Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

2014 marks the 10 year anniversary of the revolutionary Spring Drive movement in Grand Seiko.  The appearance of the 9R caliber truly pushed the envelope for accuracy not just in any mainspring driven watch, but then combined with the fit, finish and build quality of GS, started a whole new level of watchmaking.  To pay tribute to the introduction of Spring Drive into Grand Seiko in 2004, Seiko has released a limited edition model dubbed the SBGA109.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

The SBGA109 will be in the same 41mm titanium case and bracelet as found on the now iconic “Snowflake” model, as well as the hands and indexes.  The dial will also be a pure white, yet the texture is completely different.  Both the second hand and power reserve hand are in blue steel, with a different power reserve display texture as compared to the Snowflake.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

You can see the texture is a weaved square texture exposing little frames which contain small “GS” logos.  They, of course are very subtle, and at different angles of light become more noticeable.  The weaves condense from the 12:00-6:00  portion of the dial as well as from 9:00-3:00, creating smaller rectangular frames, without GS logos.  This gives the dial a far more complex look and reduces the amount of logos, creating a very interesting look.  The railway track type minutes and seconds counters at the outer edge of the dial is a great touch as well.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko is know for their subtle details and the SBGA109 is no exception.  Some may recall last years 9F 20th Anniversary model SBGX103 with small GS Lions found scattered throughout the dial, with the lion at the 20 minute marker facing the opposite direction as the rest.  The SBGA109 is similar, but with only one lion, located at the frame nearest the 10 minute marker.  This, of course, will signify the 10 year anniversary of the 9R Spring Drive caliber.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

The movement featured in the SBGA109 is one that we are quite excited to see more of… The high accuracy Spring Drive 9R15.  This will have the same +/- 10 second a month accuracy rating as the new “Self-Dater” Limited Edition models.  A notable difference in the 9R15 vs. the 9R65 is the 18k gold GS Lion medallion on the rotor and instead of having radial sating finish on the rotor, it is coated in striping.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA109

The 9R 10th Anniversary Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA109 is slotted for delivery this fall, and has an estimated retail of $7,000.  There will be 700 pieces made for the world with less than roughly 3% of production coming to the US market.

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA111

Grand Seiko 9R 10th Anniversary Spring Drive Limited Edition SBGA111

The 109 will not be the only anniversary model for 10 years of the 9R movement.  The slightly smaller 40.5mm stainless steel SBGA111 will also be released this fall.  The case is slightly more faceted, has oyster type bracelet and the 9R65 movement as opposed to the 9R15.  While we did not see this piece hands on, this will provide a chance to be a part of the 10th anniversary of the 9R Spring Drive, at an MSRP of $5,000.  This model will be limited to 1,500 pieces for the world.

Both models are currently available for pre-order at AZ Fine Time.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-486-3996 or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Advertisements

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083Grand Seiko has slowly been increasing their quantities of available models for the US market.  Originally expected as a Japanese Market only models, a new 39mm wide Spring Drive appeared on the availability list, making not only for the smallest case size for Spring Drive in GS, but also one of the best price points.  Today, we review the SBGA083 with beautiful champagne colored dial.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083The champagne dial is the most elaborate to manufacture in the GS line up.  The subtle characteristics of this dial take 12 steps to manufacture, starting with the base metal plate.   The plate is then cut, smoothed, and mirror polished.  After those steps are complete, a thick silver plating is applied.  The special sun ray finish labeled as “F-17” is then executed, followed by a light color gold plating and clear coating.  After the clear coat, the dial is then polished again, then cut for the date, and finally another mirror polish is applied.  From there, the print is done for text, seconds and power reserve display in both black and clue colors, followed by applying the indexes.  As you can see, a lot of work goes into the dial, it has a beautiful spectrum of color ranging from silver to gold, and its beauty can only be justified in person.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083Hands and indexes are a vital part of what make Grand Seiko ultimately legible.  The Zaratsu Katana blade finish is applied to all of the hour indexes, as well as the hands.  The indexes are diamond cut on multiple surfaces in order to reflect light, even in low light conditions. The hands are brought to razor sharp edges, meticulously diamond cut at 5 angles to also guarantee legibility in low light.  A dual curved anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal is manufactured in-house, to show no distortion, even when looking at low levels.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083Another outstanding trait of GS is the finishing on the case and bracelet.  The Zaratsu finish is trusted in only a very few craftsmen, and brings each Grand Seiko case to a gorgeous mirror finish that shows no distortion.  The curved surface of the case goes through this hand polishing technique and is extended to the lug of the case smoothly, again, showing no distortion.  The case dimensions on the stainless steel SBGA083 is 39mm wide, 12.3mm thick and weighs in at 148g.  The bracelet is actually their 3 piece satin finished oyster type bracelet, with screw caps on each side of the links, and a free floating pin in between.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083The movement used is the immaculate 9R65 self-winding Spring Drive caliber.  Hand made and manufactured in-house at Shinshu watch studios in Japan, the 9R65 has the amazing accuracy rating of +/- 15 seconds a month.  Spring Drive is solely powered by a mainspring, but unlike most mechanical watches, uses a unique Tri-Synchro Regulator system as opposed to a tradition escapement.  The mainsprings power is converted to electricity powering a quartz oscillator, integrated circuit, and electro-magnetic brake in order to control the unwinding of the mainspring with quartz like accuracy and a smooth gliding second hand unlike any other in the industry.  All components for this movement are made in-house including the IC, electro-magnetic brake, alloys for the mainspring.  Even the quartz crystals are grown in-house!

