The Classic Grand Seiko Hand Winder Gets Some Color In New, US Exclusive LEs

Leave it to Grand Seiko to bring their own poetic take on the green dial with three new references that make the most of the brand’s propensity to use nature as inspiration. The new watches arrive in the wonderful 37.3mm case of the hand-wound reference SBGW231, but get three different interpretations of the color green, each based on, you guessed it, scenes from Japanese landscapes. Each reference is inspired by a theme, from an area of Northern Japan called the Genbi Valley, and the results are about as unconventional as they are beautiful.

L to R: SBGW277, 275, 273

The Genbi Valley was formed by ash from the (still active) Mt. Kurikoma volcano, and the subsequent corrosion by the Iwai River. The volcano itself actually spans three prefectures (Miyagi, Iwate and Akita) and the resulting landscapes are indeed dramatic, providing a wealth of inspiration for the adept hands at Grand Seiko to capture. 

The new watches are references ​​SBGW273, 275 and 277, and they retain the hand-wound movement and pleasant dimensions of the SBW231. That means no date, to distract from the subtle color and texture that Grand Seiko excels at. You’ll notice that each reference gets a distinctive green hue that range from warm to cool, along with an organic woven texture that breaks up the colors just enough to heighten the drama.

The SBGW273’s green dial is light and warm, signifying new growth that comes with the change in seasons. This model also gets a blue seconds hand, like a small river running through the foliage. The 275 gets a teal dial meant to represent the flowing waters that have helped shape the landscape for generations. Finally, the 277 holds the most straightforward green, and when paired with the brown leather strap, signifies the vegetation that lines the valley walls. 

Inside each of the references sits the hand-wound Grand Seiko 9S64 caliber, which is visible through an open caseback. The movement boasts a 72 hour power reserve and  -3/+5 seconds a day of accuracy. The finishing is clean if not very elaborate, but it’s more than fitting for the price point here. 

These limited editions are exclusive to the US market, each will receive just 140 examples and pricing is set at $4,900 from select retailers and boutiques, as well as online from Grand Seiko.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.