If one of these new introductions to the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection looks familiar, it’s with good reason. The SBGW301 is the latest incarnation of a classic Grand Seiko design reaching back to 2001, the SBGW001.
With the establishment of Grand Seiko on the international stage as an independent brand, the mainstay manual-winder was revived as the SBGW231 back in 2017. Today, thanks to a redesign in which the case and crystal construction has been enhanced to improve serviceability, it is being reborn once more as SBGW301.
The basic template for this watch – a classically styled round manual wristwatch with an ivory-toned dial – has been part of the Grand Seiko lineup following the launch of Caliber 9S. Back then, its designers looked to the Grand Seiko First for inspiration while creating a new design, never intending to re-create the original watch exactly. That same year also saw the birth of SBGW004, which was a re-creation of the classic 3180. Still, the SBGW001, and now the SBGW301, capture the essential qualities that made the 1960 original so compelling. The SBGW305, meanwhile, features a silver-colored dial and an elegant, multi-row bracelet.
Within each watch’s 37.3 x 11.7mm, Zaratsu-polished case runs the Caliber 9S64, a manually wound, no-date mechanical movement with central seconds that beats at 28,800 vph. This movement has a power reserve of 72 hours, allowing it to comfortably bridge a weekend between windings, with an accuracy of +5 to -3 seconds per day. 9S64’s large gear train bridge is visible through each watch’s exhibition case back, reinforcing this stalwart movement’s strength while endowing it with classic good looks to complement the diamond-cut hands and indexes found dial side.
An attractive box-shaped sapphire crystal sits atop each delicately curved dial, reinforcing the mid-century charm of the design by calling to mind vintage-style acrylic crystals.
The two new models will be available at Grand Seiko boutiques and select authorized retailers, SBGW305 from early December and SBGW301 from early January 2024.