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083The MSRP on the Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083 is $4,750, which is currently the least expensive option in GS for a Spring Drive model in their current production.  This model (along with its black dial counter part SBGA085) also have a closed case back, which is something not before seen in the US line up.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGA083  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 with any questions or submit an inquiry through AZFineTime.com.

Thanks for reading!

See our video review below…

See more pictures below…

Grand Seiko Roadshow at AZ Fine Time – Highlights

Mountains in Suwa near Shinshu Watch Studio in 9R65

Ahhh, the wonders of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive.  We have here the 9R65 caliber, produced at Shinshu watch studio in Japan.  This movement, and its variants, are truly special in many ways.  Not only the worlds most accurate movement driven by a mainspring, but completely in-house manufactured and assembled by hand at Shinshu in Suwa, a part of the Nagano prefecture.  The Japanese alps surrounding the studio are expressed in the top plate of the movement, which is one of many subtle attributes to Grand Seiko that collectors admire.  Last Friday, Dec 13th 2013, Arizona Fine Time was fortunate enough to share the tremendous skill it takes to build a Grand Seiko Spring Drive movement during our 4th annual Grand Seiko Roadshow featuring Master Watchmaker Junya Kamijo!

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Mr. Kamijo assembled the 9R86 Spring Drive Chronograph movement here in our retail store, which consists of 416 parts and 50 jewels.  Customers watched in amazement as Mr. Kamijo built the 9R86 right in front of their eyes, making it appear easy.  As one of only 3 watchmakers actually assembling the chronograph GMT movement, you could imagine his qualifications are far above standard.

9R86 Spring Drive Chronograph GMT movement assembly watchmaking

9R86 Spring Drive Chronograph GMT movement assembly watchmaking

9R86 Spring Drive Chronograph GMT movement assembly watchmaking

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko movement assembly

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

9R86 Spring Drive Chronograph GMT movement assembly watchmaking

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC001 Dial

9R86 Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT movement

9R86 Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT movement column wheel

9R86 Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT movement

The party was a tremendous success with customers visiting from all over the country just to see the “behind the scenes” magic that is Grand Seiko.  We couldn’t have asked for a better turn out and sincerely appreciate everyone who attended the event.

Grand Seiko Roadshow 2013 at AZ Fine Time

Grand Seiko Roadshow 2013 at AZ Fine Time

Grand Seiko Roadshow 2013 at AZ Fine Time

Grand Seiko Roadshow 2013 at AZ Fine Time

Grand Seiko Roadshow 2013 at AZ Fine Time

Grand Seiko Roadshow 2013 at AZ Fine Time

Grand Seiko Roadshow 2013 at AZ Fine Time

Customers who made purchases during the event received autographs from Mr. Kamijo.  I have to say… He gave out a lot of autographs that evening!

