Likes Likes:  33
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: A Repost of the Review of My Grand Seiko Part 1 (Part 2 is contained in a reply)

  1. #1
    Master Enabler RBrylawski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    859

    A Repost of the Review of My Grand Seiko Part 1 (Part 2 is contained in a reply)

    This is a repost of the Introductory Thread I posted on the "other island" when I got my Grand Seiko. Some minor modification was in order to post it here, but this was the review:

    For me, a lot of the fun in getting a new watch is learning all I can about it. I like learning about the company, its history, the finishing, the movement, etc. OK, I just might have written the longest watch review in IWL history. But hey, it’s my first Grand Seiko (SBGR083) and I wanted to learn as much as I could. Sorry for how long this is, but we’re all WIS here and we pretty much live to read about and look at pictures of watches, right? So please enjoy this, but you won’t hurt my feelings if you just skip to the pictures. Oh who am I kidding? I put a lot into this, so you should read every word. Yes you should!

    Let me first say a HUGE thanks to Dan at Timeless Luxury Watches for making the purchase of my Limited Edition Grand Seiko SBGR083 one of the nicest, least stressful purchases EVER . This wasn’t a purchase I could delay since this watch is just about sold out worldwide. Timeless Luxury has some great brands. If you’re looking for a great watch I suggest you give Dan a call. The SBGR083 has a MSRP of $4600, which for a piece of this quality is very attractively priced to begin with. But if I told you what I paid for my GS, I’d have to kill you (so don’t ask). I’m willing to bet Dan will give you a great deal on something you want too! Visit them at: www.timelessluxwatches.com

    Next, thanks to my buds Walter (aka wschofield), and Max (aka Doboji), for coming to Tampa recently to visit, play with watches and share a great meal. The friendships I’ve made here on IWL are amazing and very important to me. But darn you Walter! You let me wear your Grand Seiko, which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt how special GS is. NOTE: Walter has since sold his GS, a decision I told him he'd regret and so he does!. But thanks to him, I couldn’t get the watch out of my head so I had to get one of my own! Last, but certainly not least, to my partner Charlie who continues to tolerate the WIS insanity I and many are deeply afflicted with, even if he doesn’t understand it! NOTE: Since this was written, Charlie is now my legal husband, which is something worthy of celebration all by itself after being together 35 years!

    When I got my first mechanical (Baume and Mercier Capeland Flyback) I had never heard of, nor seen a Grand Seiko in the wild. Someone I have a lot of respect for, opened my eyes to GS when he posted his GS Hi-Beat and I’ve been enthralled and smitten since. The Grand Seiko is often compared to the Omega Aqua Terra and Rolex Datejust. For the longest time, I was absolutely convinced I wanted the Omega. But after trying the GS on and after much research, the GS won my heart hands down.

    Seiko is certainly a loved brand. Not a day goes by without several Seiko’s showing up in WRUW threads, from Seiko Monster’s to Grand Seiko’s. And there’s good reason for the love. The history of Seiko and Grand Seiko is pretty cool. If you like history, please read on. If you don’t, feel free to skip to my review and the pictures.

    Seiko is one of the oldest watch companies in the world. Founded in 1881, it’s also one of very few watch companies who has remained in the founding family since it became a company. Seiko was founded by Kintaro Hattori, who began repairing clocks at the age of 18. This by the way was the same year Audemars Piguet was founded. Today, Seiko Group consists of three companies, though they share common shareholders from the very same founding Hattori family. The very first Seiko watch was made in 1913 (about the time wrist watches were becoming fashionable), but it was called the Laurel. The Seiko name, which stands for “Exquisite” or “Success” in Japanese, didn’t make it on a Seiko watch dial until 1924. Except for the name on the dial, they look the same. Here is a picture of the Laurel and the 1924 Seiko:



