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Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On

Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

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. 

Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

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. 

Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

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. 

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Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

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.

Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On   Grand Seiko + Timeless Luxury Watches Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 Hands-On Hands-On

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.

 

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Comments

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  • PR

    Nice looking, but a tad safe. A nice watch for sure

  • SuperStrapper

    Very nice actually. And as it doesn’t appear to have any cobranding it could be left in the consideration pile.

  • NaJo

    the blue logo + text on the display caseback over the rotor imprints makes it a mess. plus this specific dial is generic to sub $1k presages. A snowflake dial spring drive gmt with clear display back will be my holy grail GS.

    • Joe

      I don’t understand the printing on the display back.
      If the point is to show the movement, then why clutter it?
      Very strange choices.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Not much to see to be honest.

  • The same watch with a normal dial would be really nice.
    This ‘blizzard’ dial is really ugly, especially with grazing light.
    Seiko, please leave everything related to snow: ‘blizzard’, ‘snowflake’, etc.

    • Joe

      Maybe it’s just shadows but there also seems to be an uneven gap between the rehaut and dial in one of the photos.

    • Mikita

      Snowflakes are among the best sold GS watches ever – the local AD said that.

  • Independent_George

    Very well done. Timeless has done similar LE’s with Nomos, which were also very well done.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    I tripped this morning in the garden and banged my head, slight concussion but nothing serious.
    Just wow, this my new grail watch. It’s not just Seiko, It’s GRAND Seiko. It says it right on the front. That blizzard dial is just captivating and must sparkle like diamonds ( tee hee my friends will thing its much more expensive than I paid for it). What every Scot loves to hear is, ” That looks really expensive ” At 41mm it’s not to vulgar and in yer face. The use of polished and brushed SS just works and the work on that bracelet is so in right now. You guys really have your finger on the pulse of the nation.
    This is limited so you’ll have to be quick, Absolute bargain.

    • Independent_George

      Well done, Raymond.

  • bc_from_aus

    This watch with a snowflake dial and without the emblem on the caseback would be top of my list.

  • Swiss_Cheese

    I may be in the minority, but 99% of the time I find it difficult to get excited by anything GS offers. (I’ll call it ED – Excitement Disfunction) To me, they always seem to look simultaniously under-done (namely the hand set) and over-done (the textured faces on most of them, and the insistance on the face mounted PR). Maybe it’s the prejudice about the word ‘Seiko’ appearing on something over $5k but I honestly think even if it said ‘Philippe Dufour’. There is no doubt that their well made, perhaps even better made than the A Lange I molested at the AD yesterday. With all that being said, it seems to have won over the resident Scottish population, so they must be doing something right.

    • cluedog12

      I’ve handled a ton of Grand Seikos in person. The polishing on the hands is consistently excellent. From the photos, you can appreciate how the edges catch the light and reflect it in such a way to attract the eye and improve legibility at a glance. The hands appear simple relative to the dial, but they are purpose driven and well designed.

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

    No thanks, my SRPB41 looks better than this.

  • Marius

    Good photos. It is hard to convey how good GS dials look in real life in a photo. Seiko doesn’t seem to even bother in its marketing material.

    Logo printed on the crystal caseback ruins it, as it ruins every watch they do it on.

  • Gokart Mozart

    Can someone please tell me what input Timeless had on this watch. It looks like what I would expect from a Seiko Seiko.

    Blizzard dial. That’s not very Texas. I would have expected something more oilish or gun related…

    The only thing I can guess they have contributed will be in regards to the price. “In Texas gasoline is $2.30 a gallon, and a Grand Seiko, is still a Seiko. So none of your head in the clouds pricing you seem to be obsessed with of late.”

    • Timeless Luxury Watches

      Sure. As always, we designed the watch entirely in-house, from concept to render. That isn’t to say GS (or all the other brands) don’t have any control over the process, but it’s more in the form of outright rejecting some designs, which the public never sees. This is my fourth separate Grand Seiko design (with many, sometimes hundreds, of separate versions for each), and only the first to be made into a watch, so that’s a pretty good representation for how these things go. Sometimes brands require certain kinds of limited edition writing, which is understandable in order to distinguish the products.

      We always try to make our LEs look like something the brand might have designed on their own but didn’t. In our view, limited edition design should not conflict with the brand’s overall design, but contribute to it–basically, we never want people to look at one of our designs and say it’s some weird dealer LE. That’s one reason we never put Timeless branding on the front of the watch. The farthest we’ve ever gone from this is the U2/T, but that was only because we were trying to do a period-accurate version of the design, which necessitated bigger changes.

      Keeping in mind that we design these things usually a year before they actually come out, it’s hard to remember exactly, but I think GS’ only input on this one was the writing on the sapphire back. I know that I didn’t put that in the original renders, but that might just mean that one of our people requested it after I had submitted the designs.

      • cluedog12

        Great job on the watch.

        The writing on the sapphire back is something that the majority of us (collectors) would like to see omitted next time around. Not a dealbreaker, but the collector consensus has been strongly against sapphire printing for twenty years. We’re talking consistent complaints since the early days of Roger Dubuis.

      • Gokart Mozart

        Thanks for the detailed reply.

        Obviously my reply was exaggerated for effect. But my main point is basically these seems like good value compared to GSeikos recent offerings.

        As to the design, to me it looks pretty much like any other Blizzard dial GS. But I am not really a fan of GS. My point was it did not look different or something to mark out as being an American Timeless limited edition. Obviously your answer now explains the design element so I do appreciate the answer.

  • cluedog12

    Excellent job on the dial. The contrast achieved between the texture and the black polished hands and indices is excellent. I prefer this printed power reserve to the recessed one found on models like the Snowflake. This movement and case match up really well too, which can be seen when looking at the location of the date window. The execution of this small detail is inconsistent across Grand Seiko’s range, so kudos to Timeless Luxury Watches for getting this right.

    I will add a Grand Seiko to my collection one day. This one would be on the short list.

    The printing on the sapphire blocks the view of the movement, but it’s a minor fault. Twenty years from now, collectors may fawn over this detail, because things don’t always make sense.

    Great pictures Bilal, they really sell the watch.

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