In this in-depth review from my online watch magazine, Escapement, I take a look at the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph Caliber 9R86 SBGC001. The watch features a column-wheel chronograph, a Spring Drive movement, a power-reserve indicator and 24 hour GMT display.
The onset of middle-age is a depressing thought. I mourn the loss of my once-flowing locks. The efficacy of my hearing has waned and I now require two pairs of spectacles to perform the most basic of tasks.
Seiko’s Grand Seiko collection now includes a watch that at least redresses the problems of age-related myopia. The Japanese brand has always been masterful at creating highly legible dials and, with this range of Spring Drive Chronographs, it also offers push-pieces that are capable of effortless operation by aging hands.
The dial color is interesting: sometimes it appears creamy and warm, whereas on other occasions it evinces an icy, silvery tone. Grand Seiko watches generally have incredible dials and their high quality is apparent on close examination.
Each numeral is crisp and sharp, and legibility is accentuated by the dual-curve sapphire crystal, featuring some of the finest anti-reflective treatment you are ever likely to see. Seiko makes its own sapphire crystals and the company’s mastery at producing these high-definition, lens-like structures is truly exceptional.
The sword-shaped hands are similar to those found on other Grand Seiko models I have previously reviewed. They have a razor-like edge to their profile that courts light and refracts it with highly legible brilliance.
This Grand Seiko has applied, faceted hour markers, brilliantly polished and shining splendidly in ambient light.
A slim, central seconds chronograph hand is presented in blued steel and, as with those on other Spring Drive models, glides around the dial in a smooth, seamless motion. This hand collaborates with the chapter ring, marked with neat black strokes and small Arabic numerals, to allow elapsed seconds to be readily interpreted.