A brand that is as unique in the watch industry as its watches, Seiko has for a long time stood its ground in the luxury watch market. Though it may be different in concept and certain aspects from Swiss and European luxury watches, it is nevertheless an accomplished brand that offers a look and feel that is as unique as its heritage. One of Seiko’s best creations to date is the Grand Seiko SBGA029, a watch designed for luxury and resilience. It is by no means Seiko’s latest creations, but it still retains its allure eight years since it was released.
The Grand Seiko SBGA029 is designed with luxury and precision in mind, and is categorized among the best diving watches in the market. It is, however, not your typical desk diver, as evidenced by its design. Here is a comprehensive review of the Grand Seiko SBGA029.
The Case – All about Elegance
The Grand Seiko SBGA029 features a stainless steel case that has a detailed and modern design that makes it look elegantly cool. The case is slightly bigger than most watches, measuring 44.2mm in diameter and 14mm in height. A stainless steel bezel, which is unidirectional, is fitted onto the case, while the stainless steel is hard-coated with a hue of black for a sleek look. The crown, on the other hand, is textured and reinforced on both sides by two protectors, further emphasizing the compact design. The crown features the initials GS, for Grand Seiko, adding to the opulent look.
The detail, however, does not end with the crown. The back side of the Grand Seiko SBGA029 features a protective film with Seiko’s logo imprinted proudly on it. Additionally, the bracelet, which is made of stainless steel, features a three-link-chain that fits comfortably on the wrist. The center links are textured to give it a rugged feel and elegant appearance. The clasp is everything Japanese, with a three-fold mechanism that is easy to lock and unlock.
For the titanium fanatics, you’ll be interested to know that a similar version of this watch is available in a titanium casing, under the model Grand Seiko SBGA031. However, it is slightly pricier than the former, but looks even more compact and elegant.
The dial is extremely detailed, clear, and user-friendly. It is dark, evoking a contemporary sensation while highlighting the detail in the design. The hour markers are round and silver in color, making them easy to spot both under water and in the dark. The hands, unlike those of other Grand Seiko models, are broad and luminescent to make them easy to see underwater and in the dark.
At first glance, the gait on the seconds hand looks rather unusual, but it is part of what makes the Grand Seiko SBGA029 unique and precise. The gait is caused by the spring drive movement that comes with a unidirectional oscillator – a variation from the typical Swiss luxury watches. The black dial also hosts a date window located at the 3 o’clock position, and the figures are easy to read as they are refined and engraved in a silver surface.
There is also a power reserve indicator positioned at the 8 o’clock position. And, in spite of the fact that the watch is Japanese, the dial is so simple and easy to interpret, making it appealing for people with different tastes and preferences.
The Grand Seiko SBGA029 is undoubtedly as precise as it is detailed. Although Seiko does not go into in- depth design as most luxury Swiss watches, it nevertheless focuses its effort on quality and precision, and that is what this watch is all about. This model features a caliber 9R65 Spring Drive Movement that has some of the highest standards the industry has to offer. The Spring Drive movement has an accuracy rate of plus or minus one second per day, which is quite impressive for a self-winding watch. This means that you can always rely on the watch to keep you up to date to the millisecond, as long as you wind the watch daily.
Japan has a rich history in diving, and this deep culture is exemplified in most of Seiko’s time pieces. Seiko’s first diving watch was released in 1965, and had a water resistance of up to 150 meters, which was as incredible 50 years ago as it is by modern standards. Today, Seiko has perfected the art of diving watches, and every aspect from resistance to visibility is taken into deep consideration.
The Grand Seiko SBGA029 is water resistant to a depth of 200 meters, making it ideal for diverse and sportswear. It features a protective film on its back, and the casing is water tight and strong enough to resist the weight of the water. This, coupled with the silver-coated hour markers and luminescent hands, makes the watch incredibly convenient under water even in dim lighting.
The Grand Seiko SBGA029 is characterized as a luxury watch by more than just its sleek and elegant design. Like any other luxury watch worth its name, this timepiece comes with a price tag that most people would consider hefty. A new Grand Seiko SBGA029 will cost you about $5,700 in most outlets, but prices vary from place to place.
However, considering the attention given to the look and feel of the watch, as well as the brand itself, the Grand Seiko SBGA029 is worth every dollar for a man who is willing to invest in looks and appeal.
The Grand Seiko SBGA029 is without a doubt one of the most exclusive luxury watches in the market not only for its Japanese heritage but also for its detailed style and design. It is slightly bigger than most luxury watches, but the detail on the casing as well as in the dial compensates for the extra space. Besides, most men have always been drawn to large, compact watches. And, although it may lack some of the modern features and amenities present in modern luxury watches, it is set apart by its classic Japanese design whose beauty is in the simplicity and precision.