Grand Seiko has unveiled its first two tone sports watch with the launch of Ref. SBGE248, a Spring Drive GMT timepiece that sits in the Japanese brand’s Sport collection. Grand Seiko is usually synonymous with more conservatively-styled dress watches but this is new timepiece has an extroverted outlook with the gold and blue tones.
The luxury watchmaker has done quite a lot of work on its sports watches in recent years and this year at Baselworld, Grand Seiko unveiled a new range of sports watches to commemorate the 20th anniversary of their proprietary Spring Drive movement. The color scheme of the SBGE248 is familiar - the most famous example of a sports watch in steel and gold with a blue dial has to be the Rolex Submariner Ref. 116613B.
The new timepiece has a 44 mm brushed stainless steel case with beveled edges and a case profile that measures 14.7 mm. It is fitted with an 18K yellow gold bezel — a first for the Sport collection since Grand Seiko saves the yellow gold color scheme for its more commemorative editions like the Ref. SBGW252 or Ref. SBGH266 — with a blue sapphire crystal bezel insert. The insert has the customary 24 hour markings as is standard in most GMT models with a rotating bezel, the markings are coated with Seiko’s proprietary Lumibrite luminescent material. Apart from the 18k yellow gold bezel, the screw-down crown placed at 4 o’ clock is also made from the same metal and the watch is depth-rated to 200 meters.
The cobalt blue dial also has gilded hour makers and hands all coated generously with Lumibrite. The GMT hand is gilded too, so are the markings on the dial and the power reserve indicator. A date window is placed at 4 o’ clock. The blue and gold accents play really well off each other here.
The watch is powered by Spring Drive GMT Caliber 9R66. Seiko’s proprietary Spring Drive movement celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Seiko produced the first prototype of the Spring Drive-powered watch in 1982. It was developed by Yoshikazu Akahane, an engineer who wanted to create the perfect watch, a timepiece that would tick three boxes – the accuracy of a quartz movement, the perpetual power supply of an automatic caliber and also possess refined good looks. It took 17 years to develop the first production model in 1999.
Caliber 9R66 has an incredible average accuracy rating of ±1 second per day or ±15 seconds per month. It has a power reserve of 72 hours and has a stop seconds function for accurate setting of time. It also has an independent second time zone hand that can be adjusted to local time without stopping the movement. The watch is fitted with a matching steel bracelet with a three-fold clasp with push button release. It will be available this September and is priced at $11,500.