Grand Seiko is slowly but surely becoming a force to reckon with in the horological world. Partly due to stereotypes and prejudice, Seiko as a brand has often been shunned as inferior to Swiss watchmaking when they were actually making watches that were just as good if not better. The SBGW 253, released in 2017 as a celebration of the Grand Seiko name, is a testament to this.
Made in a limited edition of 1960 pieces, the SBGW253 is a reissue of the original Grand Seiko that was released in 1960. Though they have reissued this model before in 2011, the newer version features a larger 38mm case with the most desirable being this one, made in stainless steel.
What Grand Seiko does better than any of its competitors is its attention to detail and respect to its heritage. While we often see reissues these days from many brands, they always fall short on the details, with wrong proportions and corner-cutting. With the SBGW253, I don’t think I can fault anything about it.
The 38mm stainless steel case is perfectly proportionate and faithful to the original, despite the upsize. From its beveled lugs to the 11.2mm profile of the case, all of the details are spot on. Even the engraved gold Grand Seiko lion on the case back and the vintage-styled buckle are executed perfectly. The polar white dial is no different, adopting the old school style Grand Seiko logo font.
The finishing as expected from Grand Seiko is perfectly done with their Zaratsu style of finishing on the case and hands. Derived from sword-making tradition, Zaratsu polishing is used by Grand Seiko to produce their signature distortion-free mirror finishing.
With the SBGW253, it is all about simplicity executed with perfection. Even the blued central seconds hand accentuates the whole watch. This is truly a faultless dress watch and I don’t think I can say that about too many pieces.