If you’ve been following new watch releases at all this year, you’re probably already well aware that Grand Seiko has been pulling out all the stops for their 60th Anniversary. We’ve seen a steady stream of new watches from the brand throughout 2020 that highlight the milestone in a variety of ways, and on Friday night, to celebrate their actual birthday, Grand Seiko introduced a new limited edition for the US market and announced that their popular owner’s group, the GS 9 Club, would be establishing an American chapter. It was a nice way to end the year, and we’ve got all the details for you below.
Let’s tackle the watch first. The SBGE263 is a Spring Drive watch with a GMT complication, rolled up in one of Grand Seiko’s newer, sportier cases. A Spring Drive GMT is a fitting canvas on which to paint a limited edition, as it’s the movement technology that is arguably most associated with Grand Seiko, and the GMT complication is a practical fan favorite that they do extremely well (all of their GMT watches are “true” GMTs with jumping local hour hands). The SBGE263 sports a brown dial and matching ceramic bezel, which Grand Seiko says was inspired by the feathers of an eagle. The dial has an intricate, textured wave pattern, with the GMT hand providing a gold accent.
This is a sports watch through and through, but rendered in an elegant, distinctly Grand Seiko manner. The case measures 40.5mm in diameter and has a barrel-like shape with the requisite Zaratsu polishing. This is a wearable, everyday size, and the watch is fitted with a stainless steel bracelet and carries a full 200 meters of water resistance, both features that promote active use. The 9R66 Spring Drive movement inside is rated to be accurate within 15 seconds per month, and has a maximum power reserve of 72 hours. The retail price on the SBGE263 is $ 6,700, and is limited to just 110 pieces. It’s available through Grand Seiko Boutiques in the United States, with deliveries expected in January.
The other big news announced by Grand Seiko on the occasion of their birthday, and certainly impacting more folks than a limited run watch, is that the GS 9 Club is making its way to American shores for the first time. Longtime Grand Seiko collectors and enthusiasts know the GS 9 Club as a private, Grand Seiko sponsored owner’s group for Japanese clients. Until now, you could only be a member if you purchased your Grand Seiko watch in Japan. That changes now, with the GS 9 Club’s benefits being opened to owners of watches purchased through Grand Seiko’s US distribution network of authorized dealers and boutiques.
GS 9 Club members can expect access to special events and exclusive content provided by Grand Seiko. Of course, there’s an expectation that at some point in the future this will mean actual live, in person events, but for now GS 9 Club content is online only. It also offers, for the first time, an official e-commerce portal to purchase Grand Seiko watches in the United States (including the new SBGE263).
Becoming a member is straightforward. If you’ve purchased a Grand Seiko watch in the United States through an official channel since March 23, 2017, you’re eligible. Registration involves submitting a photo of your watch, along with information from the sales receipt and warranty paperwork. For more information on the GS 9 Club, check out the website right here. Grand Seiko