As a reminder, Seiko (and thus the Seiko Group that owns Grand Seiko) was born in 1881, in the city of Tokyo, when young Kintaro Hattori created his workshop in the district of Ginza. This location, right in the centre of Japan’s capital city, thus has special importance for the brand and its sub-companies. Already last year, Seiko paid tribute to this area with a pair of limited edition models, the Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation SPB259 & Presage SSA445. Now, it’s time for Grand Seiko to commemorate the place with a new model, in a familiar and trendy dial colour, but that’s not only highly limited but also JDM-only. Meet the new Grand Seiko Heritage Ginza Limited Edition SBGH297.
Ginza (a district of Tokyo) is where the company’s founder, Kintaro Hattori, founded his watch business in 1881, first selling and repairing clocks and watches. Later, young Hattori will create his own watches and will establish one of the most important Japanese watchmaking companies, Seiko. Even more surprising, this Tokyo district is still where the brand operates and, for more than 120 years now, a Seiko clock in Ginza has kept Tokyo on time. And nearby are other Seiko establishments, including the Seiko Museum, a boutique dedicated to Seiko Prospex and Seiko Dream Square, where people can experience each collection.
Last year, sister-brand Seiko released two limited edition models based on the district, with grey-blue-coloured dials with Ginza’s cobblestones texture engraved on its surface. The seconds hand also paid homage to the district’s history with Komparu, a traditional Japanese colour named after Komparu Street, where Ginza’s nightlife was once centred. This blue colour with a soft green tone was first used in the middle Meiji era (1868-1912).
Now, it’s time for Grand Seiko to show its interest in the Ginza district, with a limited edition based on the 62GS Heritage model, with a highly original dial, in one of the industry’s hottest colours, and with a hi-beat movement. This new SBGH297 will look familiar to most of the brand’s fans, as the case is classically designed and inspired by the 62GS. The case, measuring 40mm in diameter for a height of 12.9mm, is made of stainless steel, shows brushed and Zaratsu polished surfaces, features a box-shaped sapphire crystal, a screw-down crown and is water-resistant to 100m. All classic features of the brand.
The real deal with this Grand Seiko Heritage Ginza SBGH297 is the dial… First, it shows a light powder blue colour, which “evokes the uplifting feeling of Ginza in the afternoon” but also refers to the aforementioned Komparu colour. This light blue dial is also originally decorated with a grid pattern that represents the streets of the Ginza district. It is paired with classic polished, ultra-sharp and bevelled hands, a blue seconds hand and applied markers. Not the most discreet nor the most classic of dials, to be fair…
Worn on a 3-link steel bracelet, the SBGH297 is powered by the calibre 9S85, produced in-house by the Shizukuishi studio. This automatic movement, from the previous generation, beats at a 5Hz (36,000 vibrations/hour) frequency and can store up to 55 hours of power reserve. Its accuracy is rated at +5 to -3 seconds per day and the movement is visible under a specifically-decorated sapphire crystal.
Availability & Price
The Grand Seiko Heritage Ginza Limited Edition SBGH297 is a limited edition of 260 pieces, only available from the 5 authorized boutiques in the Ginza district (listed on the website here – in Japanese)… Yes, it’s thus a Japan Domestic Market (JDM) watch that will be extremely difficult to source. It is priced at JPY 770,000 (approx EUR 5,620 or USD 6,040 at the time of publishing) and will be available in June 2022.
For more details, please visit www.grand-seiko.com.