While I'm far from the first to say it, Grand Seiko remains a true oasis of watchnerdery, a special arm within Seiko that seems to exist just to pose the question "is this the best we can do?" Grand Seiko is more than just the Lexus to Seiko's Toyota. The idea is less about a luxurious alternative to your SKX007 diver and more about Seiko having the outlet to make some truly fantastic watches which inevitably fall above the price point that many consumers often associate with Seiko.
While at Baselworld, we got a chance to see most of the new Seiko lineup, including the Grand Seiko 44GS Limited Edition. While the 2013 44GS is technically a new watch, it certainly doesn't have the wrist presence of a modern Grand Seiko. This is because Seiko has gone to every extent possible to make this new model feel as old their roots. The 44GS you see here is actually a modern recreation of the 44GS from 1967, a watch that effectively set the look and feel of Grand Seiko watches for the past 40+ years.
Seiko is pretty serious about the way that light interacts with the many facets on the case and the finishing on dial. This new 44GS is exceptionally finished and remarkably beautiful, with wide set lugs and faceted dial markers that have a jewel-like shape. The case is 37.9 mm by 11.5 mm thick and can be had in steel (SBGW047), or in your choice of white, yellow or rose 18k gold (SBGW043, SBGW044 and SBGW046, respectively). Essentially a replica of the original 44GS, it seems that Seiko subscribes to the "if it ain't broke" method of thinking, and we totally agree. Grand Seiko models carry not only Seiko's best movements, but also their best finishing and detailing, and the 44GS was spared no level of attention in the finishing executed on its case and dial... (more »)