Although Grand Seiko produces a wide variety of beautiful nature-inspired dials, the Snowflake is arguably the most famous among its various offerings, and it has become somewhat emblematic of Grand Seiko as a brand. Inspired by the pristine snow-covered landscapes of Shinshu, Japan, the Snowflake dial is what defines the highly popular Spring Drive SBGA211; however, for its most recent release of 2024, Grand Seiko has expanded the Snowflake dial concept and created two new quartz Snowflake watches. Formally known as the SBGX355 and STGF385, the pair of new models consists of a midsize version crafted from titanium, along with a stainless steel women’s model that further leans into the icy theme of the Snowflake with a diamond-set bezel.
The first of the two new Grand Seiko Snowflake watches is the SBGX355, which is the midsize version crafted from High Intensity Titanium. Harder and more scratch resistant than standard titanium, Grand Seiko’s High Intensity Titanium is an alloy that consists of titanium, niobium, and iron, and the new SBGX355 measures 37mm in diameter by 10mm thick, with 19mm lugs and a lug-to-lug profile of 44.6mm. A double curved sapphire crystal sits above the dial, a solid caseback closes up the reverse side of the watch, and while the signed crown at 3 o’clock is the standard push/pull variety, the new Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGX355 still offers 100 meters of water resistance.
The dial of the Grand Seiko SBGX355 showcases the Snowflake’s signature textured pattern, along with faceted hour markers, a date window at 3 o’clock, and dauphine-shaped hands with a blue-finished seconds hand. However, given that the SBGX355 is powered by the brand’s nine-jewel Cal. 9F62 quartz movement (which offers a three-year battery life and an accuracy rating of just -/+10 seconds per year), the dial lacks the power reserve indicator of the original Spring Drive Snowflake SBGA211, and it instead features a simplified display with no text or markings of any kind appearing below the hands. Lastly, completing the Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGX355 is a matching High-Intensity Titanium bracelet that features largely brushed surfaces with two thin rows of high-polished center links and a machined folding clasp.
The other new quartz Grand Seiko Snowflake watch is the STGF385, and unlike its midsize titanium sibling, this model is crafted from stainless steel and fitted with a diamond-set bezel. Measuring 28.9mm in diameter by 8.8mm thick, with 14mm lugs and an overall lug-to-lug profile of 35.4mm, the Grand Seiko Snowflake STGF385 is quite a bit smaller than its midsize titanium counterpart, although it still features a double curved sapphire crystal above its dial, along with a solid caseback, signed push/pull crown, and 100 meters of water resistance. Additionally, while the dial and hands fitted to the Grand Seiko STGF385 are essentially just smaller versions of what can be found on the midsize titanium model, the bezel is set with 44 diamonds that total 0.39 carats.
Powering the new women’s Grand Seiko Snowflake STGF385 is the brand’s seven-jewel Cal. 4J52 quartz movement, which offers identical performance to the Cal. 9F62 movement inside the midsize titanium model, with a three-year battery life and an impressive accuracy rating of -/+10 seconds per year. Lastly, while the midsize titanium Snowflake model has a bracelet with two rows of high-polished center links, the stainless steel bracelet fitted to the lugs of the smaller Grand Seiko STGF385 offers a more simplified flat three-piece link design, and it is finished with entirely brushed upper surfaces and completed by a matching three-section machined folding clasp.
Grand Seiko produces watches at an incredibly wide range of different prices, although since these latest two new Snowflake models are powered by quartz movements, they are actually some of the more reasonably priced offerings within the band’s current lineup (despite having premium attributes such as titanium components or diamond-set bezels). The midsize Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGX355 in High-Intensity Titanium has an official retail price of 3,800 USD, while the diamond-set Grand Seiko Snowflake STGF385 is naturally a bit more expensive and is priced at 5,500 USD. Given the popularity of the Snowflake dial, offering this fan-favorite design in multiple sizes and configurations simply makes a lot of sense, and both of these new quartz models are less expensive than the full-size Spring Drive SBGA211, which makes them compelling alternates for anyone who wants a simplified and more compact expression of this highly celebrated Grand Seiko dial design. For more information on the Grand Seiko Snowflake SBGX355 and STGF385 watches, please visit the brand’s website.