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The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT Tokyo Lion SBGC275

Built tough, built for sport, built with precision in mind. Built to polarize.

| By Denis Peshkov | 3 min read |

In the previous year, Grand Seiko introduced the Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253, showcasing a bold case design and distinctive dial texture, thus enhancing the brand’s Sport collection with the permanent addition. This followed the anticipation stirred by limited edition models SBGC230 and SGBC231 in 2019, along with the red gold cased SGBC238, launched in 2020 to mark the brand’s 60th anniversary. Now, in honour of the 20th anniversary of the Spring Drive 9R Caliber and to coincide with the Watches & Wonders salon in Geneva, Grand Seiko reveals the SBGC275, a limited edition piece featuring an exceptionally vibrant ‘Morgenrot’ red dial – and improved accuracy.

The new Grand Seiko Chronograph GMT SBGC275 shares its predecessors’ sharp, angular, brutal design and commanding proportions. The high-intensity titanium 200m water-resistant case measures 44.5mm in diameter, 16.8mm in height and 50mm lug-to-lug. The case’s design has long been dubbed Tokyo Lion, which perfectly reflects its imposing shape and size and best supports the brand’s logo, symbolizing “the inner strength of Grand Seiko”. The angular case exhibits famed Zaratsu polishing and sharp brushing; the ribbed screw-down crown and the polished pump pushers are large. The top of the pushers is decorated with concentric circles, while the crown is adorned with a GS logo. The case of the SBGC275 is topped with a double-domed sapphire crystal and a fixed bezel with a sapphire insert to display a second time zone with a 24-hour scale.

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The ‘Morgenrot’ dial of the SBGC275 draws inspiration from the fiery red morning glow over the Hotaka Peaks mountain range near the Shinshu Watch Studio. It features a random pattern of broad brushstrokes evoking the image of a lion’s mane, while circular-grained and sunburst sub-dials for the chronograph counters and running seconds provide contrast and help with legibility.

Positioned at 3 o’clock, the date aperture is complemented by a power reserve indicator at 7 o’clock. The large, wide applied hour indices and handset (eight hands in total) ensure clear yet not ideal reading amidst the dial’s various features. The spacing between elements is efficiently utilized, allowing all functions to be easily discerned. Furthermore, the SBGC275 prioritizes legibility in low-light conditions, employing differentiating luminous colours for the true GMT function and home time.

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC275 is powered by the Spring Drive calibre 9R96, a hallmark of Grand Seiko’s craftsmanship on display through the transparent sapphire caseback. The 9R96 is a specially adjusted version of the 9R86 movement, now boasting an enhanced accuracy of +/- 0.5 seconds per day. Like the 9R86, the 9R96 incorporates a column-wheel chronograph mechanism, delivers a substantial 72-hour power reserve and has an automatic winding functionality. Noteworthy is the 18k gold medallion adorning the hand-finished striped rotor, a distinctive feature reserved exclusively for these specially tuned calibres.

The SBGC275 comes fitted with a titanium H-link bracelet meticulously finished to complement the case, featuring a three-fold clasp with a secure lock and a sophisticated mechanism for effortless micro-adjustment. Limited to just 700 pieces, the SBGC275 Tokyo Lion will be exclusively available through Grand Seiko salons and boutiques starting July 1st, for a price of EUR 14,000.

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3 responses

  1. A watch with everything spring drive, chronograph , GMT and drop dead dial and Finnish!

  2. I’ve seen it in person – it looks stunningly dramatic and was an inst-buy for me.

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