On this site, you won’t typically hear a lot from me when it comes to Grand Seiko. My brother in broke watch snobbery, Kaz, has found his satisfaction in the SBGV233 (full review here). But for me, I still haven’t found that perfect GS to lust after in recent years. Sure, I think some of the 9F quartz sport models are cool but a part of me feels that I can pretty much find a GMT or a dive watch anywhere. Today, I noticed a few sites talking about the new Grand Seiko SBGW305, a hand-wound classy dress model on a sporty beads of rice bracelet. And something about it just has me hooked. As someone who has only been eyeing Grand Seiko quartz over the last few years, it really has my gears turning.
One of the first things that blows me away is the sizing. The watch rocks a modest 37.3mm diameter and 44.3mm length, practically the Goldilocks of dress watch dimensions. Now, some might squabble about its thickness at 11.6mm, but let’s not split hairs. It’s got 30m water resistance and that classic Elegance collection vibe we’ve seen before. Oh, and the pièce de résistance? The bracelet from the SBGW235. It’s not just a new bracelet slapped onto the old SBGW231. GS put in the work.
The dial isn’t your run-of-the-mill SBGW231 anymore. The SBGW305 is rocking a silver-toned dial with a sunray pattern. Everything’s dipped in silver … hands, markers, and logo, keeping it classy but maybe a tad too chill for some. But that bracelet. Holy crap. Up until now, snagging this beauty outside Japan was like finding a needle in a haystack. But fear not, global watch enthusiasts, now you can finally lay hands on the BoR or “beads-of-rice bracelet” that’s 19mm at the lugs, complete with a folding clasp and a push-button release.
Now, look under the hood, and you’ll find the classic hand-wound caliber 9S64. It’s the engine running the show … a powerhouse ticking at 4Hz, with a solid 3-day power reserve and a precision rating of +5/-3 seconds/day. The finishing? Top-notch, as expected from Grand Seiko. The watch drops December 1, 2023, with a price tag of EUR 5,800.
Grand Seiko Specs
- Case Diameter: 37.3mm
- Case Thickness: 11.6mm
- Lug-to-lug: 44.3mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Water Resistance: 30m
- Movement: Calibre 9S64
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Price: EUR 5,800
No flashy dial colors here, but I’m genuinely liking this drop. Grand Seiko always keeps us on our toes, so expect more down the road. Yeah, it’s not breaking any depth records, but who’s dunking a dress watch anyway? The SBGW305 hits the sweet spot for me; manual wind, steel, classic vibe. Plus, it’s from Grand Seiko, a solid brand. Find out more on the brand’s official site.
Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.