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Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ227 Watch Brings The Popular Green Dial GMT Back

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ227 Watch Brings The Popular Green Dial GMT Back Watch Releases

The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT watches from a few years ago were a hit, and particularly the limited edition SBGJ005 with a green dial and orange GMT hand. The winning style and popularity of that particular model were too strong for Grand Seiko to ignore, so it’s back with the same colors for the same underlying watch model, but with a different treatment and texture for the dial. The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ227 for 2017 features a radial pattern that kind of looks like a wicker weave, but that the brand says is meant to reference a peacock’s tail. Perhaps most notably, however, is that it is slightly more accessible than its predecessor in terms of both price and availability.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ227 Watch Brings The Popular Green Dial GMT Back Watch Releases

Another big difference between the new Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT SBGJ227 and the 2014 model is that, following Grand Seiko’s supposed secession from Seiko this year (in reality, a subtle rebranding), the GS Grand Seiko logo alone now marks the top spot on the dial of all Grand Seiko watches. Here, also, the “GS” is in a matching orange along with the “GMT” text – and the 24-hour numerals are now in white (instead of orange as on the SBGJ005). Small changes, but the basic model and style are essentially consistent with the previous model.

Let’s review the basics of the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT SBGJ watches. Based on the 9S85 automatic movement that powers three-hand movements with the date, the 9S86 adds a GMT function to display a second time zone in 24-hour format. This is Grand Seiko’s “Hi-Beat” movement family, meaning it operates at 5Hz or 36,000bph – hence the watches’ name. The Zenith El Primero chronograph movement, of course, is certainly the most famous 5Hz movement, but it is still very uncommon in modern watches and one way that Grand Seiko is able to distinguish itself and offer something a bit different.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ227 Watch Brings The Popular Green Dial GMT Back Watch Releases

A higher frequency is said to be beneficial for the movement’s accuracy, and the sweep of its seconds hand will be even smoother than that of the much more common 4Hz movements – of course, Grand Seiko’s own Spring Drive movements easily beat the Hi-Beat movements in both accuracy and smoothness of sweep. Grand Seiko promises +5 to -3 seconds per day accuracy for the watch (when static), and Seiko has been known to be very careful not to overstate accuracy claims. A higher frequency often has to be balanced against its relatively higher power demands, but the 9S86 offers a quite respectable 55 hours of power reserve.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ227 Watch Brings The Popular Green Dial GMT Back Watch Releases

No caseback images available for now, but we can expect the view of the movement through a sapphire crystal window to be similar if not the same as the SBGJ005 from 2014. As a way to further distinguish the model’s limited-edition nature, apart from being more colorful than its black and white dialed siblings, the SBGJ005 had an unusual titanium rotor with an “anodic oxidized finish” that kind of looks like tarnished brass. Subsequent limited edition versions, such as the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT SBGJ021, also had an interesting treatment for the skeletonized rotor.


Unchanged from 2014, the 100m water-resistant steel case is 40mm wide, and Seiko says it is based on the 44GS design from 1967 as a “contemporary re-interpretation.” A thickness of 14.4mm should help give this otherwise pretty moderately sized watch a little more presence on the wrist. The brand promises that its “zaratsu” technique means distortion-free surfaces for the polished parts of the case and those strong- and sharp-looking hands. The sapphire crystal is curved on both sides, as this also minimizes distortions, with anti-reflective coating – Seiko even calls its crystal “high definition.”

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ227 Watch Brings The Popular Green Dial GMT Back Watch Releases

If a green dial watch is seen as too niche and simply must be a limited edition, I hope Seiko keeps making more iterations of the SBGJ005 like this SBGJ227… until I can one day afford to spring for it. The new Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Limited Edition SBGJ227 is a step towards that with a lower price and higher production. Being slightly less “exclusive” might make owners of the SBGJ005 feel better about having paid more. Retail price in the US is $6,500 and the watch is limited to 700 pieces – whereas the SBGJ005 from 2014 had a price of $7,250 and was limited to 600 pieces.

