October 8, 2019
by Rob Nudds
Normally, the news that Godzilla was on his way to town would inspire mass panic and a city-wide evacuation. Luckily, for Japan’s premier brand, the Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th Anniversary Limited Edition watch is highly unlikely to cause the same reaction. This new release celebrates both the 20th anniversary of the Spring Drive movement and the 65th anniversary of everyone’s favorite “urban developer,” the (almost) unstoppable force from the depths of the ocean and our nightmares, Godzilla. Joining the Grand Seiko Sport collection is a handsome, burgundy-dial timepiece boasting a 44.5mm × 14.3mm high-intensity titanium case.
On a personal note, Grand Seiko is one of my favorite brands, and the Spring Drive technology is truly amazing. My one gripe with many of the designs, however, is that the caseback sapphire crystal is often decorated with the lion logo, which, while cool in itself, obscures the view of a movement I’d very much like to see in its entirety. On this version, however, the lion has been usurped by Godzilla, and the image of this legendary “Kaiju” razing the famous clock tower that rises above the Wako store (a retail establishment of Seiko’s) to the ground is, for me, a welcome and humorous alteration to the norm. It is, at once, hilarious, cheeky, and creative — not something we can say about most watch components these days. The image is illustrated by Shinji Higuchi, co-director and special effects director for the movie “Shin Godzilla,” released in 2016. Behind the glass is the famous Spring Drive caliber 9R15, an automatic movement with accuracy parameters of an exceptionally tight ±10 seconds per month and a 72-hour power reserve.
Dial-side, the watch offers a timeless yet contemporary aesthetic with a deep red dial finished with a 3D ray effect inspired by the “heat-ray beam” Godzilla has been known to shoot from his gizzard when particularly ornery. The strap, created from shark skin, was chosen to reference the beast’s hide, while the case it holds to the wrist has a hulking, aggressive presence inspired by the sheer bulk of Godzilla. The strap is fastened by a triple-fold buckle with push-button release.
And should Godzilla attack your hometown, you can rest assured that the Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th Anniversary Limited Edition watch is the perfect timepiece to accompany you on your fight for survival. Legibility remains top-notch, thanks to the LumiBrite hands, hour markers, and bezel, as well as the anti-reflective coating on the curved sapphire bezel. This will be very useful, indeed, when the power goes out during Godzilla’s rampage. The curvature of the lugs and low center of gravity of the watch means it will stay in place no matter how fast you have to run, or however many destroyed taxis you have to leap/cartwheel/backflip over as you charge for safety. And if, for some unknown reason, you fancy your chances of out-swimming the largely aquatic behemoth, your watch will continue to function, thanks to its 20 bar (200 meter) water resistance and screw-down crown.
The Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th Anniversary Limited Edition (reference SBGA405) will hit the shelves in November 2019 and will be limited to 650 pieces worldwide, available at select Grand Seiko and Seiko boutiques around the globe, as well as a handful of authorized dealers. It will retail for approximately €12,700. Learn more about the brand at grand-seiko.com.