    To Be Continued in Part 2

    Last edited by RBrylawski; Aug 5, 2015 at 09:27 PM.
    B&M Capeland Flyback/Muhle Glashutte 29er Big/Grand Seiko SBGR083/JeanRichard Aquascope/UTS 1000m V2/Ebel 1911 BTR Cal137/Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso/Lew & Huey Acionna



  2. Likes Steppy, Seriously, geoffbot, CFR, iyonk liked this post
  3. #2
    Master Enabler RBrylawski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    859
    This is Part 2 of the review:

    Grand Seiko was launched in December 1960 from the belief they could make a watch equal to or better than the highest levels of watches manufactured in Switzerland. The Grand Seiko essence showcases the pure essentials of watch making, with craftsmanship and high technology manufacturing to create watches that are as accurate, as legible, as comfortable and as durable as can be achieved. Here’s a picture of the very first Grand Seiko watch:

    GS has a staff of 60, including 19 watchmakers (two of whom are certified Master Artisans) who make approximately 30,000 watches a year. To manufacture GS, they built one of the most sophisticated watch manufacturing facilities in the world near the town of Morioka, Japan. Inside the watch-making studio each watchmaker’s desk is custom made out of a local wood called “Iwasado Tansu” lacquered to a bright polish. The benches are all custom made specifically to the height of the individual watchmaker. Just outside the studio hangs a large sign in Japanese stating “Building in Quality with Painstaking Care.” Here are pictures of the Watch Making Studio Interior.



    EVERY single component in a Grand Seiko is made in-house. They use Spron Alloys (developed and manufactured by Seiko) for their Hairspring, which provides longer durability, elasticity and greater anti-magnetic characteristics. They even make their own proprietary oils for movement lubrication. Grand Seiko also uses “MEMS” manufacturing for the escapement and other itty-bitty parts. “MEMS” stands for Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems, which are considered the most accurate micro machines in the world. MEMS is supposed to make teeny tiny parts that are lighter, more precisely cut, more durable, with smoother surfaces, all helping to contribute to the incredible accuracy GS watches are known for.

    For 50 years, Grand Seiko was sold exclusively in Japan. If you wanted one, you literally had to go there. In 2010, Seiko finally made the brand available in 20 countries, including the US. Yet to this day, very few people know Seiko makes anything other than inexpensive quartz watches, let alone very exclusive, limited production watches, such as Grand Seiko.

    Every Grand Seiko movement is tested to incredibly high standards, known simply as “The Grand Seiko Inspection Standard.” In fact, GS watch movements are tested to higher standards than COSC certification. A GS movement is tested in 6 positions and 3 temperatures over 17 days, while COSC standard is 5 positions and 2 temperatures over 15 days.

    So proudly I introduce my brand spanking new Grand Seiko SBGR083! (Applause and Gasps Erupt)! The SBGR083 was introduced in 2013 in Limited Edition included a silver faced sibling (SBGR081). Grand Seiko made 700 Black faced SBGR083’s and 1200 Silver faced SBGR081’s for the world. It’s interesting to note this watch has a power reserve of 3 days (72 hours) from a single barrel. The watch itself is based on and commemorates the 44GS, which was released in 1967. Seiko has remained true to their design roots with the GS line and one could certainly say their watch design is iconic.
    To say I’m very excited one of these limited edition puppies is now strapped to my wrist is an understatement. Here are my impressions and pictures:

    The Packaging
    :

    Grand Seiko does not send your new jewel in a milled lacquered shiny wood box, like say Omega. Not that the box is bad, it’s just not something you’d want to put on your nightstand for all to admire. There’s a faux leather wrapped box which when opened houses a dark blue velvet lined container with the watch on a nice cushy pillow. While I can appreciate a fancy-dancy wood box and I even have some, all my watch boxes are stored on the top shelf of a closet, so I wasn’t disappointed with a functional, sensible container. It’s OK they spent less on the box, because they clearly didn’t spend less on the watch.



