It’s 2024, and Grand Seiko is back with another pair of limited-edition watches inspired by nature. This time, it’s the anniversary of the 9S movement that debuted in 1998. Back then, it helped mark the beginning of a new era for Grand Seiko as a brand focused on precision mechanical watchmaking. Today, Grand Seiko has announced two models with the same case design as the original 9S watch: the SBGH311 and SBGR325. Both models have a 37mm stainless steel case and are 13.3mm thick. The SBGH uses Grand Seiko’s 9S85 Hi-Beat movement, which vibrates at 36,000 vibrations per hour, while the SBGR325 uses the 9S65 movement. In typical Grand Seiko fashion, each model has a beautiful dial, and each is limited to 1,200 pieces.
The 9S movement of the Grand Seiko SBGH311
When ordinary people seek nature, they go to the park. replica diamond rolex lovers, on the other hand, head to Grand Seiko, which did not disappoint with this new pair of Caliber 9S 25th-anniversary editions. The brand says both dials are inspired by the skies of Mt. Iwate. the SBGH311 has a silver dial with textures and colours meant to evoke the sea of clouds that cover Mt. Iwate, which is near where all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are made. Meanwhile, the SBGR325 has a light blue dial with a sunburst pattern inspired by the clear skies seen from the summit of Mt. Iwate, a treat for those of us who get tired just thinking about climbing to the top of any mountain.
If these Grand Seiko releases didn’t look so good, we wouldn’t be covering them. The natural inspiration of the clouds and the fact that this is another anniversary celebration aside, the new SBGH311 and SBGR325 look like a pair of watches that showcase Grand Seiko at its best. That is to say, an interesting dial, a precise movement, and now (going back to the original 9S), a lightweight 37mm case.
While the silver SBGH311 looks more interesting and showcases Grand Seiko’s signature ability to render subtle textures on the dial, it will also cost you: it retails for $6,600, while the SBGR325’s simpler sunburst face has an MSRP of $5,500 (due to the use of the 9S65). As far as self-winding Grand Seiko models go, both are relatively affordable. Aside from the rotor, which is chemically treated to produce a blue oxide layer (light blue for the SBGH311; dark blue for the SBGR325), the internal movements are the standard 9S85 and 9S65, respectively.
Taking a walk down memory lane of past Grand Seiko releases, it occurred to me how many of Grand Seiko’s recent releases have won the hearts of enthusiasts and customers alike. My personal favourite was last year’s SBGW289 44GS Anniversary Edition with its soft pink dial top replica watches, but all of last year’s 44GS releases, with their 36.5mm cases and faithful execution of the historic 44GS case, were winners (especially when they were unrestricted!). Late last year, the new “Omiwatari” was another fan favourite, bringing the brand’s famous snowflake motif to a smaller case size. Maybe you don’t like that pink SBGW289 as much as I do, but that’s exactly the point.
Grand Seiko has released a lot of watches. But, unlike some other brands, it seems intent on finding a dial and case combination that may ultimately please every enthusiast. While we like to complain about limited editions (fair enough), I don’t think the criticism of this particular release is justified because (1) 1200 is not that limited as far as this kind of thing is concerned, and (2) if you can’t get this one, the other one is never far away.