Hands-On With The Grand Seiko 130th Anniversary SBGW033

I have been wearing this for a few days now and here is an initial review of the Grand Seiko SBGW033, the steel version of the 130th Anniversary Grand Seiko limited edition. This is a remake of the original Grand Seiko and Seiko has done a fantastically authentic job. Everything, right down to the buckle, looks and feels like the original. This is of course a modern watch with a domed sapphire crystal and 72 hour power reserve, but it feels perfectly original.

Quality is top notch, as expected with Grand Seiko. Dial, hands, case and crystal are all beautifully made and finished. The diamond-cut indices and hands catch the light sparkle in the light. Because the dial is a subtle off-white shade, the blued steel seconds hand is a perfect complement.

I especially like the fact that Seiko made the dial an exact replica of the original, with minimal text on the dial. In fact this is the only Seiko watch of today that does not say “SEIKO” on the dial; you’ll notice other GS watches have “Seiko”, “Grand Seiko” and “GS” on the dial. Though it is mirror finished all round, the case is finished carefully, as evidenced by the bevelled lugs. That being said the finish is prone to scuffs and marks, especially on the domed back.

At 35.8 mm wide the case is quite small but it does not seem overly so, thanks to the light coloured dial and slim bezel. Any larger and this would lose the authenticity it carries.

This is a limited edition of 1300 pieces and is selling briskly. I’m not surprised at all. – SJX

This is a great book covering 12 independent watchmakers, and one of those profiled is Kenji Shiohara of Seiko’s Micro Artist Studio.

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