In my profession at MONOCHROME, I’ve seen, deal with, tried and examined 1000’s of watches. And this contains, in fact, an array of Grand Seiko fashions. There’s something about Grand Seiko that makes them distinctive and particular. And it’s not the latest transfer into textured dials and Japanese nature inspiration (which is, truthfully, fairly pleasant). It’s all concerning the consideration to element and the distinctive ending of all of the elements of the habillage, mixed with true watchmaking experience. And with this in thoughts, Grand Seiko watches are sometimes priced proper, for my part. But, after seeing a number of dozens of GS fashions, there’s one which at all times comes again. One which, to me, stays in any case these years, the perfect Grand Seiko your cash can get. A watch that prices beneath 5K and but gives a lot, way more in return. I don’t ask you to agree with me, I simply share my very private ideas on a watch I like (and personal), the Grand Seiko Magnificence GMT SBGM221.
There’s a lot I get pleasure from about this watch that I hardly know the place to start out. At present, it’s all about one man and his watch. No objectivity, no rationale, simply ardour. Every time I strap this watch round my wrist, it actually offers me some pleasure and pleasure. It’s the type of watch that I put on for the only motive of taking a look at it. It could possibly be stopped, the time could possibly be improper, I wouldn’t actually care. What I do when taking this be careful of the field is solely taking part in with the sunshine reflections, taking a look at its clean color, observing the bevels on the arms and indexes doing their magic, nonetheless being amazed by the sharpening of the case. And total, having fun with a watch that’s mushy, elegant however not formal, ultra-demonstrative and but restrained. In brief, it’s a watch that completely fits me. And weirdly sufficient, these emotions weren’t fast.
I purchased this watch as a present to myself after a fairly profitable 12 months. A kind of uncalculated buy of a watch I’ve been wanting from a sure distance for a number of years, with out taking the leap. After which got here the so-called honeymoon. However not the everyday love-at-first-sight, passionated love affair. It took me a while to actually begin to recognize the SBGM221. I first needed to change the strap, as the unique darkish brown crocodile leather-based strap actually doesn’t do justice to the fantastic thing about the case and dial. Too formal, too traditional, too old-school. This watch deserves one thing extra informal and works so effectively with a cognac leather-based, a taupe nubuck or a easy clean calfskin blue strap. And I do know from navigating on Instagram that many different choices work as effectively.
After some time, she turned one thing particular to me. I began to understand increasingly of the main points on this watch, and what may have been a traditional honeymoon interval didn’t fade away, and my love for the watch grew step by step, to the purpose the place the SBGM221 is now one in all my favorite watches.
Let’s attempt to add a little bit of objectivity and details into this extremely sentimental equation. In spite of everything, this can be a watch and thus a manufactured, mechanical object. What’s the Grand Seiko Magnificence GMT SBGM221? It is among the most emblematic fashions of the model, with a extra traditional method to design than the latest fashions which can be the White Birch or the pink dial Shunbun. Extra timeless, extra discreet, no much less spectacular, nonetheless, concerning the execution. This watch is a part of the Magnificence assortment and, as such, gives extra magnificence (sorry, this was a simple one) however not in a too formal Altiplano or Calatrava approach. It’s mainly a GMT variation across the idea created with the Hand-Wound SBGW231. The primary distinction is that, because of a unique dial color and end, and the addition of a traveller’s complication, it turns into extra complicated visually and thus much less dressy.
One of many nicest features of the SBGM221 is the proportions of the case. Its 39.5mm diameter and lug-to-lug just under 47mm make it an ideal all-rounder. The peak, at 13.7mm, could possibly be diminished, however there’s no drama both. Opposite to among the watches produced by GS, comparable to the 44GS-inspired watches, that are approach too sharp for my tastes, the GMT Magnificence performs on curves and mushy traces. The bezel is, as you’d count on, razor-sharp in its definition, however the central case is properly curved on the edges, the lugs are skinny and still have a rounded bevel on the perimeters, and there’s a gently domed box-sapphire crystal on high, for added softness. What makes it particular is the sharpening. You’ve in all probability learn loads about Zaratsu (distortion-free) sharpening, however imagine me, it truly is one thing particular. The best way it displays mild is exclusive and provides to the exclusivity of the watch. It makes it a perfectly refined object, with a high-definition look that not many different manufacturers can match.
After which comes the dial. As soon as once more, I do know that everybody has totally different tastes, however there’s one thing really interesting to me within the mushy, delicate cream color of the dial of the Magnificence GMT SBGM221, and the distinction provided by the discreet blue accents on the model identify and GMT hand. The shiny side of the dial can be very engaging in my eyes – stunning, as I’m extra of a matte dial type of man. Extra objectively, essentially the most engaging side of this Grand Seiko – and most GS watches, as a matter of reality – is the INSANE degree of ending of the weather of the dial. The definition, sharpness and precision of ending on the arms and utilized indexes stay probably the greatest of the trade, regardless of the value vary you’ll be taking a look at. I’ve hardly seen such consideration to element from mainstream manufacturers, and even among the most revered impartial watchmakers can’t match these arms/markers.
Lastly, the mechanics. After all, it must be in-house, in a typical Japanese industrial custom of vertical integration. However moreover the specs of this calibre 9S66 or the truth that it’s a true traveller’s GMT watch (the place it’s the native time hour hand that’s adjusted in one-hour increments, not the GMT hand), there’s the extent of precision it gives. It’s given for -3/+5 seconds a day and, in regular circumstances, when it’s on my wrist, my watch often runs at about -1 second a day. Fairly spectacular.
All in all, there’s a lot (subjectively, in fact) I like with the SBGM221 that I nonetheless imagine it’s the perfect watch Grand Seiko produces on this value vary. And speaking about cash, this watch retails for EUR 4,800 (incl. taxes) or USD 4,600 (excl. taxes). Now you may actually discuss pleasure/value ratio, as few watches from established manufacturers can rival it. And that’s objectively true.
For extra particulars, learn our intensive evaluation of the SBGM221 right here or go to grand-seiko.com.