Grand Seiko introduces four new U.S. Special editions, including a new Peacock

Grand Seiko introduces four new U.S. Special editions, including a new Peacock

In case you weren’t aware, the USA’s largest watch show is Couture, held in Las Vegas. It’s a way for exhibiting brands to show the American market who didn’t trek to Switzerland what was released earlier in the year, and also an opportunity for brands to drop some new heat. And drop the heat is exactly what Grand Seiko did, with not one but four editions aimed at the American market. Two GMTs in the form of SBGJ261 and SBGJ259 and two pieces from the Elegance collection, SBGK015 and SBGK017. Let’s break them down.

First up, SBGJ261, the limited edition ‘Peacock’. In 2017 Grand Seiko made a stunning green-dialled GMT nicknamed the Peacock, and, as you might expect, it was a massive hit. Now the Japanese brand has revived the vivid dial design and swapped out green for a bold blue. The case is an updated version of the iconic 44GS design, and the high-beat GMT is as dependable as ever, offering accuracy of +5/-3 a day. The only downside is that this blue beauty is limited to 500 pieces.

SBGJ261 "Peacock" U.S. Limited Edition
SBGJ261 "Peacock" U.S. Limited Edition
SBGJ261 "Peacock" U.S. Limited Edition
SBGJ261 "Peacock" U.S. Limited Edition

Less limited, but equally impressive is SBGJ259. Another hi-beat GMT, again in the heritage-inspired 44GS case, the dial is, if anything, more of a standout than a peacock. A bold green, with vertical striations, this dial was designed by architect Kengo Kuma, and is inspired by a bamboo grove at Tokyo’s Nezu Museum and Garden. For the GMT hand to stand out against this, it had to be something special, and the neon-chartreuse tones they’ve used certainly fit the bill. This watch is not limited, but it is only available in U.S. retailers.

SBGJ259 U.S. Special Edition
SBGJ259 U.S. Special Edition
SBGJ259 U.S. Special Edition
SBGJ259 U.S. Special Edition

Stepping back from Grand Seiko’s sportier designs are the next two pieces, both from the Elegance collection. These dressier, manually wound 39mm numbers sport two very different interpretations of the same radial, tile-like pattern. SBGK017, on a bracelet, is the more demure of the pair, with the dial tone being inspired by traditional ironware. The limited edition SBGK015, AKA “Ryūsendō” is an altogether more attention-seeking number with a bright blue dial that Grand Seiko says is inspired by underground lakes but, to a less nuanced eye might be seen to bear a strong resemblance to a shade of blue that’s been very popular in watch dials over the last 12 months. Regardless of what it reminds you of, there’s no denying it’s a dress watch that is anything but dull.

SBGK017 U.S. Special Edition
SBGK017 U.S. Special Edition
SBGK017 U.S. Special Edition
SBGK017 U.S. Special Edition
SBGK015 "Ryūsendō" U.S. Limited Edition
SBGK015 "Ryūsendō" U.S. Limited Edition
SBGK015 "Ryūsendō" U.S. Limited Edition
SBGK015 "Ryūsendō" U.S. Limited Edition

Tech Specs

SBGJ261 “Peacock” U.S. Limited Edition

SBGJ261 "Peacock" U.S. Limited Edition

Movement: 9S86, automatic, power reserve of 55 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, seconds, GMT
Case: 40 x 14mm, stainless steel, water-resistant to 100M
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: USD 6,800 approximate retail
Availability: Limited to 500 pieces

SBGJ259 U.S. Special Edition

SBGJ259 U.S. Special Edition

Movement: 9S86, automatic, power reserve of 55 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, date, seconds, GMT
Case: 40 x 14mm, stainless steel, water-resistant to 100M
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: USD 6,800 approximate retail

SBGK015 “Ryūsendō” U.S. Limited Edition

SBGK015 "Ryūsendō" U.S. Limited Edition

Movement: 9S63, manual winding, 72 hours of power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve
Case: 39 x 11.6mm, stainless steel, water-resistant to 30M
Strap: Crocodile leather
Price: USD 7,500 approximate retail
Availability: Limited to 250 pieces

SBGK017 U.S. Special Edition

SBGK017 U.S. Special Edition

Movement: 9S63, manual winding, 72 hours of power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, power reserve
Case: 39 x 11.6mm, stainless steel, water-resistant to 30M
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: USD 8,900, approximate retail

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Felix Scholz

Felix Scholz has spent the last decade covering watches from his home in Australia. Given this, it's surprising that he still struggles with time zones. Over the years he's become a firm believer that less is more when it comes to watch design – except when a rainbow bezel is involved. He's written for numerous titles including Hodinkee, GQ, A Collected Man and more. These days he looks after the Australian edition of Revolution and takes a break from writing about watches to talk about them, as the co-host of OT: The Podcast.

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