Over the last few years, Grand Seiko has introduced a nearly nonstop stream of variants in their popular “SBGW” line of 37mm, manually wound dress watches. We’ve covered these watches at length, because we’re honestly pretty big fans. There’s a lot to like: they are based on the original Grand Seiko design language dating back to the founding of the brand, they are relatively affordable when compared to other watches in the Grand Seiko catalog, and they possess an elegant simplicity that is easy to dress up or down with a simple strap change. And of course, as time passes, there’s seemingly no end to the colors and textures that might pop up. But one thing has eluded collectors, at least many in the United States, and that’s a bracelet option. The Japanese market has long had the ability to pair this case with an elegant stainless steel bracelet, but the American collector has to jump through some hoops. That changed last week in an update to the collection could serve to reset the “SBGW” experience.*

The new SBGW305 sees the dress watch fashioned with a simple silver dial, and a case mounted to a five-row steel bracelet that appears to be virtually identical to the bracelet that was paired with the JDM model SBGW235. For a better look, you can check out our recent video on our team’s mutual love for Grand Seiko, where you’ll see Worn & Wound cofounder Zach Weiss guiding us through his own personal collection of Grand Seikos, which includes the SBGW277 on said bracelet.*

These watches work really well on leather straps, of course, but the bracelet option greatly expands their versatility, and (unsurprisingly) completely transforms the wearing experience. While a bracelet is often associated with a sportier look, that’s not really what’s going on here. This is very much a “dress bracelet” in that it has a fairly ornate design, but it adds a certain refinement while also adding literal and figurative weight to the watch. The 37mm case feels a little bigger when it’s on the bracelet, and it’s also less under the radar, which may or may not be what you’re going for, but it’s nice to have options.*

Along with the new SBGW305, Grand Seiko has also introduced the SBGW301, a direct descendent of the original version of this watch, the SBGW001, which was introduced all the way back in 2001. This watch comes on a leather strap and has the same ivory colored dial that first drew in so many collectors in earlier references. Both watches run on the tried and true 9S64 manually wound movement. Grand Seiko notes that the case and crystal designs have been tweaked very slightly for better serviceability. The dimensions remain pleasingly compact, with a diameter listed at 37.3mm, a case height of 11.7mm, and a lug to lug span of 44.3mm.*

The retail price for the SBGW305 comes in at $5,500, while the SBGW301 is priced at $4,800. More information can be found at Grand Seiko’s website, here.*

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