Just a few days ago, I wrote about Grand Seiko’s introduction of a trilogy of sports watches within their new Evolution 9 Series. Watches I was eagerly awaiting getting some hands-on time with. Well, that happened at Watches and Wonders, and I wanted to take a little time to share my thoughts in written and video form, as well as some hands-on photos. Now, this isn’t a review by any measure. The watches were just dummies and my time was brief, but I learned a decent amount about them from handling them and trying them on, if only for a few moments.
Across the board, the high-intensity titanium gave them a darker tonality than their steel siblings that lent itself to their sportier intentions. Combined with the material’s noticeably lightweight, and the Evolution 9’s low-riding case design, these watches felt like sports car-tuned companions to luxury sedans. The asymmetrical case shape and natural crown guard, common to all three if executed differently, adds just the right amount of muscularity and attitude, while also increasing the amount of joy-inducing finishing, with a wide bevel of Zaratsu polish along each.
The SBGE283 and SBGE285 GMTs are bound to be crowd-pleasers given their tempered sizes. At 13.9mm, while certainly robust, they are actually on the thin side for 9R66 Spring Drive GMTs ( the Elegance models are around 14mm). Plus, the wide set lugs, and low center of gravity makes them really grip the wrist, so they seem, if not “thin” then in proportion with themselves. Between the two versions the SBGE285 is likely going to be the favorite given its “snowflake” style texture, which brings just the right amount of Grand Seiko whimsy into the picture, but the clean gloss black had a sharpness that shouldn’t be overlooked.