Review: The new Grand Seiko SBGW283

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Grand Seiko evokes the nature narrative once again with the newest SBGW collection. The latest dial iteration of the SBGW series, the SBGW283 ‘Kishun’ describes the gradual warmth and clear skies that increase as the spring months change over to summer.

Grand Seiko SBGW283 “Kishun”

The SBGW283 is the same watch as the SBGW275 which we reviewed earlier, but with a different coloured dial.

The watch is built in the Grand Seiko Shizukuishi studio, tucked away in a quiet forest in northern Japan. It sits below the 2,000 meter high Mt. Iwate on the skyline. This closeness to nature has been an ongoing theme of the brand, from seasons, transitory seasons, to depictions of nature.

The case and dial

Currently the smallest case size men’s mechanical in production, sized at 37.3mm, the SBGW283 uses the same case as the SBGW231. That said, the long lugs actually gives the watch a 44.3mm lug to lug length, which makes it look bigger than it is. A recent update, the new SBGW283 and SBGW285 comes with an unstitched crocodile strap, which gives it an even more classic look. The strap is also padded with the right thickness to avoid any extended lug protrusions usually seen on watches with ill fitting lug thickness straps.

Apart from the Zaratsu polished case, the SBGW283 shines in its dial texture, and equally well polished hour markers and hands. The ice blue textured dial references a traditional Japanese art form known as Kirazuri – a classical Japanese powdered paint art form. While it resembles the texture, Grand Seiko’s dials are pressed rather than painted.

The movement

The watch uses the base caliber 9S64 manual winding with 72 hours power reserve. It’s a simple 3/4 plate handwinding with machine decorated Tokyo stripes and some beveled edge polish. Beating at 28,800 vph, the 23 jewels movement is rated at -3/+5 sec a day accuracy.

Movement finishing is at the high standards we have come to expect from Grand Seiko. All the engineering requirements are addressed very well, and though there is some attempt at cosmetic embellishment, it is not as obvious as with some haute horlogerie Swiss or German maisons.

Concluding thoughts

Priced at US$4800, the SBGW283 is a very good looking and reasonably priced timepiece. It has the right amount of beauty with just enough flair to avoid being too plain or boring.

The uniqueness of the colored dial also makes collecting different models fun, although it does come with some controversy over the endless iterations and dial colors the brand seems to be churning out. That said, Grand Seiko’s scaling strategy still benefits the end consumer, who now has the chance of collecting unique colored and textured dials.

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