SBGW033 Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary ‘First’
It is not difficult to understand the timeless appeal of a well-executed dress watch. When complication is removed, effort in finishing is allowed to be a watch’s main focus. Total simplicity, finished to an absurd standard. I believe this appeal is, in large part, responsible for the recent astronomic rise in Chronomètre Bleu values of the last few years. The antidote? A Grand Seiko largely forgotten to the stream of time. A Grand Seiko that foreran the marque’s massive push upmarket. A Grand Seiko that set out to prove everything that Grand Seiko could be: the SBGW033 (catchy right? I hate their reference system as much as you do).
The Grand Seiko First (ref 3180) was the first ever to present its name at 12, with no reference to parent company (Seiko) included. That tradition folded short thereafter, along with King Seiko. It would not return en masse until 2016, when a trio of watches brought back GS branding (of those, I particularly love the SBGR305). However, in the interim, Seiko celebrated their 130th as an entity by releasing a watch that was to be a straightforward reissue of the 1960 Suwa Seikosha. This was the reintroduction of Grand Seiko as a standalone on the dial at 12, a brave move that precipitated their aggressive upward trajectory.
In recent years, Grand Seiko has not been one to shy away from a limited release. They’ve re-re-issued this watch in 2017. Head hurting yet? Just remember this. This original reissue 2011 model is true-to-form with a 36mm steel case. The 2017 swelled to 38. This generation features a raised GS logo, S-signed crown, lion-medallion back, steel case, and calibre 9S64. Eggshell dial, blued steel handset. It is a thing of undeniable grace and beauty. The watch was ‘limited’ to an ‘Omega-approved’ production of 1300. It might just make you reconsider that Saxonia purchase.
This example sports a great case. Minor surface wear, consistent with its age. The back engravings have only worn slightly. This watch has been worn, but carefully. It comes with the original buckle and strap with a full set, from a well-regarded retailer in Japan.
Find this SBGW033 here from Special Dial for ~8600 USD.