In recent years, Japan’s Grand Seiko has used the annual Couture watch and jewelry fair in Las Vegas as a launchpad for several special editions, including the fondly remembered quartet of U.S.A.-exclusive “Four Seasons” models in 2019. This year, as the Couture show returns from its COVID-wrought hiatus in 2020, Grand Seiko has unveiled another series of limited editions aimed squarely at the U.S. market: three green-dialed, manually wound, time-only models based on the popular SBGW231 reference and taking their aesthetic cue from one of Japan’s scenic natural wonders.
The three references — SBGW273, SBGW275, and SBGW277 — all hail from Grand Seiko’s Elegance collection and all derive their verdant dial tones and subtly organic textures from the lush greenery of Japan’s Genbi Valley, a national monument in Iwate, in Northeast Japan, famed for its picturesque landscapes. Each slightly domed dial expresses a distinct character that is subtly different from the others. The light, bright hue of the SBGW273 (above) is designed to evoke “the new growth that comes with the changing of the seasons,” and helps to pop the navy-blue seconds hand. The teal-tinted SBGW275 (below) is most evocative of the waters that flow through the valley. And the “purest” green tone found on the dial of the SGW277 (bottom) most closely echoes the color of the vegetation that lines the valley’s walls. All the dials feature the signature Grand Seiko razor-style hands and polished, faceted indices.
The case, in polished and brushed stainless steel, measures a modest yet versatile 37.3 mm in diameter and comes mounted on crocodile leather strap, brown for the 273 and 277 model and black for the 275. Inside the case, behind a sapphire window, beats the manually wound Caliber 9S64, whose attributes include an accuracy rate of +5 to -3 seconds per day, a brisk frequency of 28,800 vph (eight beats per second), and a lengthy power reserve of 72 hours (three days) when fully wound.
The Grand Seiko Elegance Collection U.S. Limited Editions for 2020 are all limited to 140 pieces each, with a suggested retail price of $4,900. The SBGW275 will be exclusive to Grand Seiko Boutiques and Grand Seiko online. The SBGW273 and SBGW277 will be available for purchase at select specialty retailers.