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo

Grand Seiko Watchmaker Junya Kamijo autograph for customer

Another great aspect of the night was the presentation table, where you get to see Grand Seiko’s parts, literally under a microscope.  Here’s a shot of the integrated circuit that is used to translate the frequency of the quartz oscillator to the electro-magnetic brake, which regulates the glide wheel, providing the supreme accuracy and smooth gliding motion of Spring Drive.  A lot of technology in a tiny little piece.

Integrated Circuit  for Grand Seiko

And a slightly less close up of the IC.

Integrated Circuit  for Grand Seiko Spring Drive The quartz oscillator itself.

Grand Seiko OscillatorBelow is theglassy metal core of the coil which is 18 layers of 25 micron thick amorphous.  The coil wound around the core is perfectly aligned wound around the coil block an amazing 25,00o times.  This along with the difficult to manufacture amorphous core is what makes Spring Drive so efficient when it comes to electrical energy.

25 micron thick amorphous core and coil block

The 9R65’s mainspring is made of an in-house developed alloy called Spring 510, giving it an impressive 72 hour power reserve off of only one barrel.

Spron 510 mainspring for 9R65 movment

Barrel for Spron 510 mainspring for 9R65 movment

Spron 510 mainspring for 9R65 movment

The shots below are of the 9R65 caliber, from many different angles, giving you a slightly better idea on placement of parts as well as quality of finish.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9R65 Movement

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9R65 Movement

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9R65 Movement Glide Wheel

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9R65 Movement

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9R65 Movement

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9R65 Movement

Grand Seiko Spring Drive 9R65 Movement

A close up shot of the 9F62 high accuracy quartz movement.  This rarely seen movement boasts a +/- 10 second a year accuracy rating due to thermo-compensation of the quartz crystal (which it checks and corrects 540 times a day), 50 year service life internally due to its “super sealed cabin”, increased toque to drive heavy metal hands and still maintain a 3 year battery life due to its twin pulse motor, has a backlash auto-adjust to ensure the hand stops exactly on the marker with no vibration, and even a “pacing switch” to manually adjust accuracy.  This movement is also made at Shinshu.

Grand Seiko 9F62 HAQ Quartz Movement

Next we get into the insides of the 9S mechanical movements made at Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio in Morioka Japan. First is the 9S65 Mechanical Automatic with a rate of 28,800 bph.

9S85 Grand Seiko Mechanical Hi-Beat Automatic movement

The mainspring utilized is the same Spring 510 alloy used in Spring Drive.  This ultra resilient alloy also allows for a 72 hour power reserve on the 9S65.

Spron 510 mainspring for 9S65 mechanical movment

The hairspring used is also labeled as Spron, but the 610 instead of 510.  The alloy is so durable, we actually saw it stretched to its limits at last years Roadshow and it recoiled perfectly flat, where as other hairsprings become completely uncoiled and deformed.

Spron 610 Hairspring Balance Wheel

Here is the 9S85 Hi-Beat caliber.  This 36,000 bph movement brings the highest accuracy in a purely mechanical watch, while still maintaing its durability.

9S65 Grand Seiko Mechanical Automatic

The hairspring on this model is the same Spring 610 utilized in the 9S65, but swings much faster.

Spron 610 Hairspring Balance Wheel - MEMS Pallet Fork Escapement Gear

The escapement system all by its lonesome.  Truly incredible technology has allowed for the immaculate construction of the pallet fork and escapement wheel.  The use of MEMS (Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems) allows the manufacturing of parts that are 10 times the durability of traditionally machined parts.
Spron 610 Hairspring Balance Wheel - MEMS Pallet Fork Escapement Gear

The mainspring used is the Spron 530 alloy.  This material provides a 55 hour power reserve on the higher torque, higher frequency movement.

Spron 530 mainspring for 9S85 mechanical Hi-Beat movmentBelow you will see the case assembly for the SBGH001 9S85 Hi-Beat.  The mirror finished polish is thanks to the very few craftsmen who spend an abundance of time polishing by hand.

Case for SBGH001

The bezel is also finished in the katana blade hand polishing technique called “Zaratsu”.

Bezel of SBGH001

Seiko also manufactures the sapphire crystal in-house.  A good majority of this ultra clear, distortion free crystal is thanks to Seiko’s optics division Seiko Optical Products Co. LTD.

