As part of its Heritage collection, Grand Seiko has just released the new SBGY007 “Omiwatari” watch. This being Grand Seiko, the watch is inspired by and pays tribute to an aspect of nature from Japan. Here, the dial evokes “Omiwatari” (“A God’s Crossing”), which is a natural phenomenon that takes place every winter in which the waters of Lake Suwa freeze over to create waving cracks and ridges that can get up to a foot high.
The light ice-blue dial of the SBGY007 is done by hammering the dial in order to achieve the undulating and textured pattern. Grand Seiko has some very beautiful light-blue dials, such as the SBGA407 with its blue take on the Snowflake dial, but the hues are quite different. From the photos, the new SBGY007 really does appear to be as “icy” as it is blue. The darker blued seconds hand is a bit of a Grand Seiko signature, at this point, for its “chillier-themed” watches, and it’s right at home here.
I really do think this case used in the Elegance Collection is one of the most under-appreciated dress watch cases out there. I covered the first iteration of the Elegance Collection with the 9R31 when it debuted back in 2019 for the 20th Anniversary of Spring Drive and have been smitten since. Measuring an ideal 38.5mm-wide and just 10.2mm-thick, the SBGY007 houses the manual-wind 9R31 Spring Drive movement. With a dual mainspring and ±1 second per day accuracy, it has a 72-hour power reserve. You’ll also notice the power reserve indicator on the movement that is visible through the caseback.
It’s just a beautiful hand-wound movement that could not be mistaken for any brand other than Grand Seiko. It really does put so many “pure” mechanical movements to shame in both design and performance.
The Grand Seiko SBGY007 “Omiwatari” shows off what the brand does best — a gorgeous ice-blue dial with rippling textures housed in an ideally sized steel case (with 30M of water resistance) with a lovely movement that you, quite literally, can’t find anywhere else. The watch comes on a black crocodile leather strap with dark blue stitching and is priced at $8,300. You can learn more at grand-seiko.com.