Early 9F: Grand Seiko SBGV003 at No Reserve
If you’d like a 9F equipped Grand Seiko to try out the brand, you could do worse than this JDM-Only SBGV003. Almost as a rule, I prefer mechanical movements. But there are exceptions. Well, basically three exceptions: G-shock, Beta-21s & Oyster Quartz, and 9F Grand Seikos. But that’s just me. This model comes from the early 2000s, well before Grand Seiko’s massive push upmarket. Despite that, there is no lack of the finishing or quality Grand Seiko has become renown for. In fact, in terms of finishing per dollar, it may be the smartest choice across the entire market right now.
The ‘Grey Beast’ SBGV245 has stolen quartz limelight as of late, but it’s worth remembering that the 9F movement has a real legacy. High-accuracy 9F is capable of delivering ± 10 seconds per year, an order of magnitude above any automatic caliber. But that’s just the start. Grand Seiko’s quartz is multiples more accurate than even my beloved CasiOak. How? They’re vertically integrated. Seiko grows its own quartz crystal for 9F with ridiculous standards of purity and testing. A vast majority is not selected for use. You have to dive deep to understand why 9F quartz are special, but it’s well worth it for us true obsessives.
Possibly more well known are the SBGV005 and SBGV007 of the same era. Before Grand Seiko became a truly independent manufacture, both Seiko and Grand Seiko were printed on the dial. I have long speculated that this era may become increasingly collectable in a few decades, but only time can tell. Both references are similarly lovely with their 44GS continuation cases and 40mm proportion. The JDM-only SBGV003 is marginally more svelt at 38mm with a more graceful lug transition. The two JDM variants were SBGV001 with a champagne dial and this SBGV003 with an eggshell textured finish.
This example comes in strong condition. The dial is almost unaged. Its case presents strong edges and deep engravings on the back. The crown is original and signed. It comes with its original box also.
Find this SBGV003 here on eBay at no reserve (with bidding at 746 GBP as of writing).