At the last trade show in Basel, the luxury sub-brand of the Japanese watchmaking giant has presented a pair of limited edition versions of their GMT model. Called Grand Seiko GMT 10th Anniversary Edition, the model with reference number SBGM029 looks the most impressive with its noble blue dial and striking yellow gold accents of the second time zone indicator and the predictably “GMT” inscription at six o’clock.
According to official specifications, the limited edition watch is delivered in a very compact (at least, when compared to most European models with similar “sporty” design) sub-40mm stainless steel body.
Measuring just 39.20 millimeters in diameter and sporting a set of relatively long horns that accommodate nicely its extremely refined solid steel bracelet, the watch will probably look great on any normal wrist with just about any dress, starting with a business suit and finishing with a polo shirt and a pair of blue jeans.
Featuring an easily recognizable design, the watch is equipped with a Rolex-style 24-hour bezel that sports easy to read Arabic numerals engraved on its surface.
Current time in the second time zone is displayed using an arrow-shaped, gold-toned second hours hand that looks very different from a pair of dauphine-shaped hands that are used to display hours and minutes.
My only complaint here is the lack of lume on the dial: it is a sporty watch and its owner will often find himself in a situation when he won’t be able to read time just because it is too dark on the street!
I have seen a number of live shots made during the Baselworld 2012 event and I have to admit that I rather like the design of the piece, although sometimes I still wonder why all Japanese watchmakers try to speak Alemannic dialects when their own culture has such a beautiful design language.
The timekeeper is powered by a new Seiko caliber 9S66A automatic movement, which is built on 35 jewels, beats at 28,800 vph and offers an impressive power reserve of 72 hours. Skillfully decorated, the movement is equipped with a lightweight titanium rotor with tungsten oscillating weight. Painted blue, the rotor looks like a stylized blue lotus flower and matches the color of the dial of the piece.
The Grand Seiko GMT 10th Anniversary Edition Automatic (Ref. SBGM029) will be produced in a limited run of only 700 pieces that will retail across the world and EU in general at a pretty much impressive (for a model in steel) price of €6600 (around $8600 at current exchange rate.)
Grand Seiko GMT 10th Anniversary Edition Automatic (Ref. SBGM029) watch specification
Movement: Automatic, Caliber 9S66A, Made in Japan
Number of jewels: 35
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Stripes on bridges, blue winding rotor
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, second time zone (GMT)
Power reserve: 72 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 39.20 mm
Case height: 13.90 mm
Lug width: No data
Numerals: 24-hour GMT scale on the bezel, Arabic
Hour markers: Applied, steel
Hands: Dauphine-shaped, steel; gold-toned GMT hand
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Solid stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp with push button release
Case back: Sapphire