Spring Drive SBGE249

Grand Seiko’s New Limited-Edition GMT Watch Is Icy Cool

July 24, 2019 Watches By

While much of the luxury watchmaking world seems to draw its inspiration from cars, airplanes, mountain climbers, or vintage watches, Grand Seiko has a charming way of claiming nature itself as its muse. Grand Seiko’s new Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 watch made for the Texas-based retailer Timeless Luxury and looks like a handsome, conservative design with a textured white dial and blue highlights. It might not be immediately apparent that its design is meant to evoke a “blizzard in Shirojiri, Japan,” according to the brand.

Hearing this, the white dial with its texture might look snowy, and the blue highlights might suggest ice — perhaps a slight stretch, but a refreshing image right about now at the height of summer in the USA. The new model draws on the cult popularity of the Grand Seiko “Snowflake” watch, so named for its white dial’s texture. Though the texture is a little different here, this limited edition is similar to the existing Spring Drive Snowflake with the addition of a GMT complication, with a GMT hand also produced in that ostensibly icy blue.

The new LE retains the specs of existing Spring Drive GMT watches in the Heritage collection with a 41mm case, water-resistant to 100m, and features the brand’s famous finishing and details. The GMT version of the 9R65 Spring Drive movement is called the 9R66, and it’s visible through the case back and provides 72 hours of power reserve and quartz accuracy. The new Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE249 for Timeless Luxury will be limited to 250 pieces at a price of $5,900 each, and will be available in August to September 2019.

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Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

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