Grand Seiko Expands their Mid-Size 44GS Offerings with Two New References

One of the more exciting releases from Grand Seiko over the last couple of years (we know – there have been a lot of new Grand Seiko releases) was the limited edition SBGW289, a pink hued watch in a 44GS case with a throwback size of just 36.5mm. Naturally, plenty of people were excited about the pink dial, but hardcore Grand Seiko nerds were particularly into the idea of a smaller 44GS case, more in-line with vintage Grand Seiko proportions, and this LE that debuted in April of last year seemed to point toward future releases along these lines that might not be so limited, and perhaps even be in more classic and sober dial colors. With Grand Seiko’s latest release, they continue to build out the lineup of smaller 44GS cases with a pair of watches that feel like they could have been part of the Grand Seiko catalog since the 1960s. 


The new SBGW297 and SBGW299 have dials in white and blue, respectively, each with a classic, heavy, sunray pattern emanating from the center. This isn’t a subtle, brushed sunray texture, but a more defined series of fanned ridges that are more clearly visible and should play with the light in interesting ways. The dials, and the watches more broadly, are directly inspired by styles dating back to the 1967 introduction of the 44GS design, and there’s an understated simplicity here that is certainly core to the Grand Seiko aesthetic. 

The cases match the 36.5mm proportions of last year’s SBGW289, which means they offer all of the inherent drama of the wide facets and perfectly polished case walls of the full size 44GS, but in a package that’s quite a bit more discreet. The 44GS is arguably the most “Grand Seiko” of all Grand Seiko case designs, and in the 40mm version, that means it has quite a bit of height to show off the complex geometry. That’s toned down considerably in the smaller size, with a case height of just 11.6mm, but you’ll notice from these images that even in a thinner package, Grand Seiko is able to retain a great deal of the complexity that makes the 44GS special. 

These watches are powered by the 9S64 mechanical movement, a manually wound caliber that has become a bit of a workhorse for Grand Seiko in these medium sized watches. The movement offers 72 hours of power reserve, and promises accuracy to within +5/-3 seconds per day. Each of these references is mounted to a matching stainless steel bracelet, and is water resistant to 100 meters. 

The new SBGW297 and SBGW299 are available for pre-order right now via the Grand Seiko website, with delivery expected in November. The retail price for each watch is $5,400. Grand Seiko

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.