We’re big fans of Grand Seiko’s quartz offerings for their value, finishing, and utility. There’s something immensely satisfying about being able to pick up a watch and knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s keeping time to within a second or two. Not having to intervene to keep a watch’s timekeeping is very much its own sort of luxury. Many recent 9F powered quartz watches from Grand Seiko have been of the sporty variety, which makes sense given the inherent durability of quartz calibers over mechanical movements, but there’s no reason this type of movement can’t be enjoyed in a dressier watch, and we imagine for some collectors who focus on tool and sports watches, it might actually be more appealing to have a super reliable, no fuss dress watch for the rare occasion that more formal attire is called for. Two new watches from Grand Seiko, the SBGX347 and the SBGX349, might just fit the bill.
The new releases fit squarely into Grand Seiko’s Elegance collection, which, as the name implies, is Grand Seiko’s line of simple, refined, and classic dress watches. Both the white SBGX347 and blue SBGX349 have clean dials with diamond cut hour markers and hands and have been paired with Zaratsu polished cases with more subtle facets than what we’d typically see in Grand Seiko’s Heritage and Sport collections. The movement here is the time only 9F61, which is accurate to +/- 10 seconds per year. We always say it when discussing these 9F watches, but it bears repeating: that’s a simply astounding level of precision.
What sets these watches apart from others in the Elegance collection is the sizing. The cases here measure 34mm and are just 10.7mm tall, and Grand Seiko is marketing these watches as suitable for both men and women. We think that any watch is suitable for anyone who wants to wear it, regardless of gender, but there’s no escaping the fact that there are long-held norms in relation to watch sizing that brands and consumers are constantly bumping up against. While it’s certainly likely that many collectors of contemporary watches will dismiss these as too small, for the type of watch (these are dress watches to the core) this is actually a fairly traditional size, and we’re curious to see them in the metal, try them on, and see how they wear.
Both of these new, traditionally sized entrants in the Elegance collection are priced at $3,300, and are expected to be available in mid-October. Grand Seiko