Monochrome Watches
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Baselworld 2017 – Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s (SBGH255 – SBGH257)

| By Brice Goulard | 3 min read |

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s - SBGH255 - SBGH257

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.

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Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s - SBGH255 - SBGH257

As indicated in the name, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s are the combination of the best of Seiko.

  1. Grand Seiko, meaning the high-end range of watches, with perfect construction and finishing
  2. 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)
  3. Professional 600m Diver and now you have the best of both worlds, as being super qualitative watches AND super performant divers too.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s - SBGH255 - SBGH257

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.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s - SBGH255 - SBGH257

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.

11 responses

  1. More expensive than the new seadweller! I love GS, and it has great specs (and dial), but that seems optimistic.

  2. Grand Seiko prices seem to definitely be creeping up , but they still represent great bang for buck compared to many Swiss competitors , but resale value can be a definite issue .

  3. I was interested until I read a 47mm case which is completely unnecessary. The cost is ridiculous as well especially when one considers the proven performance of Seiko’s lower end dive watches.

  4. Really too high prices to get any volumes out of Japan. I would definitely take a Rolex with this price.

  5. Any chance GS will come out with a smaller (40mm) and thinner (12mm) with No Date and transparent caseback (like the Omega PO) version of these two awesome models? Wishful thinking??

  6. I guess it’s all about a marketing strategy… GrandSeiko has launched the flagship of a new series to come, hence the pricing daydreaming of this watch! They are just building a mythical bran name, in an attempt to penetrate the fine diver watchmaking World, dominated so far by Submariners, SeaDwellers and so on. Time will show,
    Btw, is this watch equipped with sapphire crystal or something?? Not clear.

  7. I dont think its overpriced, the problem is Seiko has so many lower price product that turns out as an iconic models, rated and compared beyond its price. So when they decided to make something ‘serious’ like GS, it must be something more.
    And for the resale value, its something they should resolve, because resale value is an indicator of brand image. Maybe that is why they made GS as distinctive brand.

  8. Totally cool! That brand is still too much underrated, it is definitely worth the price, just look at the facts!

  9. It is sapphire crystal, and with a better branding and marketing, their resale value will only increase in the next couple of decades. I have their Grand SEIKO Diver SBGA031 Cal.9R65 Spring Drive Power Reserve Titanium. It is gorgeous, and only for US$ 5,000, which is half of the price of the SBGH255/7. I think both will increase in value, as the former is the last of the “old” line, and the latter is the beginning of the “new” line. Historical milestones, if you will.

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