Seiko’s Spring Drive technology has been featured on Horologium before. You can read more about the ‘hybrid’ mechanical-quartz Spring Drive movement at the previous posts and how technologically and mechanically significant a development it has been for Seiko, but this is the first Spring Drive GMT to appear here – the Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE001.
This watch is part of Seiko’s Spring Drive Calibre 9R series, one of two GMT models in that series, and contains the calibre 9R66. The eponymous GMT function is indicated by the red hand on the watch, and you can change the hour hand separately and without moving the GMT hand. All three (hour, minute, GMT) hands are luminous, as are the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock hour markers, numbers and, happily, the markers on the bezel, which is sapphire coated. There is a date window at 4 o’clock and a power reserve indicator between 8 and 9 o’clock. The sapphire crystal is anti-reflective and domed.
A stainless steel watch with a diametre of 43.5mm, height of 14.7mm and weight of 177g, this is a reasonably substantial watch. The bracelet is solid and durable, with a three-fold clasp with a push button release. Unfortunately the case back is closed, but the other GMT Spring Drive has an open case back.
One of the highlights of the Spring Drive movements is of course its accuracy. Seiko states that the accuracy of this movement is +/- one second per day.
The Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT is, as befitting the higher-end Seikos, very well made, solid, and comfortably large but not too much so. It’s aesthetically rather sedate, a classically designed sports watch styled GMT, but that’s what Grand Seikos are about – they are discreet watches for those happy to spend thousands on a Seiko without needing to make a song and dance about it. People buy these watches because they appreciate their quality and because they admire the movements, in this instance the Spring Drive technology, and not because they want someone to recognise what is on their wrist, because for most people, the words ‘Spring Drive’ and ‘Grand Seiko’ won’t mean a thing.