Review: A Quirky Watch With Style And Substance. | The Grand Seiko SBGK005

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It’s easy in my line of work to get jaded. I spend all day, every day, looking at watches, trying to find the most interesting and compelling examples to share with all of you right here. It’s a great gig, don’t get me wrong, but it can lead to a bit of fatigue. Differentiating one perfectly round yellow gold dress watch from the next can start to seem futile, and there are only so many 40mm to 42mm black-dialed, ceramic-bezeled chronographs that one guy can handle. So, as you can probably imagine, when I see something that stands out, that looks genuinely new, I get very, very excited.

On a spec sheet, the Grand Seiko SBGK005 might not sound revolutionary, but in the metal and on the wrist it offers up something special that I struggle to compare directly to anything I’ve seen or worn before. The watch is a hand-wound dress watch at its core, but the unusual case design, brilliant dial, and attention to detail throughout all push it into a category all its own. After seeing it a few times since its release in February, I knew I had to spend some quality time with the SBGK005 to see what it’s really about and if it could stand up to my favorable first impressions.


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27 Replies to “Review: A Quirky Watch With Style And Substance. | The Grand Seiko SBGK005”

  1. I really enjoy my Grand Seiko. This one has a bit of a vintage mid-century feel to it. That pale dial would be nice to have in my collection to rotate with different suits.

  2. GS comes so close to being beautiful.

    That power reserve destroys such a beautiful watch. I can't bare to watch. What a waste.

    Please GS, let me give you money. Please

  3. you can get this exact dial finishing for years on a glashutte original, for less. far too big to be a dress watch. Overpriced and overpromoted on social media.

  4. On my SBGR061 the logo is a hologram and can only be noticed in certain lights giving an uninterrupted view of the beautiful movement. Personally I think mine is a far more elegant and stylish a watch than this one. Mine has the Grand Seiko traditions that made it, well, a Grand Seiko. This ones subseconds and power reserve (pointless on a manual wind watch as best practice to achieve best accuracy is to wind the watch once a day) make the dial cluttered and off balance, far from elegant. Likewise though the dial finish is wonderful it’s far too fussy for an elegant watch. Also the case on mine I feel to be more elegant, this one is more sporty.

  5. I have this watch. Have been wearing for the past one month. My wife has high-jacked it. She loves the look and think that the size is just right for her ( she is small ). I will add a couple more points, which for some reasons, you don't hear people say on youtube, but, it's common knowledge for watch collectors.

    1. The 9S63 is a better mechanism than the calatrava small second.

    2. As for the 9S64, you may not find one better of this genre in Patek, or, any other big names. It takes an excellent mechanism to carry the long second hand at high frequency for 72 hours and at the same time, keeps 'chronometer time' (mine is +2 spd). Connoisseurs called the kind of sec hand the Third Hand, and considered the best of watches. It's the most basic complication in high horology, and the foundation of good automatic watches. Other complications are nice, but, only if one understand this basic.

    3. The Patek finishing is not superior to the GS. The zaratsu polished hand and indices of the GS dance even in dim lights, which, makes my heart skip a little whenever i look. The Patek doesn't do this for me. As for engravings on the mechanism, you can find them in higher end GS, if you care about them.

    My SBGY003 is arriving next week. The tourbillion is a marvel, but, now, you can have one for a few hundred dollars. The Spring-drive is a standing marvel, testament of Piaget's 70K failure. And this one is one up, being manual wound.

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