10 times the shock of the more commonly used brass, which will help in the prevention of movement damage if the piece is dropped.  Because the rotor is so lightweight and so large, one side is weighted with tungsten to ensure the rotor moves effortlessly.

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

The case and bracelet are the exact duplicate as the SBGM001.  Because Grand Seiko has only been available in the US only 2 years, I never had the opportunity to see the original SBGM001.  Now, after seeing the SBGM029 in person, I know why there was so much admiration for the 001.  It is a beautifully constructed design.  The 39.2mm case is a perfect size and shape, curving nicely to the wrist.  The engraved bezel looks spectacular.  Very detailed and precise.  The bracelet fits very comfortably and is built solid.  I like that the bracelet is mostly brushed, which will help hide signs of wear.

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Overall, the SBGM029 is a truly gorgeous and collectible timepiece.  Only 700 were made and will surely sell out fast.  This is a piece that I would love to add to my collection, and I’m sure many others out there would agree.  Retail on this piece is $6,700 .

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

I hope you enjoyed  the read and pictures.  Please stay tuned for the delivery of SBGM031 at the end of August.

Thank you!

Coming soon from Seiko…

At this years Basel Fair, Seiko introduced a number of very interesting items.  We were sure to share all the information (and pictures) we had at the time.  Recently at the JCK watch and jewelry show, we had the opportunity to re-visit some of this years introductions before their US release this fall.

One of Seiko’s most popular releases this year was the new Seiko Astron GPS Solar.  This timepiece is the 1st solar powered watch to receive updates from up to 4 GPS satellites to update accuracy, date and (most importantly) location.  At the push of a button the Seiko Astron GPS will update your watch to display the time in whatever current timezone you are in.  All have the quality build of Seiko Ananta for the case and bracelet, ceramic bezels and a sleep mode function that will allow the piece to go 3-4 years in the dark before running out of power.  Prices will start at $2,300 retail (SAST009-pictured below) up to $3,850 (SAST001 Limited Edition of 2,500).

Seiko Astron GPS SAST009

Seiko Astron GPS SAST009

Seiko Ananta introduced 2 new hand painted black lacquered dials this year.  One being SRQ015 Kumadori which uses the 8R28 movement found in most Ananta.  Kumadori is the name for the face paint worn by Japanese kabuki actors, in which the red striping indicates the powerful hero role.  You will see this characteristic in the dial of the Ananta, with the red striping surrounding the chronograph subdials.  This piece will be limited to 800 pieces and retail for $5,000.

Seiko Ananta Kumadori Limited Edition SRQ015

Seiko Ananta Kumadori Limited Edition SRQ015

The second version of Ananta to come out with the hand painted black lacquer dial is the all new SSD001.  This model introduces the 6S28 movement.  The movement derives from the very popular 6S37, does not have a power reserve display, but does boast a 50 hour power reserve.  This is the 1st time a 6S movement has been released to the US market.  The squared subdials pay tribute to the 1970’s Seiko 5 Speedtimer, with the modern twist of black coating to the case.  There will  be only 800 produced and retail will be $5,400.

Seiko Ananta Limited Edition SSD001

Seiko Ananta Limited Edition SSD001

This years celebrates the 10 year anniversary for the first Grand Seiko with a GMT function.  To honor this achievement, Seiko will be releasing 2 variations of Limited Editions, each with the beautiful GS deep blue dial and gold GMT hand.  SBGM029 (bracelet) will be limited to only 700 pieces and retail for $6,700.  SBGM031 (strap) will be limited to only 1,000 pieces and retail for $6,300.  Both pieces use the 9S66 movement, but modified with a new titanium rotor with tungsten weight, only available in this limited edition.

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM029

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM031

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM031

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM031

Grand Seiko GMT Limited Edition SBGM031

With almost no information available on this next piece, it is incredibly popular.  The new Grand Seiko Diver Limited Edition SBGA071 will be limited to only 150 pieces world wide.  This model uses the same deep blue on the new GMT limited pieces and has a gold and blue second hand.  It is a stainless steel case and bracelet with diver expansion clasp.  US retail is going to be $8,000.  These will certainly sell out in no time.

Grand Seiko Diver Limited Edition SBGA071

Grand Seiko Diver Limited Edition SBGA071

All of these products are due in October.  We would like to formally announce that AZ Fine Time, will once again, be hosting the Grand Seiko Roadshow Friday October 26th to launch the debut of these amazing timepieces!