As we’ve covered extensively throughout the year, 2020 marks 60 years since the release of the first Grand Seiko watch, and if you thought the brand was done announcing new commemorative editions for the year just because we’ve reached late December, you would be mistaken.
Last week, the Japanese luxury watchmaker unveiled the new U.S.-exclusive GS Eagle Limited Edition Ref. SBGE263. The new watch is a novel take on the brand’s popular Spring Drive GMT design, itself which had an anniversary last year celebrating 20 years of production. The new watch joins an array of other commemorative pieces rolled out this year, including a blue dial SLGH003, a novel caliber, four limited editions at the start of the year, and at least three re-creations of the first Grand Seiko; in all likelihood with only a couple weeks left in 2020, it will be the cherry on top of this anniversary year.
The GS Eagle has a 200-meter water resistant, 40.5-mm x 14.7-mm steel case, complete with alternating brushed and polished finishing in the brand’s famous Zaratsu style. The case features a deeply grooved, signed crown at 4 o’clock (often a signature of the brand), as well as a fixed 24-hour ceramic bezel. According to Grand Seiko, the bezel was produced in a deep brown both as a reference to the feathers of an eagle and “as a reminder of the warm tones of the earth,” with both described as “reliable and dignified.” The watch is secured to the wrist via a three-link steel bracelet, also finished with the Zaratsu polishing, locking with a signed, micro-adjusting folding clasp.
Underneath the slightly domed sapphire crystal lies a radially textured and slightly grooved brown dial — in a color matching that of the GMT bezel on the case and “[representing] the radiance of the eagle’s freedom soaring through the vista, swooping downward into valleys below or upward into the boundless spaces above.” On the dial’s outer edge is an additional dual-tone 24-hour scale, while on the dial proper, the watch opts for applied indices at each hour, with large trapezoids used for each quarter-hour and smaller rectangles used for the hours in between. A subtle, white-printed minute ring connects all of the hour indices, with dots of lume making their presence known.
Other dial features include a 4 o’clock date window in parallel to the 4 o’clock crown, casually taking up the spot for that hour marker. The style, at least in photography, appears rather seamless, and is a nice change from brands occasionally sneaking in date windows at the 4:30 spot for the sake of not breaking up the hour indices. A power-reserve indicator is located at the 8:30 position, while an applied Grand Seiko logo stands alert under the 12 o’clock position. Passing over the dial are the signature Grand Seiko dauphine hands, here slightly reworked to match the overall sporty style of the watch. The hands are accompanied by a simple pointer for the seconds and a gold-colored, arrow-tipped hand for the second time-zone pointer; according to Grand Seiko, the color was chosen in reference to the golden beak of the eagle.
Inside this exclusive timepiece, the Grand Seiko Caliber 9R66 Spring Drive movement operates via its hybrid quartz-regulated, automatic winding technology, making it accurate to +/-15 seconds month. The movement contains 30 jewels and stores a 72-hour power reserve. While we don’t have pictures from the brand of the caseback, its likely the GS Eagle follows the patten of other Spring Drive GMTs and opts for a solid caseback with an engraved Grand Seiko lion emblem.
The launch of the new Spring Dive GMT model comes alongside even bigger news for diehard Grand Seiko fans and collectors — the launch of the U.S.A.’s GS9 Club. The new club is meant to serve as “an exclusive community for avid Grand Seiko collectors,” according to the brand, “created specifically for watch enthusiasts who purchased a Grand Seiko timepiece from a Grand Seiko Boutique, Salon or Mastershop.” This version of the G69 Club joins the already established Japanese version, and will serve a dual role of both bringing Grand Seiko collectors together and serving as an e-commerce platform for direct brand purchases.
The GS Eagle Limited Edition Ref. SBGE263 will be available in January 2021 in a limited-edition run of 110 pieces. Grand Seiko has set pricing at $6,700.
To learn more and inquire for purchase, you can visit Grand Seiko’s website, here.
To learn more about the US GS9 Club, click here.
Do you love these commemorative models? Well the last time we heard from Grand Seiko it was upon their introduction of two more commemorative models celebrating brand anniversaries for Seiko (rather than Gran Seiko) for 2021, so you can be sure to expect at least a few more in the coming year.
To read our most recent interview with Grand Seiko USA President Brice Le Troadec, click here.