July 12, 2019
by Bilal Khan
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT has been a staple in the brand lineup for some time now. In fact, I remember reading Ariel’s article almost 12 years ago when he was preaching the good word back when I was an aBlogtoWatch reader still getting acquainted with the luxury Japanese watchmaker. It’s long been one of the best GMT watches out there for those people who don’t want to pay the, let’s call it “soda tax” for some Swiss varieties with a hero complex. Well, the newly introduced Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE248 is the most lustworthy, as well as the most expensive, Spring Drive GMT yet. With a royal blue dial and bezel with two-tone yellow gold case and bezel, it’s a showstopper — but one for which you’ll have to pay about double what you would for the classic steel variant.
The 18k yellow gold ring in the rotating bezel is a first for Grand Seiko, but it’s really the contrast between the blue and gold that grabbed my attention. Of course, we are going off press images here, so I’ll reserve final judgment for when I can see the watch in person. The yellow gold on the bezel and crown nails the extent to which two-tone works, at least in my opinion. The classic steel bracelet (which I am quite sure will have the gold GS logo on the clasp) pulls the watch back from being too much of a retro-style throwback and shows just enough restraint.
I’d also just like to note that the GMT hand and power reserve indicator in gold are just *chef’s kiss.*
Case size and movement here in the Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE248 are unchanged . The 44mm-wide and 14.7mm-thick case houses the Caliber 9R66 Spring Drive movement with its 72-hour power reserve. Grand Seiko is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Spring Drive this year, and you may have caught my hands-on coverage of the dressy manual-wind Elegance collection last week.
This Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE248 reminds me of a more elaborate and attention-grabbing cousin of the SBGE015, which was in titanium and played with much more discreet hints of two-tone and black dial. It’s not a limited edition, which is great to see. However, this is going to be a Grand Seiko Spring Drive for a more self-selective buyer pool, as it’s priced at $11,500. The watch will be available this September, and you can learn more at grand-seiko.com