If there’s one category of watches Seiko is famous for, it has to be divers. Think 62Mas, SKX007, Turtle or Samurai… All are simply icons, and affordable ones on top of that. But what if you want more? More precision, more quality, more luxurious feel, more style, more horological pleasure and more Professional specifications? Well, this year at Baselworld 2017, you’ll have something Grand… Here are the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s (SBGH255 – SBGH257) – high-end, titanium, pro-oriented, high-beat dive watches with a proper appeal.
These two Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s (ref. SBGH255 and ref. SBGH257) are not the first dive watches created under the name Grand Seiko. In fact, there is already one in the collection, under the reference SBGA029. However, how perfectly executed and well designed this watch is, it has two issues (with one that is not really an issue, but more of a choice). Indeed, it is powered by a Spring Drive movement, a very efficient and precise calibre, but quartz regulated. And some might prefer proper mechanical entrails. Secondly, it is more of a recreational dive watch, and that’s where these new SBGH255 and SBGH257 enter the game, as both professional dive watches (with more than enough water resistance) and a high-beat mechanical movement with high-end pedigree. Now we’re talking.
As indicated in the name, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s are the combination of the best of Seiko.
- Grand Seiko, meaning the high-end range of watches, with perfect construction and finishing
- High-Beat 36000, meaning a super precise automatic movement running at 5Hz (while the vast majority of movements run at 3Hz or 4Hz, and more beats means potentially more precision)
- Professional 600m Diver and now you have the best of both worlds, as being super qualitative watches AND super performant divers too.
So what exactly do we have with these Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s SBGH255 / SBGH257 watches? In short, we have professional dive watches, made the Grand Seiko way. First of all, the case (which measures a hefty 46.9mm diameter x 17mm height – not what you can call a small watch) is made in high-intensity titanium (certainly the way to name grade 5 titanium in the Empire of the Rising Sun) as we have both brushed and polished parts, with the usual sharp edges of Zaratsu polishing technique. The bracelet is also crafted in that same material and features a secure lock and a slide adjuster. The case is designed for saturation diving, with the valve-free helium resistance that results from Seiko’s innovative technologies, including the heavy duty construction and the L-shaped gasket.
As a professional diver, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s SBGH255 / SBGH257 feature a 60-minute bezel with black ceramic insert, and perfect legibility. The crown, as usual with Seiko divers, is located at 4. Inside the case is a perfect example of Grand Seiko’s mastery; the 9S hi-beat caliber, meaning an automatic movement beating at 36,000 vibrations per hour (10 beats per second), regulated to -3 to +5 seconds and with 55 hours of power reserve. Extremely precise, very efficient, and perfectly finished but not visible, due to a screw caseback. 600m water resistance obliges.
The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s shows a specific dial, with great antimagnetic properties. Surprising indeed, but the dial is made of iron to protect the movement from the effects of magnetism and delivers magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m. This dial shows a rather nice honeycomb texture and has large applied indexes, highly legible too.
The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s is offered in two variations. The first – SBGH257 – is a limited edition that is offered with an extra-strength silicone strap alongside the high-intensity titanium bracelet. The strap is in the deep Grand Seiko blue, to match the dial. Just 500 pieces will be made, at a price of 12,300 Euro. The second version – SBGH255 – has a black dial with gold accents, and will be a permanent part of the Grand Seiko collection, at a price of 12,100 Euro. Both versions will be available from August 2017. www.grand-seiko.com.