Grand Seiko Recreates Their Very First Watch (In Three Metals) to Celebrate 60 Years

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With Grand Seiko celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, it makes sense that they’d go back to the very beginning of the brand for some inspiration. As part of this year’s ongoing celebration, Grand Seiko is set to release a re-creation of their very first watch, a slim, dressy, time only piece that is understated, elegant, and remains a pure expression of what Grand Seiko is all about. This isn’t the first time they’ve gone back to the well to recreate this earliest of Grand Seikos, I don’t think you can blame them capitalizing on a truly timeless design in their 60th anniversary year. Let’s take a closer look.


Grand Seiko SBGW257, SBGW258, & SBGW259

  • Case Material: Platinum, yellow gold, titanium
  • Dial: White gold, yellow gold, blue
  • Dimensions: 38 x 10.9mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire     
  • Water Resistance: 3 bar
  • Crown: Push/pull              
  • Movement: 9S64
  • Strap/bracelet: Crocodile strap
  • Price: $38,000 (SBGW257), $26,000 (SBGW258), $8,000 (SBGW259)
  • Reference Number: SBGW257, SBGW258, & SBGW259
  • Expected Release: June 

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This mini-collection re-creates the first Grand Seiko in three different metals. We have the SBGW257 in platinum, the SBGW258 in yellow gold, and the SBGW259 in titanium. Back in 2017, to celebrate Grand Seiko’s independence from their former parent company, Seiko, they released a trio of similar watches, the SBGW251, 252 and 253. While the cases and movements across the two collection releases are the same (with some minor dial differences), the 2017 versions were all limited editions, and are long sold out. The new watches represent a permanent addition to the collection, and it’s clear that there’s a ton of meaning around Grand Seiko reaching back to earliest days and giving modern consumers an opportunity to purchase a direct facsimile of an historic model in perpetuity.

On the platinum watch, the Grand Seiko logo is carved into the white gold dial.

The other key difference between the watches of three years ago and those of today is the addition of a titanium option. Previously, the entry into this line was the SBGW253 in stainless steel. Now, customers can go for a lightweight, modern titanium version of the most retro of all Grand Seikos. 

Cases for all three versions are 38mm in diameter, and powered by a manually wound 9S64 movement. These are thin, traditional dress watches through and through. The precious metal versions are quite opulent, with gold hour markers and hands, and, on the platinum version, a white gold dial. The titanium is a little more toned down, but maintains the same conservative, dressy case lines. This variant makes use of “Brilliant Hard Titanium,” an alloy exclusive to Grand Seiko that’s as light as pure titanium but twice as hard as stainless steel, making it notably scratch resistant. It also has a brighter color, more like a precious metal than the traditionally drab and tool like titanium, allowing it to take full advantage of Grand Seiko’s zaratsu polishing treatment. 

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As with any Grand Seiko, little touches and fine details abound. On the platinum watch, for example, the Grand Seiko logo near 12:00 is carved into the white gold dial. The inverse is true on the yellow gold watch, with the intricate script lettering, in gold, of course, carefully applied. All of the dials are gently curved, in the style of the time for a formal dress watch, and the seconds and minutes hands have been slightly bent to match, both as a nod to history and to prevent parallax error when viewing the time through the domed sapphire crystal. 

For collectors who missed out on the limited editions from three years ago, these new permanent additions to the catalog will be a welcome sight. While the precious metal versions will be prohibitively expensive for many, the titanium is in striking distance for a Grand Seiko fan who is willing to save, and the peace of mind knowing it will be available when you’re ready to pull the trigger is icing on the cake. 

All three variants of the re-creation of the first Grand Seiko will be available in June at Grand Seiko boutiques. 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.
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