With a slew of sports models dominating the watch community’s impression of Grand Seiko, it is timepieces like the SBGA375 that speaks to the original inspiration of the luxury Japanese watchmaker. Founded with deep tradition in Japanese excellence, Grand Seiko was set up to challenge the undeserved dominance of Swiss watchmakers – at least in Seiko’s opinion. Existing as a testament of that very ethos, the SBGA375 exudes luxury, fine-finishing and contemporary design in ways competing timepieces just can’t quite duplicate.
Released in 2018, the SBGA375 is a part of the Grand Seiko Heritage collection and features a contemporary case design inspired by the original 44GS case design from 1967. Existing as a versatile combination of dressy and sporty, the SBGA375 can be easily dressed up or down thanks to its forgiving dimensions and robust stainless steel construction.
Fitted with Grand Seiko’s 9R65 self-winding Spring Drive movement, the SBGA375 is as technically astute as one could imagine. Combining the extreme precision of quartz technology with a mechanical soul, Grand Seiko’s underlying Spring Drive technology is arguably one of the greatest innovations within watchmaking in recent decades. Featuring no motors, battery or capacitor, the Spring Drive movement brings watchmaking into the 21st century by combining traditional mechanics with a quartz crystal to offer +/- 15 seconds per month accuracy and an impressive 72-hour power reserve.
Famed for their dials, the SBGA375’s dial is nothing less than what we can expect from Grand Seiko. Changing in the light thanks to its rich midnight blue colour, the SBGA375 plays into its versatility via its own chameleon-like sunburst dial. Black in light-poor settings, deep blue in light-rich settings and everything in between elsewhere, the SBGA375 plays with light like few other watches. Featuring stunningly-finished dial furniture, the SBGA375’s dauphine hands and stick indices are finished with the same Zaratsu polish that decorates the case to create another element of three-dimensionality to what is already a visual delight.
As mentioned, the SBGA375’s case features Zaratsu polished bevelled edges throughout to add a layer of complexity that few other watchmakers dare emulate, particularly at this price-point. Merging at the ends of the lugs like roads through a city, these bevelled edges converge to create an insect eye-like effect thanks to the myriad of surfaces at play. Featuring the very same finish on its smooth bezel, the SBGA375 looks and wears with an air of elegance that is difficult to understand without having the watch in hand.