    The Watch Finishing
    :

    Grand Seiko is all about the little details. Pictures just don’t do the details justice. For example, to ensure legibility in poor lighting conditions (there’s no lume on this watch) the hands and markers have a specially sculpted shape and their surface is very carefully polished to a razor edge. This ensures even the slightest ray of light reflects off the surfaces. The seconds had is round, not flat, like it is on every other watch I own. And to add visual interest, the seconds hand and the GS Logo are Gold.

    The Sapphire Crystal is AR coated and slightly raised by about 1.5m and ever so slightly domed. I really like a raised crystal.


    The black lacquered dial is simply stunning. It is like porcelain and try as I can, I can find absolutely no imperfection in the finish. It’s really like looking into a lake at night. The watch hands can actually be seen reflected above the dial and in most lighting situations, they shimmer like diamonds.



    Grand Seiko cases, hands, hour markers, and bracelets are finished using a process known as Zaratsu or blade polishing. This process is made by carefully applying a rotating tin plate against the case at a very precise angle. Every surface is polished by experienced Zaratsu craftsmen, and is entrusted to only the most skilled and experienced finishers. The mirror finish on the case side surface has no distortion. Really. It’s simply amazing! Even the hour markers are special. They’re Zaratsu finished on the sides with diamond cut channels on the top to catch light wherever possible. If it appears the Seiko and GS logos seem to float above the dial, it’s because they do. Like most metal logos, they are applied to the dial with metal pins going through the dial; however, unlike almost everyone else, Seiko chose to leave a tiny millimeter of space between the bottom of the logos and the dial, emphasizing the three dimensional aspect of the dial.

    The Movement:

    It’s impressive that every single piece of this 35 jewel, 28,8 BPH (Calibre 9S65) movement is manufactured and tested in-house. For decoration, Grand Seiko uses Tokyo Stripes on their movements. It’s actually a nice change from the Pearlage and Cotes de Geneve (not that they aren’t beautiful in their own right) found on most Swiss watches. This was excerpted directly from Grand Seiko about Tokyo Stripes on their movements: “The movement design and engraving pay tribute to the region. Through the sapphire case back can be seen the multiple layers of the gears, bridge and barrel which echo the ridges of the beautiful mountain range of Shinshu that dominates the skyline." All GS watches feature the GS Lion on the back, whether the watch has a solid back or one with Sapphire glass. On the Sapphire back of my watch, the GS Lion is faintly outlined/etched in the center of the glass. You'll have to trust me that it's there, even though I couldn't capture it in film.

    While the movement in the SBGR083 is beautifully finished, one could say the finishing is understated but very elegant. The edges of all the little pieces are not chamfered, but they are highly polished on the sides. It’s not like they didn’t finish them, they’re just not finished in the traditional Swiss way. The rotor is great looking with Tokyo Stripes and the Gold GS Logo on it and it’s got two cutouts so you can see more of the movement through the rotor. I find this movement visually appealing. In terms of finishing, it reminds me of Omega’s PO8500 movement.



    Each Grand Seiko bracelet is hand finished and is made of the highest quality solid materials. Each component fits perfectly and smoothly. The clasp employs three-fold construction with double push buttons providing a secure lock. Each link has a special curved shape appropriate to the thickness of the case and is also Zaratsu polished. The bracelet uses screws, no pins. I must say the bracelet is SUPREMELY comfortable and quite beautiful.


    And what would any watch review be without a couple wrist shots. So here are a couple:



    Conclusion:

    Well that’s it. I know I made this REALLY REALLY long. If you made it all the way through this ‘uber’ long review, congratulations! If you only peeked at the pictures, that’s fine too! I’m beyond stoked with my new Grand Seiko. I now completely understand why people who get a Grand Seiko gush over them. GS made sure all the little details add up to one beautifully finished, ultra-legible, mechanical marvel. For me, this watch is just about perfect and could easily become the favorite in my collection.
    Last edited by RBrylawski; Aug 6, 2015 at 12:13 AM.
    B&M Capeland Flyback/Muhle Glashutte 29er Big/Grand Seiko SBGR083/JeanRichard Aquascope/UTS 1000m V2/Ebel 1911 BTR Cal137/Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso/Lew & Huey Acionna