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  • Very nice! And with only 2-3 different fonts.

    They only issue I have with the GS GMT’s is that the GMT hand is too prominent. It’s the first thing that you see every time you glance at the watch. While on this version the hands create some contrast with the green dial — on the silver dial GMT you have zero contrast between the hands and dial, and a blue GMT hand that just pops too much.

  • Tea Hound

    Handset, dial, general case shape.

    Grand Seiko font and logo, bracelet.

    • Pete Pete

      I really can’t get used to the upside down dials. I want a seiko logo on top and the gs logo on the bottom. that’s just how things are supposed to be.

  • Mikita

    Well, well, well.. What should I get – an emerald green GS based on the inhouse 36,000 bph caliber of his majesty’s Bumfurt-spayed TAG based on the old proven 2824 clone?

    • Kuroji


    • Yan Fin

      Just get a real horse.

  • Yan Fin

    You would think that for this price you can get generally matching date background color…

  • SuperStrapper

    This is easily one of Seikos best dials ever.

  • IanE

    Interesting dial – makes me dizzy just looking at these renderings. The SBGJ005 dial was much more pleasing to my eyes.

  • Beefalope

    That is … really nice.

  • Whatever I say about GS will come across as heretical, like calling Nirvana overrated, or opining that Citizen Kane was a Iousy, boring movie.

    Lovely enough piece: gorgeous dial texture with an odd but unique color choice, terribly ordinary handset, laughably discordant date window. $6500 for a steel cased dress watch? No. I saw a NOS SBGM021 sell recently for $3200; that’s about what these should go for.

    • Pete Pete

      gs are a bit pricey, but nobody pays full retail. in japan you get 20% off absolutely everywhere – unless you insist on buying at wako in ginza or at the official flagship store.

      considering that and the quality of a gs, the price difference to a nomos is actually reasonable.

      • NOS = New Old Stock.

        Not Nomos 🙂

        • Pete Pete

          oops. I guess hould be wearing my glasses more often

    • egznyc

      I give you an upvote for calling it as you see it. (I don’t find GS boring. Nirvana??? Wasn’t that a band in the early ’90s? 😉 And IMHO Citizen Kane deserves to be considered among the finest of films ever made.)

  • Ross Diljohn

    I know this watch like many others has a following and even a devout one at that but honestly Grand Seiko is one of the most boring looking watches ever and I don’t think a green dial is going to change that much. The movement is of far more interest however.

    • Pete Pete

      boring is a bit harsh. they are very conservative looking, that’s true. but real beauty of a gs is in the details. only when you take a loupe and see the absolute perfection of for example the hands, you can understand why people fall in love with them.

      • Ross Diljohn

        I respect your opinion and agree they are kings among men when it comes to the finish but I can’t fall in love with it I’m afraid. Maybe it’s just me. Perhaps it’s the horological version of the age old beauty vs personality debate.

        • Gokart Mozart

          Exactly! Respect it but don’t love it. Like a Mercedes, or an Audi, or McLaren, or any jap sports car.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I really like this watch. Really miss the chance to try them on. I would like to see how the light plays on the dial. I took a little sharp breath in when i got down to the price………..not good.

    • A_watches

      Honestly it’s a very good value proposition all things considered. Nothing in Switzerland or Germany gets close.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        To be honest with you, i think that Sieko is getting ideas above its station going all grand and limited.

        • A_watches

          Anybody who argues it is too expensive clearly doesnt understand watches or value

          • Raymond Wilkie

            It’s too expensive.

  • Marius

    This is by far my favourite Grand Seiko, and, in my opinion, one of the best value offerings that one can find on the market today.

    From a quality perspective, this watch needs no introduction. The fit & finish of the dial is stellar and unsurpassed at this pricepoint — in fact, even $20,000 watches would struggle against this GS. The case is also highly-finished, and the 9S86 movement is top-notch. Besides being manufactured completely in-house, this caliber is nicely-decorated and has some interesting technical features such as 5Hz rate, SPRON balance spring, an optimized balance wheel, etc.