Seiko in-house Sapphire Crystal

Seiko in-house Sapphire Crystal

Seiko in-house Sapphire Crystal

Seiko in-house Sapphire Crystal

The case back of the SBGH001 (as well as many others) use sapphire crystal with a very subtle hologram of the Grand Seiko lion logo.

SBGH001 Case Back with Grand Seiko Hologram

The hands of Grand Seiko’s are also polished by hand and brought to the mirror Zaratsu finish.  The 5 facet diamond cut hands provide greater legibility at night, catching the slightest bit of light, and making it glimmer like a diamond.

Diamond Cut hands for Grand Seiko

a close up of the dial of the SBGH0o1, which uses the same multi-faceted, Zaratsu finish technique to add to legibility on the indexes.  The dial process itself is incredibly elaborate, with 12 steps to complete its unique silvery radial sunburst finish.

Dial for SBGH001

Towards the end of the night, Seiko gathered a group of people in the room and Regional Vice President Rick Rowlands started to make a speech.  Much to my surprise, the boys from Seiko awarded me with the new Seiko Astron GPS Kintaro Hattori Limited Edition for “outstanding support”.   The watch was presented to me by Mr. Shunji Tanaka, who from what I understand is in charge of global sale of Astron.  All I can say is that I am still surprised, incredibly honored, and truly grateful!  From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU SEIKO for this wonderful gift!

Seiko Astron GPS Kintaro Hattori at AZ Fine Time

Seiko Astron GPS Kintaro Hattori at AZ Fine Time

The picture below is with Mr. Tanaka, Mr. Yosh Kawada (President of Seiko USA), myself, and Mitchel Hirsh (owner of AZ Fine Time).  If you can’t tell, I’m incredibly excited with that huge goofy grin on my face!

Seiko Astron GPS Kintaro Hattori at AZ Fine TimeWe’d sincerely like to thank all of Seiko for putting on such an amazing event.  A very special thank you to all the great guys from Seiko who attended the event (from left to right) Mr. Keith “Don Kiki” Oda, Mr. Rick Rowlands, Mr. Yosh Kawada, Mr. Junya Kamijo, Mr. Shunji Tanaka, Mr. Shu Yoshino, and Mr. Kinya Iwami.  All of your hard work is truly appreciated!

Staff from Seiko USA and Seiko Japan

We’d also like to thank our friends Jessica from TimeZone.com and Paul Hubbard from ABlogtoWatch.com for attending the event.  Always a pleasure!

Most importantly… I would sincerely like to thank all of our customers who attended the event, participated in the event online, and who have supported us over the years… Your support and friendship means the world to us!!!

Staying “ONE STEP AHEAD OF THE REST”!!

Staff from Seiko USA, Seiko Japan, and AZ Fine Time

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!

Please check out our video below of Junya Kamijo working on the 9R86 movement…

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011 And New SBGA089, SBGA090, SBGA092

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

I write this article today for two reasons… 1. The Snowflake has been the No. 1 selling Grand Seiko out of the entire line up.  I have been privileged enough to own this piece now for a year and a half, and wanted to share my personal experience with this amazing timepiece. 2. I want to introduce a new very special Snowflake that will be coming exclusively to AZ Fine Time in the USA.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

With the Snowflake being a part of my collection for sometime now, I feel it is only appropriate to sing it the praise it deserves.  This piece has become my everyday wear, and I almost never remove it from my wrist.  It has been through thick and thin (and sometimes I feel I abuse it), but still manages to be by far my favorite piece I own with no exceptions.  I currently own 19 watches, most have not seen my wrist in a long time.  There is nothing but pride when I wear my Snowflake, and for many good reasons.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

