Monochrome Watches
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The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253

A new chronograph inspired by the Grand Seiko lion joins the main Sport Collection.

| By Brice Goulard | 2 min read |
Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253

Grand Seiko‘s offering in the field of chronographs has always been rather unique. First and most importantly, all are powered by the brand’s proprietary hybrid technology, Spring Drive. Second, these are complex watches with more than just a timing device. Last but not least, we’re talking about striking, bold and polarizing models. The brand’s latest creation in this field is not going to change the rules. Inspired by the lion’s mane, this new Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253 marks the arrival of a sharp and powerful design in the permanent collection. 

The watch that is released by the brand today is based on existing models, watches in limited editions first presented in 2019 with a highly distinct shape, and a texture that is no less striking. First seen with a duo of chronographs (SBGC230 and SBGC231) and a time-and-date model (SBGA403), the style came back in 2020 with a luxurious and limited chronograph, the reference SBGC238. In addition to a bold, ultra-angular case, these watches were characterized by one common element, the pattern found on their dials. Inspired by the lion’s mane, the delicate texture reminds us that the king of all felines is also the brand’s emblem since its creation in 1960.

Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253

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With the introduction of this new Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253, the brand launches this powerful design in the mainstream Sport Collection for the first time. No limitation here, it’s a watch that will be part of the permanent collection. As with the previous editions, the case is large and bulky, measuring 44.5mm in diameter and 16.8mm in height. The 50mm L2L measurement, however, shows some effort regarding ergonomy – at least considering the other dimensions. The pushers are large, the crown screws down and the water resistance is rated at 200m.

Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253

Now, for this edition, the case is made of high-intensity titanium (grade 5) making this watch about 30% lighter than a stainless steel equivalent. The case has strong facets and combines polished and brushed surfaces. It comes equipped with a fixed 24-hour bezel, coated with LumiBrite, under a sapphire crystal insert. This new SBGC253 is worn on a high-intensity titanium bracelet, closed by a folding clasp with a slide adjuster to enable micro-adjustments.

Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253

As said, the lion’s texture is back on the dial, in an ivory-white colour. It’s also a canvas for multiple indications – hours/minutes, 24h additional time zone, chronograph with central seconds, 30-minute and 12-hour counters, small seconds, date and power reserve indicator. The oversized hands and applied markers are all generously coated with LumiBrite. The watch is powered by the Spring Drive calibre 9R86, a column-wheel chronograph with 72h power reserve and an accuracy of ±1 second per day. The movement is visible under the sapphire caseback.

Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253

The new Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive Chronograph GMT SBGC253 will be available in March 2023 at Grand Seiko boutiques and retailers worldwide and priced at EUR 13,400. For more details, please visit

8 responses

  1. Impressive tech, I was quick to dismiss this collection saying that it’s not 40mm in diameter and under 13mm in height. But to think this many complications, this is perhaps a very Japanese way of doing their “AP Concept” or their “RM” or their PP Grand Comp…

  2. This one’s a mess. It looks like they just didn’t know where to put the text.The hands are barely legible against the dial too so that lion had better have good eyesight.

  3. 44.5mm diameter x 16.8mm height – 50mm lug-to-lug seriously?! I’m a big fan of Grand Seiko but wish they would dramatically reduce the size of these

  4. Disbalanced design which makes one wonder if they actually hired a designer to draw it up. It’s illegible and (imho) hideous.

  5. @Stefan I’m not really sure what to tell you, this is the exact same text layout used for almost every GS chronograph since they stopped displaying both “Seiko” and “Grand Seiko” on their dials nearly six years ago.

    The “almost” is due to the titanium and ceramic cased sport models with the extra large sub-seconds indicator at the 9 o’clock; in those GS appears to have chosen to omit the GMT text entirely.

  6. I love Seiko’s and I love Chrono’s but this one…….. the dial I am sure or at least I hope looks better in the flesh, looks like a mess in the photos, the crown and pushers seem to be jutting out, not sure why they wouldnt make them a bit cleaner looking and closer to the case especially considering the size of the case & then theres the price, Seiko seems to have lost their mind on some of their pricing.

  7. Ante tanta opinión adversa estoy pensandolo si opino aquí. Son opiniones válidas subjetivamente respecto a gustos. Pero hay más que eso y Seiko lo sabe. Me encanta este reloj. Ya está dicho. Amigos de manos esmirriadas, en este mundo también vivimos los de genética mayúscula. Muñecas que necesitan cazuelas para exhibir armonía visual. Tema aparte, pienso que Seiko ha diseñado esta caja, fuertemente influido por la estética tipo Rado DiaStar. Que tiene muchos seguidores la prueba es, lo exitoso que aún hoy es ese reloj. Del calibre no hablo, Spring-drive le duele mucho a Suiza y no me gusta ser sádico.


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