  4. #3
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    West Sussex, UK
    Posts
    22,587
    Superb review - you deserve some rep. Yes you do! There.
    Follow IWL on instagram! https://instagram.com/iwatchleague

  5. Likes RBrylawski, -JP, iyonk liked this post
  6. #4
    Master Enabler RBrylawski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    859
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    Superb review - you deserve some rep. Yes you do! There.
    Thanks Geoff. As you may recall, I wrote and posted this on the other island, and it was more of an experiment to see if I could take my words and pics and copy them there. I found I can. I may do this again with another of my lengthy reviews........
    B&M Capeland Flyback/Muhle Glashutte 29er Big/Grand Seiko SBGR083/JeanRichard Aquascope/UTS 1000m V2/Ebel 1911 BTR Cal137/Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso/Lew & Huey Acionna



  7. #5
    Grr! Argh! meijlinder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Gothenburg, Sweden
    Posts
    7,489
    Quote Originally Posted by geoffbot View Post
    Superb review - you deserve some rep. Yes you do! There.
    And thanks for the reminder to log in through browser once in a while (and not just tapa). Need to do some repping...

  8. Likes RBrylawski liked this post
  9. #6
    Even though I might never be able to afford one, it was very interesting , so thanks for your effort Rod
    One thing that puzzles me is how they test it for 1000 hours in 17 days , or am I missing something?

  10. #7
    Master Enabler RBrylawski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    859
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    Even though I might never be able to afford one, it was very interesting , so thanks for your effort Rod
    One thing that puzzles me is how they test it for 1000 hours in 17 days , or am I missing something?
    That would be an amazing achievment, since there are only 408 hours in 17 days, but I got that from Seiko somewhere, somehow, which clearly is not correct. Perhaps, I should fix that, eh?
    B&M Capeland Flyback/Muhle Glashutte 29er Big/Grand Seiko SBGR083/JeanRichard Aquascope/UTS 1000m V2/Ebel 1911 BTR Cal137/Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso/Lew & Huey Acionna



  11. #8
    Master Enabler RBrylawski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    859
    Quote Originally Posted by Seriously View Post
    Even though I might never be able to afford one, it was very interesting , so thanks for your effort Rod
    One thing that puzzles me is how they test it for 1000 hours in 17 days , or am I missing something?
    That would be an amazing achievment, since there are only 408 hours in 17 days, but I got that from Seiko somewhere, somehow, which clearly is not correct. Perhaps, I should fix that, eh?

    But alas, I couldn't. Maybe because it was copied from the 2nd thread I started and pasted as a reply? Dunno, but when I click, edit post, the box is empty.
    B&M Capeland Flyback/Muhle Glashutte 29er Big/Grand Seiko SBGR083/JeanRichard Aquascope/UTS 1000m V2/Ebel 1911 BTR Cal137/Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso/Lew & Huey Acionna



  12. #9
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    West Sussex, UK
    Posts
    22,587
    Quote Originally Posted by meijlinder View Post
    And thanks for the reminder to log in through browser once in a while (and not just tapa). Need to do some repping...
    Menu >Web view then in your browser request desktop version of the website. Takes me a few seconds on my phone.
    Follow IWL on instagram! https://instagram.com/iwatchleague

  13. Likes Nutty28 liked this post
  14. #10
    Maybe they're tiny Japanese grandseiko hours

  15. Likes Colin liked this post

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
About Us
We are an independent and wide-ranging forum for watch enthusiasts. From mainspring to microchip, from Europe to Asia, from micro-brand to boutique - we cover it all. Novice or expert, we want you to feel at home. Whether it's asking a simple question or contributing to the fund of horological knowledge, it's all the same hobby. Or, if you like, you can just show us a picture of your new watch. We'll provide the welcoming and courteous environment, the rest is up to you!
Join us