Introducing The Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT — A Pair Of Sporty, Wearable Titanium Head-Turners
It’s time for a new GMT from Grand Seiko! This is exciting news because you, dear readers, have a thing for watches that measure more than one timezone and especially when they come from this upscale brand. Are you ready to check out the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT duo?
It’s true that Grand Seiko offers all types of watches from dress to sport. However, the brand’s GMT pieces are some of its best. Within the Sport collection, one can find a GMT powered by Spring Drive, a Hi-Beat automatic, an automatic, and even quartz! Sign me up for one of those tasty SBGJ Hi-Beat references! Today’s models represent a very slight departure from the Sport collection because these watches are termed the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT.
The Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT
If you’re unfamiliar with the Evolution 9 series, Grand Seiko says that it represents the brand’s future. Excluding today’s releases, it previously consisted of dressier watches on bracelets with Spring Drive or Hi-Beat movements. The most notable pieces are the SLGH005 “White Birch” and the SLGA009 known as the “White Birch II” due to their textured, whitish dials. Today’s Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT models take the design language from the dressier models and transform it into something sportier. Fans, though, will see similarities in the dial designs.
Two models at launch and a White Birch cousin?
At launch, we receive two new Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT models. One, the SBGE285, brings a light gray dial that supposedly evokes the morning mist in the Shinshu region. Regardless of whether that description resonates with you, this version will likely appeal to those who are in love with the White Birch models. It looks stunning!
That’s not to say that the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT SBGE283 is an ugly duckling. It features a gorgeous glossy black dial that works for traditionalists like me. It also makes the watch look a little smaller and possibly even dressier.
Spring Drive in a wearable high-intensity titanium case
No matter which of the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT models interests you, the cases come in high-intensity titanium with a matching bracelet that includes a push-button release. Additionally, there’s a fixed titanium 24-hour external bezel with black numerals. When looking at the dials, the power reserve indicator is prominent, yet smooth in its execution. That tells us that these watches are powered by a Spring Drive movement. They utilize the 9R66, which has 72 hours of power reserve and is accurate to ±1 second per day. Fans of “real GMTs” will like that the hour hand can be adjusted in jump fashion via the crown. A date window sits at 3 o’clock, and critics can rejoice that the date wheel is colored to match the dial.
As far as details, the case comes in at 41mm in diameter and 13.9mm in thickness. As previously mentioned, this is a new design. The Evolution 9 GMT now features crown guards that sweep smoothly from the lugs. In essence, the case retains the design language from the Evolution 9 dress pieces, but now provides some utility for more active pursuits. Water resistance of 100 meters and a sapphire crystal help support that utility (there’s a sapphire display back as well). As far as other hints that these GMT watches are part of the Evolution 9 family, take notice of the bold, applied indices. They’re similar in shape if not a tad beefier than those found on the dressier pieces.
Thoughts, availability, and pricing on the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT
I must say that these GMTs are seriously compelling. They’re clean, classy, and sporty enough to be worn with just about anything. Plus, with loads of Lumibrite on the big arrow-shaped hands and the GMT hand, visibility won’t be an issue. My initial view is that the black model is lovely, but the texture on the gray edition would probably win me over.
At €8,500 and available in August, the Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT in either guise looks like a sure-fire winner to me. Plus, anything that resembles the White Birch watches should please fans who want those looks with an extra touch of functionality. Grand Seiko already had a seriously formidable collection of GMT watches in its catalog. These Evolution 9 pieces take it one step further.
Visit the official Grand Seiko site for more information.