Normally a watch looking like the one above is something I would like to see in a 36-37mm case, maximum 38mm. For sure not in a 43mm mammoth housing. So, learning on the train to Basel, watching a streamed version of the Seiko press conference, they were releasing this giant… in platinum I was very skeptical.
I was wrong. The SBGD001 is an absolute beauty. I would not want it any smaller.
The watch looks fairly standard until you start examine it in detail.
The “diamond dust” dial sparkles with the light and is just astonishing. The hands, that are made longer than on an ordinary GS, have the nice shape and cutting we have gotten used to. A blued seconds hand tops it off.
The case shape is very classic GS. It has very nice bevels and sits nicely on the wrist. It is big, but not too big. This watch should be bug! The heft is there due to the PT950 case, but on a crocodile strap it is no problem. The platinum Seiko is using is of a special proprietary kind, made to make it possible to polish the case using the Zaratsu technique for a distortion free shine.
Absolutely breath taking is the back side of the SBGD001. Through the sapphire case back you can see the brand new 9R01 movement in all it’s glory. It is a hand wound Spring Drive movement with 8-days Power reserve (yup, that is 192 hours). One big one-piece bridge ensures the precise positioning of each wheel in the gear train. The top of the bridge is made to resemble the outline of Mount Fuji and the rubies and blued screws evoke the lights of the city of Suwa below the Studio where the watch is made. The hour hand is independently set, making it a perfect travelling watch not having to stop it when changing time zone (and the same when adjusting for summer/winter time).
The SBGD001 is the first Grand Seiko made in the Micro Arts studio (the home of legendary Credor watches such as the minute repeater, the sonnerie and the EichII).
Of course all components are made in-house and all finishing and assembly are done by hand.
Of all watches launched at Baselworld 2016 the SBGD001 is the clear star in my book.
The only problem with this watch is the price. It will cost 6.000.000 JPY and only be sold in Seiko boutiques. The release is August 6 2016.
Personally I would do almost anything to get it on my wrist. This one is a clear OWG-piece.
UPDATE: Nov 10th, 2016. Read about the arrival here.