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The Grand Seiko watches lineup gets an update with a new must-see watch in its Elegance Collection

Time to buy a new watch? (We'll be here all week.)

Red Grand Seiko Elegance watch
Seiko / Seiko

Seiko has once again left the horology world in awe with its latest addition to the Grand Seiko watches lineup. If you thought you’d seen it all, think again. The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT SBGJ273 has arrived, and it’s a masterpiece that marries craftsmanship and style in a way that only Grand Seiko can.

The SBGJ273 is a celebration of the vibrant red hues of autumn. “Yuka Momiji,” a phenomenon that depicts the interaction of fall maple leaves on the lacquered hardwood floors of a traditional Japanese home, is the source of inspiration for Grand Seiko. It appears as though Grand Seiko has succeeded in encasing the spirit of autumn in a timepiece. The GMT hand, rendered in a rich golden hue, adds the final touch to the dial, completing the fall-inspired color palette.

The watch has a striking red dial with a texture that draws attention right away. It’s a strong message, like the flaming leaves that cover the ground in the fall. The whole design is complemented by the stainless steel hour markers and hands, and the gold-toned GMT hand adds a dash of elegant seasonality.

Classic design meets modern innovation

The SBGJ273 pays homage to the classic case design from the Elegance Collection, which draws inspiration from the very first Grand Seiko watch created in 1960. The round case, measuring 39.5mm in diameter, showcases Seiko’s commitment to blending the classic with the contemporary.

The watch has a distinctly retro vibe thanks to the box-shaped sapphire crystal, which pays homage to mid-century design. It honors the watch brand’s illustrious past while looking to the future. Six screws hold the transparent case back of the watch in place. With this design decision, you can see the technical beauty inside while also adding a touch of modernism.

The Hi-Beat 36000 GMT Caliber 9S86 is the engine that drives the SBGJ273. The frequency of this mechanical marvel is 36,000 vibrations every hour or an astounding 10 beats per second. You will benefit from unparalleled precision as a result. You will always be on time, to the second, thanks to the watch’s average daily rate of +5 to -3 seconds. The SBGJ273 has an equally excellent power reserve, consistently operating for 55 hours on a full wind. This demonstrates the brand’s dedication to producing clocks that are both aesthetically stunning and impeccably functional.

Red Grand Seiko Elegance watch
Seiko / Seiko

A luxury watch with substance

It’s not a sporty diving watch, so its water resistance rating is classed as simply “splash resistant.” However, compared to other dress watches on the market, this makes it highly durable.

This watch is also equipped with a 24-hour hand, providing a dual-time display function. It’s a practical addition for those who frequently travel or need to keep track of multiple time zones. Additionally, the calendar-linked time difference adjustment function ensures that your watch stays in sync with the world around you.

The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT SBGJ273 is an impressive timepiece, but it’s not without a few minor quirks. While the red dial is undoubtedly striking, some might find it a tad too vibrant for everyday wear, potentially limiting its versatility. Additionally, the price point of $7,100 places it firmly in the luxury category, making it less accessible to a broader audience. These are not deal-breakers by any means, but they’re factors that potential buyers should weigh against the watch’s undeniable craftsmanship and aesthetics.

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Sarah Veldman
Freelance Writer
Sarah has been a freelance writer for over 7 years now, having started while she was living out of a suitcase and traveling…
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