Seiko has been riding a surging wave of late, with the obvious confidence that the brand has displayed being expressed in their ever expanding and diversified offerings across their collections. We saw this in the launch of this year’s premium Prospex LX line and also now in the Grand Seiko collection, with the new Spring Drive GMT SBGE248 with 18K gold in the bezel for the first time.
Coming dressed in an aesthetic that might have gone a little too far only a few years ago for the then relatively conservative and sombre brand, we see now with this new watch, Grand Seiko having a bit of fun, after many years of educating the world on their unique vision of watchmaking. Certainly, the aesthetics have started to become very interesting, and this was a change that was most obvious with the introduction of the ceramic/titanium cased Grand Seiko GMT Chronograph in 2017, looking all technologically advanced and futuristic with its angular lines and facets.
With this new SBGE248, we are seeing the combination of a retro vibe with an overtly luxurious touch, courtesy of 18K gold in the bezel, combined with a new shade of blue for the indicator ring and the dial. The result is a relaxed, summer vibe, which somehow reminds me a little of a pre Super Case 18K Yellow Gold Rolex Submariner with blue dial.
Speaking of which, this might just be a watch that you can look closely at if you’ve been unsuccessful in getting hold of a professional Rolex watch recently, and want something with a similar functional vibe.
The SBGE248 comes with the proven and reliable Spring Drive GMT Caliber 9R66 that we are familiar with, with an 72 hour power reserve, accuracy to ±1 second per day / ±15 seconds per month on average, an independently adjustable hour hand, a power reserve indicator at 8 o’clock, the date at 4 o’clock, and a rotating bezel that allows the tracking of 3 timezones in total at the same time. Not to mention that this is the engine that provides one of the most sensational visual delights in horology, the sight of the ultra smooth seconds hand gliding around the dial.
The rest of the watch is also familiar, with a 44mm case in stainless steel. As well, Lumibrite is used on the hands and indexes as expected, and also, quite uncommonly (for other brands) on the bezel, for the ultimate in low light legibility.
The SBGE248 will be available worldwide from September 2019 with an approximate suggested retail price of €12,500