There’s no doubt that Grand Seiko releases many limited-edition watches. Most are pleasing, but every so often, one comes along that makes me sit up and take notice. Today’s Grand Seiko SBGW303 is a good example of such an occurrence. Unfortunately, the watch will only be available in Europe, so the rest of the world may wish to plan a trip.

Yes, it’s a constant comment here from our readers that Grand Seiko has what seems like a year-round non-stop schedule of limited-edition releases. Some decry this behavior while others find it exciting. Label me as a middle grounder because, on one hand, I enjoy more versus less when it comes to Seiko. On the other hand, I’ve seen releases that I like, and a month later, something I like more comes down the pipe. If I were in the market for a Grand Seiko, this might drive me toward a state of purchase paralysis. Thankfully, with a watch like today’s Grand Seiko SBGW303, I truly believe that one could make a no-regrets acquisition.

The Grand Seiko SBGW303

Last year at this time, Grand Seiko debuted the SBGW291/293 models that you see above. As part of the Heritage line, these watches take their inspiration from one of my favorite vintage watches of all time, the Seiko 44GS. Until today, the only available regular production references (at least in Europe) have been the stainless steel brown-dialed and silver-dialed versions on their alligator straps. The limited-edition SBGW289 was also released last year on a bracelet. I had the opportunity to try these on late last year at the New Bond Street boutique in London, and I came away impressed with how wearable they are. These watches have a friendly 36.5mm diameter and a lug-to-lug of 42.7mm.

Now, we have an addition to the lineup in the form of the Grand Seiko SBGW303, and it answers a desire from Thomas in last year’s article for a bracelet. I suppose we shall see this bracelet in the future on non-limited pieces, but it gets its European debut on this model. It’s a familiar bracelet with three larger, brushed links and two polished intermediate links. The clasp is of the single-deployment style with a push-button release.

Grand Seiko SBGW303

A gorgeous gray-green dial

Of course, when we talk about a watch like the Grand Seiko SBGW303, we need to spend adequate time on the dial. The brand goes to great lengths to compare its color to Mount Iwate during autumn at dusk. It draws allusions to the forest, changing leaf colors, and the jagged mountaintop. I’ll leave it to our readership to decide if that’s a description worth studying. For me, I can simply state that it truly looks attractive. I always enjoy the textures and work that seemingly goes into crafting a Grand Seiko dial. However, I don’t always love the hues or see them as something I’d use regularly. This watch, with its textured gray-green dial, looks like a daily driver that could easily be a serial release.

As mentioned, the Grand Seiko SBGW303 has a textured dial. While I haven’t seen it in person yet, it appears to be similar to the gorgeous light blue SBGW283 “Kishun” that Thor owns. Otherwise, the hands and indices are done in steel. The sole contrasting bit is a gold-plated and applied GS logo below 12 o’clock. All in all, it’s a seriously classy composition when viewed through its sapphire box crystal.

The icing on the cake — the 9S64 movement

I’ve been kind about the Grand Seiko SBGW303 thus far, and, the hits just keep coming. I’m truly thankful that the brand chose to combine this dial and bracelet with the lovely 9S64 hand-wound movement. The watch world is better for it to have a high-end manual-wind movement as an option for below five figures. Even better is the fact that this movement eschews a date function, has a power reserve of 72 hours, and claims an accuracy of +5/-3 seconds per day. The movement, for better or worse, is housed under a solid, screw-in steel case back. Water resistance is a useful 10 bar.

Grand Seiko SBGW303

Final thoughts on the Grand Seiko SBGW303

As you can tell, I really like the new Grand Seiko SBGW303. Among friends, I’ve expressed admiration for the latest 36mm Datejust with a blue-green dial. This Grand Seiko, despite its different movement and lack of date, could make a compelling alternative and should prove to be more available in the short term. Regarding availability, this is the frustrating point. Just 400 individually numbered pieces of the Grand Seiko SBGW303 will be produced. It goes on sale in November only at European boutiques and authorized dealers. Pricing is set for €6,300 or £5,500. The pricing in sterling is £850 more than the regular models on a strap, so the difference is around 15%. For certain, this is one more limited-edition Grand Seiko, but it’s a really nice one.

For additional information on the Grand Seiko SBGW303, visit the official Grand Seiko site.

Watch specifications

Dark gray-green with steel indices, steel hands, gold-plated Grand Seiko logo
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
36.5mm (diameter) × 42.7mm (lug-to-lug) × 11.6mm (thickness)
Box-style sapphire with antireflective coating on inner surface
Case Back
Screw-in stainless steel
Grand Seiko 9S64 — manual winding, 72-hour power reserve, 28,800vph (4Hz) frequency, hacking seconds
Water Resistance
10 bar (~100m)
Stainless steel bracelet with single-deployant clasp with push-button release
Time only (hours, minutes, and central seconds)
€6,300 / £5,500
Five years
Special Note(s)
Limited to 400 pieces and available as of November 2023