Quick Take

Today we have a limited edition Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT to announce. The watch in question is the SBGE249, it comes with a fabulously textured dial and not one but two blued steel hands, and it all 250 individually numbered pieces will be available at Timeless Luxury, the Texas-based authorized seller of Grand Seiko timepieces.
Unsurprisingly, this new limited edition combines one of the finest-looking dials in contemporary watchmaking with hands that have been immaculately polished and a movement that remains at the forefront of modern high-end watchmaking technology.*In this case, the caliber is the 9R66, a Spring Drive GMT with a power reserve of approximately 72 hours and accuracy to within one second per day in either direction. You can see this movement through a sapphire caseback, though it's slightly obscured by a blue Grand Seiko lion emblem.
According to Grand Seiko the textured pattern on the dial is inspired by a blizzard in Shinshu, Japan, the home of Seiko's Epson factory. Against this silvery white dial you'll notice lots of blue accents, which on occasion will reflect off of the mirror-polished indexes on the dial. The seconds hand and the GMT hand are both heat-blued, and the often-controversial power-reserve hand and scale are blue as well. What's there to say about a Grand Seiko dial that hasn't already been said. They routinely outshine dials found on watches that cost two or three times the money. I think the photographs here do a good job of conveying the quality of this particular dial, but like any Grand Seiko, I do believe that you really must see how light plays off the hands and indexes in person to fully "get it."
Initial Thoughts

I think that Spring Drive is very difficult to argue with once you have a bit of exposure to its underlying technology, though it can be a bit difficult to understand, and since it is essentially a mechanically powered electronically regulated timekeeper, some people tend to view it almost as a form of finicky quartz. But once you see the painstaking level of care and attention to detail that goes into the making of Spring Drive, you tend to get it. That certainly was the case when I first visited Grand Seiko, now almost a dozen years ago. It's a product that's every bit as hand made as a Grand Seiko mechanical watch movement, and the finishing to its plates, *bridges and rotor are finished to an equally high standard.
There is very little to argue with in this watch, in my humble opinion. It takes the already high standard for fine dials at Grand Seiko and delivers an even more appealing package than what might be expected from a standard, non-limited production model. I might wish that the bracelet's clasp was a bit nicer, or that Grand Seiko might eschew the power reserve indicator, but overall the SBGE249 is a very nicely designed watch with a dial that just plain sings. Even the date window, which is fully framed in mirror-polished steel, leans into being a date window in a way that could win over even an inveterate date-window hater. And I must say I really like this style of the Grand Seiko GMT, in which the 24-hour scale is discreetly yet legibly printed on the watch's rehaut. Home time is there to be read at a glance, but this GMT avoids the overtly sporty look that, say, a 24-hour bezel would convey.
At 41mm in diameter, this a watch that could very easily be your daily wear. It's refined enough to pass for dressy situations, but it's also not diminutive. I could see myself wearing this Grand Seiko for weeks at a time, dressing it up or down as I desired, and taking it with me on work trips thanks to its GMT function.
The Basics

Brand: Grand Seiko
Model: SBGE249
Reference Number: SBGE249
Diameter: 41mm
Case Material: Stainless steel
Dial Color: White textured dial
Indexes: Applied
Lume: No
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet
The Movement

Caliber: 9R66 Spring Drive GMT
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, GMT
Power Reserve: 72 hours
Winding: Automatic
Jewels: 30
Chronometer Certified: Rated by Grand Seiko to +/- 1 second per day (+/- 15 seconds per month)
Pricing & Availability

Price: $5,900
Availability: August/September 2019
Limited Edition: 250 pieces
Find out more right here.


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