We were 1st introduced to the Snowflake during our 1st Grand Seiko Roadshow back in 2010.  At the time, we had only seen pictures of the model and never had the watch hands on.  Master watchmaker from Shinshu Watch Studio, Junya Kamijo, was in store building a Grand Seiko Diver.  We noticed on his wrist the pure white dial and asked him to show off the beautiful timepiece.  He did not speak very much english, so he had another gentleman from Japan (Kosuke “Reggie” Kiryu) explain how the piece had acquired the nickname “Snowflake” at the factory.  The watches inspiration was, in fact, the winters of the Suwa Nagano region of Japan (where Shinshu watch studio was located).  The dial resembled the snow fall in Suwa.  Since it is in central Japan, with less humidity, the snowfall is light and airy and leaves snowdrift patterns as also seen in the alps surrounding.  The titanium case is to make it as light as a snowflake, and blue second hand and text is to give it the cold feel.  There was much pride in this piece and since one of the top Spring Drive watchmakers considered it his favorite, it was hard for the rest of us not to.  Ever since then, I had been drawn to this piece and decided it was a must to have in my collection.  Apparently, I was not the only one.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

In my experience, my Snowflake has managed to maintain only gaining 1 second every seven weeks or so.  It has been this way since I purchased it well over a year ago.  There has been no change in its 72 hour power reserve, still maintaining perfectly.  The most incredible part as that there has been no love lost since I first purchased the piece.  I still find myself staring at its mesmerizing gliding of the second hand, as well as the beauty of the dial and finish on the case and bracelet.  The “honeymoon period” of this watch has not gone away, nor do I think it will.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

As a brief overview of the watch itself, it is a 41mm proprietary Seiko alloy of titanium, that is not only lightweight, but also has an incredible finish allowed by this alloy.  The Zaratsu katana blade polishing technique is incredibly impressive and comes to a mirror finish.  It is highly unusual to see titanium in this quality of finish. The 9R65 Spring Drive movement utilized is truly unique and extremely high quality.  The uni-directional flow of Spring Drive is something incredibly unique, and something no one else in the industry has achieved.  At its new MSRP of only $6,300, it is truly an amazing value.

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGA011

With the popularity of the Snowflake SBGA011, a new, very special Snowflake has emerged.  The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Snowflake Special has officially been announced, and will be delivering exclusively to Arizona Fine Time in the US towards the end of August.

Grand Seiko Snowflake Special 18kt Gold, - SBGA089, SBGA090, SBGA092

Grand Seiko Snowflake Special 18kt Gold – SBGA089, SBGA090, SBGA092

Only one each of the SBGA089 18kt White Gold, SBGA090 18kt Yellow Gold, and SBGA092 18kt Rose Gold will be coming stateside, and AZFT is extremely proud to have all 3 exclusive.  These new 39mm case with black leather straps will have a very special attribute never before seen in the US market.  The Spring Drive 9R15 movement is an even higher accuracy rating than typical Spring Drive at only +/- 10 seconds a month deviation.  The quartz crystals utilized in the Tri-Synchro Regulator have been specially aged, tested and hand picked to ensure the highest quality.  Since there are very few of these crystals available, this model will be extremely limited availability.  To show the uniqueness of this piece, Seiko has an 18kt gold GS medallion on the rotor of the 9R15, which will be visible through the exhibition case back.

If you are interested in reserving one of the 18kt Snowflakes, highly recommend acting fast.  Due to the recent price decrease, these will be the least expensive 18kt gold pieces to ever hit the US market.  Please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996 with any questions or check out AZ Fine Time to see more.

Thanks for reading!

See our video review below…

See more pictures below…

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver Titanium SBGA031

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

With now over 100 years of watchmaking and over 50 years of manufacturing some of the finest timepieces in the world, Grand Seiko has continued to stick to its roots when it comes to creating the “ideal watch”.  With the birth of Grand Seiko, a new standard in watchmaking was created.  GS was to be more accurate, durable, legible, and easier to wear, than any other watch in the world.  The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver Titanium SBGA031 holds true to all these traits, and so much more.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

