Watches and Wonders 2024 is finally here, and if there’s one prediction we could be confident in making, it’s that Grand Seiko would release a new GMT. This one is certainly a stunner. The new SGBE307 Spring Drive GMT features a titanium case, a 9R66 GMT movement, and Grand Seiko’s “lion’s mane” dial texture.

Since launching the brand in 1960, Grand Seiko has featured a lion as the symbol of the brand. The King of the Jungle may be a terribly inaccurate epithet for these savannah dwellers, but it’s a fitting symbol of strength and nobility. Here, Grand Seiko moves the lion motif from the caseback to the dial, in a lovely texture meant to evoke that of a lion’s mane. While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Grand Seiko “lion” (e.g., SBGA403, SBGC230, and 231), these modern sports watches are still something of a rarity in the lineup. Most have been limited releases, making this non-limited edition particularly interesting.

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The black ceramic bezel with its 24-hour markings serves to draw the eye to the center of the dial, ensuring the focus remains where it belongs — on that gorgeous dial. Broad, angular hands and indices keep things legible, despite the silver-on-silver color palette. The only departure from the monochrome color scheme comes with the GMT hand and text, which are executed in a brownish-red. It’s an unexpected choice, but it looks great. The final dial detail is the (mostly) omnipresent power reserve at 7 o’clock, which is thankfully relatively unobtrusive here.

The case of the SBGE307 is aggressively modern and angular. Though large at 44.5mm in diameter, it’s crafted from the brand’s High-Intensity Titanium, and will undoubtedly have that Seiko/Grand Seiko magic that results in its large watches wearing comfortably on smaller wrists. This angular case shape with its faceted lugs also fits the lion’s mane dial, as they’re meant to evoke the claws of a lion. Luckily, those sharp angles reside only on the top of the watch, arcing nicely down with soft curves as they meet the wrist.

Another interesting twist with the lion’s mane models, including this new SBGE307, is the use of an H-link bracelet. Made of titanium with a 23mm lug width and a three-fold clasp, the H-link bracelet is a relative rarity for Grand Seiko but fits the sharp and angular aesthetics of the case.

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With the SBGE307, you get the smooth sweep of Grand Seiko’s 9R66 Spring Drive movement with added GMT functionality. The 9R66’s automatic winding movement features a power reserve of 72 hours and an accuracy of +/- 15 seconds per month.

The Grand Seiko SBGE307 Spring Drive GMT brings back the lion’s mane dial and its distinctive and über-modern case with panache. Though the silver textured dial is, of course, the star, that surprising twist of a brownish-red GMT hand ties it all together. The SBGE307 Spring Drive GMT is priced at $10,700 USD. More information can be found on the brand’s website.

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