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The Pink or Green, 38mm Grand Seiko 62GS Hi-Beat SBGH341 & SBGH343

Two new Sakura-inspired models expand the 62GS design, and with a more compact 38mm titanium case!

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |
Grand Seiko SBGH341 Sakura-Kakushi 62GS 38mm - Grand Seiko SBGH343 Sakura-Wakaba 62GS 38mm

By far one of the most popular collections of Grand Seiko, the 62GS design was revived in 2019 and is now mostly represented by the “24 sekki” series and its flagship model, the SBGA413 Shunbun watch and its highly attractive light pink dial. Even though highly attractive, the 62GS design is a bit more niche and less represented than, for instance, the classic 44GS. Things are changing, however, with the arrival of two new 62GS-shaped watches (ref. SBGH341 & SBGH343) boasting colourful dials – in trendy pink and light green – inspired by cherry blossoms. And there’s more, as we’re also talking about downsized watches with a 38mm case. Sound pretty cool, don’t you think?

Grand Seiko SBGH343 Sakura-Wakaba 62GS 38mm

The year 1967 at Grand Seiko is often associated with the launch of the 44GS watch, which incidentally set the brand’s Grammar of Design in stone. However, it isn’t the only event of that year. It also saw the introduction of another important yet a bit less mainstream Grand Seiko, the 62GS, also known as the brand’s first-ever automatic timepiece. Equally GS in the design as the 44GS, this watch was a bit more rounded, and less angular but still consisted of flat surfaces and sharp angles, like all of the brand’s watches, in order to showcase the famous Zaratsu polishing. The 62GS also introduced a bezel-free structure, the crystal being set directly on the case itself, thus opening widely on the dial.

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Grand Seiko SBGH341 Sakura-Kakushi 62GS 38mm

A watch that has been a bit shy through the history of the brand, it has been reissued in various editions over the years (including faithful re-editions in 2015) to finally be reinterpreted in 40mm since 2019. Currently, only 4 watches in the permanent collection are offered with the 62GS case – the 4 Seasons Collection including the Shunbun – but this is about to evolve. And this is not the only change we’ll be talking about today…

Meet the new Heritage 62GS Sakura-Kakushi SBGH341 and Sakura-Wakaba SBGH343… Two watches that couldn’t be more in line with the current strategy of Grand Seiko. Titanium? Check. Hi-beat movement? Check. Textured dials inspired by Japanese culture and nature? Check. Trendy colours? Check. Design inspired by a past model? Check. Everything you expect from modern GS watches is there, and more. What matters, besides the overall appeal of these new watches, is the size reduction of the case, which moves from 40mm on most 62GS models to now 38mm. Another proof, if it was needed, that more compact watches are trendy.

Grand Seiko SBGH343 Sakura-Wakaba 62GS 38mm

With these two Sakura (cherry blossom) inspired watches, Seiko brings back the classic 62GS design in a more compact format, at least regarding the diameter. The thickness of the case, at 12.9mm, remains identical to 40mm versions such as the Shunbun SBGA413. Made of high-intensity titanium (a proprietary alloy close to grade 5), these watches use the classic design cues of the 62GS, with strong facets on the sides – almost like two brancards – combining polished and brushed surfaces and a bezel-less architecture enhancing their compactness while providing great legibility.

Grand Seiko SBGH343 Sakura-Wakaba 62GS 38mm

The use of titanium brings lightness and comfort, as well as a slightly muted colour, yet with great shine on polished parts. With this reduced diameter, the SBGH341 and SBGH343 are highly wearable and, as a mid-size offering, it could easily fit both genders. Both versions are topped by a box-shaped sapphire crystal and offer a comfortable 100m water-resistance. The titanium attire continues on the bracelet, which is a classic design of the brand, and is closed by a folding clasp (still no micro-adjustment).

Grand Seiko SBGH341 Sakura-Kakushi 62GS 38mm - Grand Seiko SBGH343 Sakura-Wakaba 62GS 38mm

Besides the reduced diameter, these new 62GS watches also introduced new dial designs, yet totally in line with previous creations of the brand. As said, two versions are offered, both inspired by one of Japan’s most famous scenery, the “Sakura”, literally “cherry blossoms”. The first model, named Sakura-Kakushi (SBGH341), is dressed in light and evokes early cherry blossoms being hidden by late winter snows. The second model, named Sakura-Wakaba (SBGH343), features a light green dial and is said to be inspired by a precise moment, in early April, when flowers bloom and young leaves sprout all at once.

Both models have a discreet random texture, which contrasts greatly with the high sheen of the polished and faceted hands and applied markers. All elements of the dial are left in a discreet silver colour, bringing attention to the delicate tones of the dials. A framed date window at 3 o’clock completes the display.

Grand Seiko SBGH343 Sakura-Wakaba 62GS 38mm

Under the sapphire back is a high-performance movement, the in-house calibre 9S85. This automatic calibre notably beats at a high frequency of 5Hz or 36,000 vibrations/hour and comes with a claimed accuracy in a +5 to -3 seconds/day range. The decoration is classic, with large stripes, perlage and polished steel components.

Grand Seiko SBGH343 Sakura-Wakaba 62GS 38mm

The Grand Seiko Heritage 62GS Titanium 38mm Sakura-Kakushi SBGH341 and Sakura-Wakaba SBGH343 will be part of the permanent collection and will be available from March 1st, 2024 at retailers and boutiques worldwide. They will be priced at EUR 7,900. For more details, please visit www.grand-seiko.com.

https://monochrome-watches.com/grand-seiko-heritage-62gs-38mm-hi-beat-sakura-kakushi-pink-sbgh341-and-sakura-wakaba-green-sbgh343-titanium-review-specs-price/

6 responses

  1. These photos are embarrassing. Post photos showing what the watches actually look like, instead of this massively over saturated nonsense.

    5
  2. These look good actually. But I still consider the 13mm thickness as not very attractive 🙂
    My 66 years old King Seiko is 9.8mm thick and looks amazing.
    Goals (as it’s popular to say these days)

    3
  3. Again and again photographers think it’s cool to place watches on rocks. These being even known for their delicate, precious polishing. It’s disrespectful, really.

    3
  4. Finally, it seems GS is giving us a more contemporary design in the size it should be, not some trendy, cartoonish, Hollywood-inspired caricature of a watch. There I said it. This is great in every way, and the +5/-3 is acceptable. This is a potential DateJust killer, and I have a DateJust.

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