The Elegance Collection is, as the name suggests, home to Grand Seiko’s dressier watches. You won’t find one of Grand Seiko’s big chronos or divers here. Instead, the watches making up the Elegance Collection fall on the dressier side of things — the dials are generally cleaner and more classic, the only major complications you’ll find here are a date and GMT function, and most of the watches share the same basic case design that, to my eye, looks less severe than some of Grand Seiko’s other cases and, therefore, I think are more universally palatable. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Elegance Collection, and the Ref. SBGM221 is one of my favorite watches in my collection and, generally speaking, in Seiko’s catalog.
A few weeks back, I wrote about Grand Seiko’s announcement of a new caliber and with it four new watches for their Elegance Collection. But the movement is just part of the story. This release also introduced a new case design to the Elegance Collection.
I find that to truly appreciate a Grand Seiko watch (and to a lesser extent any watch, really), one does need to see and handle it in the metal. Most Grand Seiko naysayers are only familiar with the brand and its watches from afar, and I’ve known my fair share of converts who “got it” only after getting to try one on. I recently got to go hands-on with the new collection and I was not disappointed. In person, the watches are every bit as nice as I suspected they’d be, and the case, dial, and hands are finished to Grand Seiko’s highest standard.
There are four references in this release: