Finds Modern

Grand Seiko SBGA029 Spring Drive Diver


Today we have the one diver often discussed, but not often seen. The early GS diver is an engineering feat with a style all its own. If you ever get the opportunity to compare this GS to a sub or SM300, you’ll be left wondering exactly how the competitors can justify charging equivalent sums with such comparably lazy engineering. Though the looks are certainly divisive, one cannot argue the merit of effort behind the scenes. What GS stands for is quality and care above all other considerations. That is abundantly clear in this early double-signed Grand Seiko diver.


This first-generation steel GS diver was born from its SBGA031 titanium counterpart. With its Spring Drive and classic bracelet, this 44mm diver is a bit of a behemoth. The case is rated to 200m, enough to be useful to just about everyone, shallow enough to stand separately from the Rolex/Omega dick-swinging contest. Its merits as a watch are not in hardcore depth competitions, just in being a damn good watch in and out of the water for most people.


The dial and handset mirrors early Seiko dive designs. The shape, particularly of the hour hand, is highly controversial. It’s grown on me. As one would expect, the luminous material is exceptionally strong. The power reserve indicator feels more appropriate here, on watch with sporting intentions, than the snowflake series. What feels out of place, for such a beastly chunk of steel, is the mesmerizing perfect sweep of the seconds hand. That the 9R65 is now in a dive offering, even a decade later, feels special.

This example is a strong one. It comes lightly worn with no rough visible marks. The watch comes with a full set and is priced just below the average market rate. Although this is not a limited watch, they are slowly gaining favor and increasing in price as of late. I think that’s true of the entire early double-signed GS era in fact. There’s value here, without a doubt.

Find this SBGA029 here on Chrono24 in Portugal for 5352 USD.

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