The SBGA031 will surpass the accuracy of any other watch driven by a mainspring by incredible amounts.  Thanks to the Spring Drive 9R65 calibre, the accuracy rating on this piece is +/- 15 seconds a month (equivalent to +/- 1 sec a day).  The rating, however, is not the same as actual performance.  Realistically, most Spring Drives will only deviate 1-3 seconds a month, which is far superior compared to all mechanicals, and even some quartz.     The Spring Drive 9R65 is Seiko’s own, COMPLETELY in-house manufactured and designed, calibre (which took about 28 years to develop).  Utilizing only the power from the mainspring, the 9R65 is regulated by an electromagnetic brake, integrated circuit and quartz crystal to control the unwinding of the mainspring.  In turn, this gives it incredible accuracy, but also a gliding motion of the second hand that is as smooth and fluid as the natural flow of time itself.  With 276 parts and 30 jewels, you would think Spring Drive would be sensitive.  Because Spring Drive is a uni-directional motion (and there is no hairspring/escapement in the movement) there is less tension, making it more durable and service is required less frequently than a typical mechanical.  It is truly an incredible mechanism and has certainly proved itself over the many years we have carried it.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

Seiko has thoroughly thought about the longevity of this piece.  As you will see in the picture below, the most frequently damaged parts are implemented in new designs, to ensure easy and inexpensive repairs.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive DIver SBGA031 SBGA029

Many ask, “Why not use a ceramic bezel to prevent scratching?”.  As you may well know, ceramic is scratch resistant, where the black hard coated bezel of the SBGA031 is not.  Ceramic, however, is delicate and can crack.  Should your ceramic bezel break, who would want to spend over $1,200 on the repair?  The bezel is a frequently damaged part in any watch, and Seiko has kept the consumer in mind, making a durable, but easily fixable, high quality bezel.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

Legibility can make or break any watch, but with Grand Seiko, this is never the case.  Each design is thoroughly tested to ensure the hands and indexes are perfectly sized and shaped for easy reading.  The dial on the SBGA031 is made of a matte black Japanese lacquer to aid in its legibility, and the large hands are made of a brushed titanium as to keep down the weight of the hands, but still provide the time clearly.  For the diving aspect of the watch, they use Seiko’s highest quality Lumi-Brite to provide luminescence in the darkest of waters, for very long periods of time.  For those who don’t plan to be diving with this piece, the lume could easily glow strong through the entire night.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

Also, the SBGA031 has a High-Definition Sapphire Crystal (which is also made in house) and uses its own proprietary anti-reflective coating.  The Super-Clear Coating used gives the benefits of AR coating, but without the blue glare.  All this is implemented to prevent any distortion in the dial.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

As far as wearability goes…  This could easily be one of the most comfortable divers watches on the market.  The 44.2mm wide and 14mm thick case is designed to sit perfectly on just about any wrist.  The watch is very well balanced and the subtle curvature of the case gives an unbelievable comfort (especially considering its size). Of course, the use of Seiko’s proprietary alloy, High-Intensity Titanium adds tremendously to its comfort.  At only 137g, the watch has enough weight for you to know it’s there, but not to weigh down your wrist.  The finish applied to the titanium is an incredibly unique “Zaratsu” katana blade polishing technique that brings it to a mirror finish.  Only a handful of craftsmen are qualified to provide this finish to Grand Seiko.  The case and every individual link in the bracelet is hand finished, only by one of these few artists.  Many of our customers have compared this finish to that of a watch that costs well over $25,000.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

In addition to its comfort, Seiko has incorporated an adjustable clasp that not only has micro-adjustments, but also a divers expansion clasp that can easily fit over a wet suit.  You can deploy this extension by pulling back on the locking mechanism of the clasp, and once to the desired position, will lock in place to ensure it will not extend any further.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

Another question that is frequently asked about this piece is “Why is this diver only rated to 200m?”.  There is a simple explanation.  It is all that is necessary for a recreational diver.  In fact, most recreational diving will max out at 132ft.  This Grand Seiko is intended to be an everyday watch, that will work well for someone who enjoys diving as a hobby.  There’s no need for the watch to be rated to 3,900m, if its wearer will never go anywhere near that deep.  Seiko does make watches for professional divers that have much higher dive ratings.  Those are more so tool watches for professionals, as opposed to something you would wear everyday, like Grand Seiko.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver 200m Titanium SBGA031

In closing, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver Titanium SBGA031 is a very well thought out, beautifully finished, and amazingly accurate timepiece.  Grand Seiko is second to none when it comes to quality and, without a doubt, one of the finest brands in the watch industry.

If you have any questions regarding Grand Seiko, please feel free to call us at 1-800-486-3996.

See our video review…

Thanks for reading!