    From a usability perspective, this timepiece offers another great advantage — versatility. Granted, the design isn’t the most eccentric; however, this wasn’t Grand Seiko `s intention. GS designed this watch as an everyday, versatile timepiece that can be worn for almost any occasion. And, the green dial & yellow GMT hand give this watch a touch of color and personality. What’s more, the GMT complication is quite useful, especially for me, considering that I always need to know the time in Bangkok and Pattaya. I have a ladyboy in Bangkok, and another one in Pattaya because I don’t want to keep all my eggs in one basket.

    Lastly, from a value perspective, this watch is almost impossible to beat. For instance, an entry-level Rolex such as the Oyster Perpetual or the Air King costs around $6,000. I find the GS better-looking, much better-finished, and featuring a more interesting caliber. Another competitor would be the JLC Master Control. Although the JLC 8XX movement is slightly more attractive, it doesn’t offer a GMT function, and overall, I find the GS slightly more interesting. Overall, you will seriously struggle to find a watch that offers this level of quality, fit & finish, and top-notch in-house movement at $6,500.

    • Thomas

      The beige GMT hand ruins the entire watch in a way not previously seen since the milgauss

    • Gokart Mozart

      Good choice, probably one of my favourite GS’s as well, despite the dodgy case shape.

      First thing yo go would be CLUNK with the bracelet and get s nice strap.

    • Des Sullivan

      Sorry mate it will never be a Rolex and will not hold its value as such.

  • A_watches

    Simply fantastic, watch funds running bit low, but this is on buy list for next year if still around!

  • Sam Soul

    That’s a real nice dial.

  • GCabot

    Am I blind, or is the GMT hand/text and logo gold, not orange?

  • Yanko

    Fantastic. Period. Great article, thank you Zen.

  • Jason Mirabello

    gorgeous watch

  • Joe

    I like Grand Seiko but generally not their case shapes.
    The case shape I liked most were based on the 62GS. The SBGR095 or SBGA125/7.
    Slightly thinner cases would be nice too.

    • Gokart Mozart

      I am not a fan of the case shape either. Too Oysterish.

      The best parts of GS’s are the hands, superb. The markers are well done but just way too big.

      This one has a lovely dial.

  • ProJ

    At 14.4mm this is not a “moderately sized” watch, it’s rather a “really thick” one for what it offers. (For reference, the Rolex GMTII, with an external rotating bezel, is 12mm)

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Is it my laptop or has the font gone all funny ?

    • Ariel Adams

      Temporary issue. We are in the process of moving from http to https, and it involves a few steps that we didn’t anticipate. The fonts should be back to normal soon.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Thanks Ariel, no problem.

    • Brian

      Let alone the typeface…
      As a heurologist, let me break it down for you:

      1. Laptops aren’t computers, only desktops are computers.
      2. You can put phones on top of your lap or your desk, but they are not computers either. They are only for phoning.
      3. Squares are still rectangles.

      [sent from my BlackBerry]
      oh crap….

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Brian, you make no sense


        • Berndt Norten

          It’s BILL and he makes perfect sense to me

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Oh that’s Bill.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Oh didn’t work.

          • Berndt Norten

            I sometimes wonder if BILL is you too. And about a dozen other characters. I see you’ve learned how to italicize, Raymond.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            I have indeed thanks to IanE.

            ps…. I would never choose the name Bill. I am me as you see me and no one else.

  • commentator bob

    It’s really not a GMT without a rotating bezel, and this is a bit too prissy for a GMT. To me *the* GS to have is a three-hand Spring Drive.

    It is not a GMT without a rotating bezel, because the concept of a GMT is that the 24-hour-hand be set to GMT, the 12-hour-hand be set to local time, and the bezel be set to whatever other time is relevant, most likely home time.

