Despite being in business since 1960, the world wasn’t properly introduced to the Grand Seiko watches until 2010. Before that, the watch was made available either by flying over to Japan or by browsing around Japanese online retailers. The aim of Grand Seiko was that the world could see the beauty of Japanese watchmaking. And ever since then, this brand has become one of the most sought-after and quality-driven timepieces and existence.
Before we list our favorite Grand Seiko watches, we feel that you should know why this watch is so special.
Why Grand Seiko Watches Are So Special
Besides the luxury that comes with it, Grand Seiko features several aspects that put it ahead of other timepieces. Some of these features include the quality of its craftsmanship, it’s finishing as well as its history.
One of Grand Seiko watches’ best features is, without a doubt, its craftsmanship. This watch series has remained true to the conventional means of watch adjustment, assembly, and polishing.
The watchmakers of Grand Seiko watches use a technique known as “zaratsu.” This is an ancient sword-making technique to polish swords and is now used to polish every part of the Grand Seiko wristwatch. The watch is assembled by professional wrist watchmakers. The testing and adjustment of the watch are required by COSC on all 5 positions, including a sixth for gravity effects. It’s a process that takes 17 days to complete.
Another one of Grand Seiko’s strengths is their consistent spring drive movement. The movement utilizes the mechanical assembly from the 60s, along with a high-tech tri synchro regulator. This results in a kind of technology that prevents the use of batteries. Instead, the watch gets its power from a mainspring, and with better accuracy at that than many quartz wristwatches.
What we’re trying to say is that Grand Seiko’s quartz and mechanical movements are the best in the world. The quartz movements also referred to as 9F, are surprisingly accurate. The least accurate movements read 10 seconds a year and the most accurate 5 Seconds. This only serves to indicate that the Grand Seiko 9F is not to be taken for granted.
All this tells us that the mechanical movements of Grand Seiko watches are reliable, accurate and simple. Even the oldest division of the brand doesn’t misrepresent what it stands for in terms of technology and tradition.
Grand Seiko Watches History
Grand Seiko was brought to this world due to the brand’s inability to make a mark in the luxury watch market at the time. One of the brand’s divisions, Suwa, was tasked with literally producing the greatest wristwatch possible. The classic model Grand Seiko was a three-handed model that was widely renowned.
After that, Grand Seiko has been consistently improving on the quality of its watches. Time and again, the brand has come up with a new standard in the luxury watch market. Then in 1964, the brand entered the international Neufchatel chronometer testing. Although it didn’t do well at first, they managed to still rank in the top ten before the competition was axed.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the best Grand Seiko watches that you can get your hands on today.
Best Grand Seiko Watches of Today
1: The Calibre 9S – SBGR311
Starting off our list is the Calibre 9S SGBR311. This model was introduced to celebrate the caliber’s 20-year anniversary since it was introduced in 1998.
Most of the grand Seiko models of today are built from the acclaimed caliber 9S. The SBGR311 comes with a lavish dark wooden brown dial in an enchanting radial pattern. It’s both pleasing to the eyes and effective in telling us the time.
The caliber 9S is special in a number of ways. Firstly, it utilizes state-of-the-art technologies such as MEMS, which stands for microelectromechanical systems. This is the kind of technology that provides extreme precision and tolerates inaccuracies of a thousandth of a millimetre. Secondly, this technology is combined with conventional craftsmanship in which each gear is meticulously hand-polished. This way, less friction is guaranteed for more appropriate timekeeping and that the lifespan of each component is increased.
2: Grand Seiko SBGA129 AJHH Limited Edition
Next up is the SBGA129, otherwise known as snowflake due to the color of its dial. It has an automatic Calibre of 9R65 movement, which is Grand Seiko’s most well-known Spring Drive movement.
The silver-colored second hand operates at a slow but smooth hypnotic movement that is different from other movements like Hi-Beat. The model’s case diameter is 13 mm thick and 39 mm wide. It also features a 72-hour power reserve with a 10-bar water-resistance level.
The purpose behind the creation of the watch was so that it offered durability, precision and beauty. It’s also what helped launch the career of Grand Seiko. And there’s not another watch that best represents those characteristics than the Snowflake. It’s only really precise, thanks to its Spring Drive movement. With it, the watch has a mechanical watch’s soul and a quartz watch’s accuracy.
Along with its beautiful dial and excellent finishes, Snowflake’s titanium case is extremely durable.
3: The Hi-Beat – SBGH267
Another watch to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Calibre 9S is the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat SBGH267. This model also commemorates the 50th anniversary of Grand Seiko Hi-Beat.
The first model, the 61GS, was the brand’s first 36000 vph movement that was launched in 1968. It was also this model that gave the Japanese brand recognition as one of the most accurate watches on the planet. And now, there are several Hi-Beat models available in the GS lineup
The SBGH267 is the most affordable of all Calibre 9S models that were introduced. Despite the low-price, it is no way inferior to its gold and platinum brethren. The SBGH267 Hi-Beat boasts the same features as the metal models. Some of them include the dial motive and the Zaratsu polished case. However, the steel model’s dial comes in a deep blue color. The dial also introduces a new 39.5 mm case size to the series.