Just released is this Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Limited Edition watch done in collaboration with Timeless Luxury Jewelers in Texas. Timeless opened the first Grand Seiko boutique in the United States a few years ago, and I believe this is the first partnership Grand Seiko has done of this type in the U.S. The SBGE249 is a steel Spring Drive GMT with what’s referred to as the “blizzard” dial and is limited to 250 pieces each priced at $5,900.
I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that Grand Seiko buyers in the U.S. right now are likely people who travel a fair bit or are “worldly” in their professional or personal lives. Considering this and how hot GMT watches are right now, it’s not difficult to grasp the brand’s calculus here.
I’m wearing this new Grand Seiko SBGE249 as I type right now and I can really feel it on my wrist as it’s done in steel. Many GS watches like the ubiquitous “Snowflake” SBGA211 are done in titanium, which makes them almost disconcertingly lightweight on the wrist. The SBGE249 is housed in the 41mm-wide and 13.8mm-thick 44GS-style case, just like that found on the non-limited Spring Drive GMT models like the SBGE211 and SBGE205.
The “blizzard” dial was first introduced back in 2010 with the brand’s 50th Anniversary pieces like the SBGA055, but I think 2015’s SBGA125 is likely the most well-known Grand Seiko with this dial. In design and aesthetic, this new SBGE249 is a GMT-infused successor to the SBGA125 in many ways. Grand Seiko has a flair for painting idyllic images, and the story behind this dial is no different — said to be inspired by a blizzard in the Japanese town of Shirojiri (which is where their Shinshu Studio is located). Seeing as how I’m in Los Angeles during the summer, just reading those words is cooling me down.
The movement here is the tried and tested 9R66 Spring Drive GMT, which has a 72-hour power reserve. It’s visible through the exhibition caseback, which has the Grand Seiko lion emblem done in a blue that’s very similar to the tone that’s found on the dial.
Grand Seiko is showing no signs of slowing down post-Baselworld, and this seems to be especially true for its expansion in the United States market. At Couture 2019 in Las Vegas, GS dropped the USA exclusive “Season” Collection, probably the most talked about releases at the show. In fact, I ended up preordering the SBGA413 Spring Edition with the light pink “Sakura” dial from the Grand Seiko boutique in Beverly Hills last week.
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Limited Edition collaboration with Timeless Luxury Watches checks a lot of boxes when it comes to the things that draw people to the brand. It doesn’t take a lot of risks, but I don’t really mind that, considering the sheer number of distinct and diverse releases from the brand this year. Again, this is a limited edition of 250 pieces and the watch is priced at $5,900. To read more about or order the SBGE249, you can head here to Timeless Luxury Watches.