    With this watch the 24 hour hand needs to be kept at home time, so “Home Time” would be a better name than GMT.

    • It has 24 hour indications on the dial, so yes it is a GMT watch. Sure the additional of a rotating bezel would be nice, but that does not change the definition of what it is. Cheers.

      • commentator bob

        So if one lives in New York and travels to Japan what is set to GMT?

        • Unless you are a pilot or in the military, GMT is not often used (unless you live in the UK). So in practice a GMT watch like this Seiko is used to indicate local time (via the 12 hour hands) and home time via the GMT/24 hour hand. Just think of it as a dual time zone watch where the 2nd time indication is in 24 hour format. Cheers.

          • commentator bob

            “Unless you are a pilot or in the military, GMT is not often used (unless you live in the UK).”

            Which is why this is not a GMT watch. On a watch with a 24 hour bezel, like a GMT Master II, the 24 hour hand is kept at GMT and the bezel is rotated to indicate home time, or another time zone of interest using the +/- GMT calculations.

            “this Seiko is used to indicate local time (via the 12 hour hands) and home time via the GMT/24 hour hand.”

            Which is why, like I say in my original comment, it should be called a “Home Time”, not a GMT.

  • WolverBilly

    What is all this value crap? It has no lume. This makes it as useful in the dark as a hockey puck. Oh, and it’s nearly as fat, too. It’s a shame. It would be a great watch if it didn’t suck.


    Two things bug me about this GS as well as the one I own
    A/ it is too thick for its size
    B/ the lack of lume does suck and I am no lume freak
    Aside from this, yes some will say it is dull but the finish is superb and once you have it in your hands you will know what I am talking about.

    • ProJ

      Agree 100%.

  • Rich Thomas

    It is a gorgeous watch. That it is a GS high beat means that it near watch perfection.

    Yes, I agree there is no Lyme, but does every watch need to be tactical?

    And, yes it is some what thicker at +14 mm, but it is a Seiko ands you know it will wear well.

    It is an amazing movement in an amazing case made by people who really believe in watches and all of this is offered at an incredibly reasonable price.

    What’s not to love?

  • Mark1884

    I am sure to get beat up over this, but I don’t like this watch. Horrible case & bezel design. The bracelet looks like a Speedy knock off to me. I keep hearing about how great it is. I don’t see 6k here.

    **Putting on vest & helmet now.

    • The truth is that Seiko has the worst product photography ever. They look so lifeless in the photos but really shine up close. And you can really see the 6k when you handle them.

      • riposte

        They fixed it, looks better for me but I can agree with you it’s still not the best.

        • Seiko just needs to hire Tanaka from “Watch-Tanaka” and see their GS sales double overnight.

    • Berndt Norten

      You’ve been on a hippie trail, head full of zombie

      • Mark1884

        I met a strange lady……..

        • Berndt Norten

          Wait..,, she made you nervous?

          • Mark1884

            Yes, she took me in and gave me breakfast.

          • Berndt Norten

            And she said?

          • Mark1884

            She said: “Put your pants back on!” and do you come from a land down under?

  • IG

    Must be $65, it’s a Seiko, someone must have accidentally hit ‘0’ two times…

    • Hydra

      Same problem at the swiss as well

  • Omegaboy

    Gorgeous green.

  • Yan Fin

    Of course, movement seems great, but aesthetics is not to my taste. Just handled a chocolate Presage and like it much better.

    • egznyc

      Which model number chocolate Presage do you have; are you happy with it? Is it the SARW 019?

      • Yan Fin

        Was looking at model SRPB46, I think, at AD store and really liked the quality and attention to details. I do not own any mechanical Seiko’s.

        • egznyc

          Time to take the plunge ;-).

          • Berndt Norten

            Henry Rollins Band sayz: ‘don’t talk about it, man–do it! Do it do it do it do it!’

