Until recently, Grand Seiko watches were a Seiko sub-brand (featuring the Seiko logo at 12 o’clock and “Grand Seiko” at 6). In 2017, Seiko announced its decision to present Grand Seiko as an independent brand, with only "Grand Seiko” visible on the dial. To mark this occasion, Seiko released three limited edition watches in steel, gold, and platinum - each model featuring a slightly different version of the original Grand Seiko logo from 1960.
The reference SBGW251 in particular, represents the most premium of the series - with an engraved, solid-gold dial and platinum case - with sharp, diamond-cut steel hands (reminiscent of the earliest Grand Seikos) and applied, white-gold index markers – classically sized, at 38.5mm in case diameter. The Ref. SBGW251 is also the most limited of the series, at 136 pieces – in honour of Seiko's 136th birthday.
The radial-brushed dial is classically understated, balancing the inclusion of an outer-minute track perfectly. The watch displays three hands - hours, minutes, and centre-seconds for the time. Overall, the dial layout is clean, with the highly-polished, steel hands visible in a variety of lighting conditions. An eight-pointed star at six o’clock subtly indicates the use of solid-gold for the hour markers. The dual-curved sapphire crystal remains true to the original shape.
With this example, the platinum case is stamped ‘999 PT’ - meaning the case is 99.9% platinum. Typically, platinum cases are marked ‘950’, similarly indicating the alloy is 95% platinum. The case-back features the Grand Seiko lion emblem, ‘Limited Edition’, along with its unique reference numbers. The plain case-back conceals the movement, much like the original reference.
The Grand Seiko SBGW251 integrates the brand’s in-house Calibre 9S64 - a 24-jewel, hand-wound movement with a 72-hour power reserve. The movement is specially adjusted for rate stability in the platinum edition - rated to -1 to +5 seconds day, compared to -3 to +5 seconds for the other pieces. The regulated movement is found only on the platinum model (as is the above mentioned, engraved logo on the dial).
This platinum, limited edition Grand Seiko, comes as a full-set with its original Grand Seiko, gloss-black, strap, platinum Grand Seiko buckle (featuring the original 1960 logo) and its accompanying box, paperwork and timing certificate.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.