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Grand Seiko - Its name is 007. SBGK007

Grand Seiko Its name is 007. SBGK007

There’s an art to wearing a piece that’s so understated, most collectors wouldn’t even notice it. The new Grand Seiko fits into this category. It’s the ultimate anti-bling timepiece.

The minimalism of Grand Seiko can be rather unsettling. There are no photos with sparkling celebrity ambassadors, no timepieces artfully arranged in cosy or modern interiors and no catchy name – just four letters and three numbers: SBGK007. 

Grand Seiko has followed the same recipe since 1960: the product, the whole product and nothing but the product. And it works. The Japanese manufacture continues to gain followers, including hardcore superfans, open new stores and win over some of the most difficult retailers, including, recently, Laurent Picciotto of Chronopassion.

Its name is 007. SBGK007

SBGK007 © Grand Seiko

It’s all about balance

The latest arrival in the Elegance collection, the SBGK007, is no exception. Your average trend-surfing watch lover wouldn’t look twice. But they would be missing out. Behind its unassuming exterior, this watch possesses the kind of added value that many others can only dream of. First, there’s the aesthetics. It has a small seconds register at 9 o’clock and a power reserve at 3 o’clock. Grand Seiko likes to move the power reserve around, but it’s rarely where you would expect to see it. Sometimes it’s at 7 o’clock, sometimes at 8, sometimes between the two. Here, its position symmetrically opposite the small second is a nod to Japanese rigour and the pursuit of perfect balance. 

Its name is 007. SBGK007

SBGK007 © Grand Seiko

Polish and poise

The dial is all about nuance and subtlety. At first glance you might assume it’s one colour, but it isn’t. The subtle sunray-brushed texture guides the light to the edges, giving this 39 mm watch the kind of legibility you would expect from a 40 or 41 mm diameter dial. 

Then there’s the Zaratsu polishing. Unless you’ve experienced it yourself, it’s hard to convey its effect. The absolutely immaculate hand-polished mirror finish enables the light to flow across the case uninterrupted, with no hint of deformation or imperfection. Each ray of light emphasises the sleek lines of the case, which is simple but perfect. 

9S, the mechanical soul of Grand Seiko

As far as the movement is concerned, it’s all very straightforward. Grand Seiko has just three families: the 9S is mechanical, 9F is quartz and 9R designates the Spring Drive. The SBGK007 is equipped with the 9S Calibre. This means it’s mechanical, and the presence of a power reserve indicator reveals that it’s also manual. Power is guaranteed for three days, a duration that is becoming more common, but which we’d like to see being adopted as standard.

Its name is 007. SBGK007

SBGK007 © Grand Seiko

Heart of a lion

The case back is also worthy of note. Generally, watch backs are either closed and richly engraved, or made of sapphire to provide a view of the movement and its decorations. Here, Grand Seiko has chosen... not to choose. The caseback is made of sapphire, and it’s also engraved with the famous lion emblem of the Japanese manufacture. It’s an aesthetic pleasure that only the owner of this SBGK007 will appreciate, like most of its other features, in fact. The engraved sapphire lion is a detail that neatly sums up the philosophy of Grand Seiko: serious watchmaking, perfect finishes, an antidote to bling-bling, for watch lovers prepared to venture outside Switzerland in their search for high quality.


Lecture 1 Comment(s)

9 December 2019
Rosaire Archambault
Super belle cette montre

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From the very beginning, Grand Seiko has been pursuing the essential characteristics of a watch: precision, beauty, legibility. Its design reflects the unique Japanese sense of beauty. The brand will continue to reach new heights as a global brand.

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