          • egznyc

            I’m not opposed to doing – but I’d really like to have a Seiko store nearby. I think NYC might offer this – must do a little research.

          • Berndt Norten

            I’m just talkin bout Seiko
            And i don’t wanna change your life
            But there’s a nice deal going at JomaShop
            And you really need that Seiko tonight

          • egznyc

            Oh man, I need some help to get the pop cultural reference.

            Sometimes I feel I need that Seiko tonight. But you can’t always get what you want …

          • Berndt Norten

            England Dan & John Ford Coley, “I’d Really like to See You Tonight”

          • egznyc

            Ah that ‘70s soft rock … and I took you for more of a hard rock lover. Well I suppose it’s good to be into a little of everything.

          • Berndt Norten

            You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs
            I look around me and I see it isn’t so
            Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs
            And what’s wrong with that
            I’d like to know
            ‘Cause here I go again

      • Yan Fin
        • egznyc

          Very nice indeed; I think the color combination looks great – though I would worry about the gold plating wearing off. The srpb 77 looks like it has all-blued hands and srpb 43 looks like the cocktail time reissue – which is to say, identical to srpb 77 except only the seconds hand is blued and it has a bracelet instead of a strap. Or at least it appears this way – anyone know for sure?

          • Yan Fin

            This model is available also on bracelet, different dial colors, and bracelet at least doesn’t cause vomiting reflex, as do most of Seiko bracelets.

          • egznyc

            Thanks. I’ll have to get into a Seiko boutique at some point to have a look. Very reasonably priced though the original cocktail time had a slightly more robust movement.

  • Coert Welman

    Almost everything about this watch (and the rest of the series) is perfect. Sadly, the fat lugs kill it for me.

    • IG

      They are not fat just big-boned.

  • Des Sullivan

    At that price I can buy an entry model Rolex a Seiko will never have the same brand presence

    • Hydra

      So you are a show off?

      • Des Sullivan

        Not really I also aspire to own a BMW X5 but drive a Honda.
        Its called pride of ownership and has nothing to do with showing off.

        • Hydra

          But what does pride of ownership have to do with brand presence? Cant one take pride in owning a GS? Is GS inferior in everything way?

          • Des Sullivan

            The comment I make is relevant to me because Seiko watches in the Australian market are excellent every day wear watches but do not have the the same collectability or appeal as say Rolex / Omega/ IWC. At six grand I can and would choose any of the above to add to my collection.
            As I remarked previously its a matter of pride of ownership, mine that is.

  • Ulysses31

    The craftsmanship is there. So is the accuracy and overall quality. Nothing about it truly stirs my soul though; something you could also say about many Rolex and Omega models. I want to see something a little more imaginative.

  • Cepillin1183

    I wonder why you’d boast a 14.4mm thickness as “presence”. If done by other luxury brands it definitely deserves to be called out as over-proportioned, or worse, clunky and awkward.

  • Jeff R

    Bought the Peacock new in Feb. 2018. My first luxury watch. As a former turbine/compressor overhaul mechanic, I fell in love with the technology of this thing. Frankly, I marvel at it often. Now into month 18, I thought I’d share the monthly accuracy readings of the 9S HiBeat movement. Keep in mind I’m living in a moderate SoCal climate, and wear the watch an average of 12 hours/day. I measured the accuracy daily on and here are the results so far.
    SPD = Seconds per day average
    March 2018: +2.2 SPD; April +1.0 SPD; May +0.8 SPD; June +0.3 SPD; July +0.1 SPD; Sept +0.9 SPD; Oct +0.2 SPD; Nov +0.3 SPD; Dec +0.2 SPD
    Jan 2019: +0.1 SPD; Feb 0.0 SPD; March -0.2 SPD; April -0.1 SPD; May -0.2 SPD; June -0.1 SPD; July -3.5 SPD

    Not quite sure what happened in July 2019. We’ll see, but needless to say I’m spoiled by the earlier performance, and I’ve got 19 months left on the warranty.

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