After a successful run at Baselworld last year with well-received new models like the 44GS, Grand Seiko has announced a GMT version of their Hi-Beat 36,000 Automatic SBGH line. Based around the same 9S85 movement used in the three-hander, this new GMT combines two great features from Grand Seiko's collection into a new watch with two unlimited versions and a gorgeous limited edition in green and yellow.
Grand Seiko is offering the new Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT in three references, the black dial SBGJ003, the white dial SBGJ001 and the limited edition SBGJ005 which sports a lovely green dial with a yellow GMT hand.
The calibre used in these new Hi-Beat GMTs is new and features a proper jumping hour hand for travelling, allowing you to easily manage local time while employing the GMT hand to track the time at home. GMT complications are one of my absolute favourite functions on a watch, but many manufacturers design the feature backwards, applying the jump adjust to the GMT hand. This setup is good for timing phone calls in other timezones, but significantly less useful for travelling.
The case design of the new SBGJ00X is based on that of the 44GS and the SBGH range, but has been rendered in steel with a width of 40 mm and a thickness of 14 mm. Fitted with a sapphire crystal front and back, those lucky enough to get one of the 600 piece limited edition will be treated to a titanium oscillating weight with a very cool yellow/gold anodic oxidized finish.
Typical to Grand Seiko, the dials are artwork. In green, white or black, the dials boast a hypnotic radial finishing that almost looks like very fine linen. Sitting atop this beautiful base are the amazingly bright and hand-finished markers and hands that have become a signature element on many GS designs. Nothing catches and plays with available light quite like a Grand Seiko.
Legibility is excellent and each dial receives its own matching colour for the GMT hand. The black and red is rather sporty while the white and blue offers a more dressy appeal. With a simple GMT scale on the chapter ring, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT offers a feature set and design that makes it an incredibly versatile watch, easily capable of daily wear.
Fitted to a steel bracelet with brushed and polished links and a push-button clasp, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT is arguably one of their best watches and is representative of not only the distinctive look and feel of their history but also the best of their technology. With a modern 5Hz movement, a subtle design that is amazingly focused on finishing and fine details and a very popular and practical complication, this is an excellent synthesis of both Grand Seiko's Hi-Beat movement and their GMT complication and layout.
Being a Grand Seiko, the Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT represents one of the highest-end models born of the entire Seiko empire. With meticulous hand finishing and a 5Hz manufacture movement, this new GS will retail for $7,000 USD for the black or white versions and $7,250 for the 600 piece limited edition green dial. grand-seiko.com