The US-Only Grand Seiko Elegance Ryūsendō SBGK015
A new limited edition with a stunning dial reserved for the American market.
Even though this strategy is questionable for us at MONOCHROME, Grand Seiko has decided to segment its collections around three main markets: Japan (or JDM), Europe and North America. This means that each market gets specific limited editions, which won’t be available to the rest of the world (hence our doubts). We’ve recently seen the JDM-only Ginza SBGH297 and the Europe-Only Elegance SBGW267 & SBGW269. Now it’s time for the US to get their exclusive model with this striking blue textured model with a hand-wound movement based on the Thin Dress Series, the new Ryūsendō SBGK015.
Before going into the specifications of this model, you have to know that the Ryūsendō SBGK015 is a revamped version of the Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK005 and SBGK007, back then a new collection with an exceptional design introduced at Baselworld 2019. The idea of the brand was to offer a thinner, more formal watch in addition to its Heritage and Sports lines. This took shape in the rounded case of 39mm and a height of 11.6mm. Lug-to-lug is short, at 44mm, making for a compact watch that can easily be worn with a suit and slip under a cuff. The overall shape of the Zaratsu-polished case has a far more pronounced curvature with softer, more organic lines than what one would find in other, usually razor-sharp collections (based on the 1960s Grammar of Design).
In addition to the newly designed case, the elegance of this watch comes from the use of a compact and thin hand-wound movement, the calibre 9S63. Shared (in a slightly different iteration) with what we’ve dubbed “the Japanese Calatrava” or the Hand-Wound SBGW231, here this movement displays the seconds at 9 o’clock and a power reserve at 3 o’clock. The back of the watch is equipped with a sapphire crystal, and you’ll be able to see the elegant decoration with stripes. The movement beats at 4Hz and stores up to 72 hours of energy.
What’s new in this US-only SBGK015? In short, the dial. As explained by the brand, and like many recent introductions by GS, the dial takes inspiration from nature and the beauties in the vicinity of the brand’s studios. Here, the bright blue colour and the original concentric texture are inspired by the vivid blue and emerald-green underground lakes of the Ryūsendō, a cave located in Iwaizumi in the eastern Iwate Prefecture, known for its extensive subterranean galleries arching over deep sunless lakes of clear blue water. The dynamic pattern and the vivid colour of the background are paired with a dark blue small seconds counter and a gold-coloured power reserve. The hands are typical GS, hand-bent, polished and bevelled, matching the applied indexes.
Contrasting with this rather striking dial is the almost too formal crocodile strap in dark blue, closed by a folding clasp. As often with GS, a new, more casual strap feels like a necessary change, depending on your taste.
Availability & Price
The Grand Seiko Elegance Hand-Wound Ryūsendō SBGK015 is a limited edition of 250 pieces. It will be available exclusively from Grand Seiko Boutiques (including the brand’s online boutique) and selected retail partners in the United States. The price will be USD 7,500.
For more details, visit grand-seiko.com.
I have been waiting for a new whirlpool dial but I was hoping for it to be used on a new spring drive. Guess my wait will continue, or I will just finally swallow my pride and get an SBGH267
All of these GS start bleeding into one another and they all start to look like another reference. Too many offerings start to dilute the catalog and as a buyer I can imagine having purchase paralysis believing that there might be a “better” version coming soon. This particular reference looks like two or three other GS’s that I can think of off the top of my head with only minor variations between them. I get their philosophy of making something for everyone but making many different variations they all just start to feel a little less special. Imho, of course.
Im a fan of their desire to constantly innovate and improve. I love what they do. Unlike Rolex, who adds a crown guard to a dying model (Air King) and calls it a new for 2022 lol.
Have become tired of Seiko’s U.S. edition only policy. Why re they not available in all the other countries that are not the U.S. ( including Japan ) ?
Funny how GS is from Japan and Japan sits in Asia but there’s JDM only versions, a US only version, EU only version, but nothing dedicated to Asia countries only watch. Maybe Asians ex Japan should not buy GS at all since not welcomed.
Also GS releases several so called limited edition a year, play around with the dials but essentially the same watch as previous releases. There is no real innovation in terms of cases, materials, sizes, etc.
The frequency of releases and watches reminds me of pokemon, digimon releases. Kid stuff…
Yep and the American market gets the most beautiful dials, Seiko fast following up on Rolex re my feelings about them
The only elegant positioning of power reserve of all Seiko watches.
Between the psychedelic pattern and the four (4!) colours on the dial, this is really tacky.
Textured dials, limited editions, textured dials, limited editions, textured dials, limited editions, textured dials, limited editions, yawn.
They’ve lost their special-ness.
Just received mine, and it is spectacular. Of course the dial is something else but the fit on the wrist is butter. Very happy with this piece.