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Thread: Grand Seiko - Most Underwhelmed

  1. #51
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    Which may be me.

    Damn it i've just revealed myself!
    Yeah, er, I don't live in Hampshire, definitely Germany like it says next to my avatar (folds down jumper cuff to cover watch...)
    You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxy100 View Post
    Yeah, er, I don't live in Hampshire, definitely Germany like it says next to my avatar (folds down jumper cuff to cover watch...)
    Lost in translation. Hopefully you got the humour :)

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    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 6th December 2018 at 17:57.

  3. #53
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    The overall finishing is fantastic, however usually a little too thick. Interesting the latest limited 2018 presage model with the 6l35 movement goes thin, you would expect this type of technology to go on GS first over presage line, but a lot of seiko marketing and positioning is rather random. Anyway my guess is that GS will go thinner at some point and this will improve their appeal, for me anyway


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  4. #54
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    I suppose it's a matter of taste. I dislike thin watches

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by trident-7 View Post
    I suppose it's a matter of taste. I dislike thin watches
    Agreed. Thin is not something I am looking for in a sports watch.

  6. #56
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    I like the fact that Iím wearing a watch with superior workmanship and greater attention to detail than most, in an understated package. How can you not love this face?


  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrubnut View Post
    I like the fact that I’m wearing a watch with superior workmanship and greater attention to detail than most, in an understated package. How can you not love this face?
    That's bloody gorgeous, what's the model number?

    A GS will most definitely be my next purchase. I love the quality of the workmanship and the fact that most people think they're a £200 watch from Argos.

  8. #58
    Master yonsson's Avatar
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    I have owned Breitling, Rolex, Panerai, Blancpain, Zenith and what not, but they all pail in comparison to GS when it comes to finishing. If you fancy some GS-reading then read this travel report .

  9. #59
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    And just because a GS thread deserves some photos, hereís my latest GS-acquisition, SBGV243

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by trident-7 View Post
    I took 17 watches with me to the recent Bristol GTG. The one which had the most positive comments was the Grand Seiko sbgj021

    Iím not surprised - itís fabulous! I scoured the internet for info when I saw the gtg pics.

  11. #61
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    Quite an extensive Hodinkee feature on GS appeared in my feed this morning; maybe not entirely objective but some interesting info and images,

    Have a Snowflake and a Peacock hi-beat; neither are daily wearers but do really enjoy wearing them when the mood takes. Would love an Eichi II Credor at some point...

    The quality of execution of my two easily matches anything else in my collection and the legibility is a league better than most, notably including a green glass Milgauss that is a disaster in that department...

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post


    And just because a GS thread deserves some photos, hereís my latest GS-acquisition, SBGV243
    Now that's what I like...and what Grand Seiko traditionally does so well. Simple, well-executed, elegance.
    Some of their more recent designs seem to have forgotten much of what made them great.
    Like Rolex, the design history of GS is a key to their long-term health.

  13. #63
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    Grand Seiko - Most Underwhelmed

    Having caught the GS bug a few years ago, the quality is a whole different league to other watches I own. Each to their own I suppose but here are the ones I have had.

    I also prefer the old logo, better balance on the dial for me.



    SBGV005



    SBGA011



    SBGT241



    SBGM007G



    And my latest SBGR089



    The beauty of GS is when the light hits. Letís not get into the movements! How can you not love GS!!
    Last edited by Gavbaz; 6th December 2018 at 11:01.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post


    And just because a GS thread deserves some photos, hereís my latest GS-acquisition, SBGV243
    That looks great, where did you get the bracelet for it?

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oafley Jones View Post
    That looks great, where did you get the bracelet for it?
    My GS AD ordered it for me. Itís the bracelet intended for the sbgv225, the 243 officially has no bracelet.

  16. #66
    I really like GS but do feel the implementation of the date window is always their weakest/least pleasing point (for me anyway) so generally prefer the non-date models.

  17. #67
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    It's interesting how adding lume to the hands and hour markers completely changes the look of the watch. I wonder what some other classic designs would look like with solid hands instead of lume.
    You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronnie3585 View Post
    That's bloody gorgeous, what's the model number?
    Here is a good read https://www.escapementmagazine.com/a...-sbgr061.html/

    i think there is one for sale on SC at a very good price
    Last edited by Scrubnut; 6th December 2018 at 16:47.

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavbaz View Post

    And my latest SBGR089


    I was VERY tempted by one of these that popped up on eBay last week.

    How brown is the dial in real life? It looks like an absolute stunner, but there's precious few photos of it online.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronnie3585 View Post
    I was VERY tempted by one of these that popped up on eBay last week.

    How brown is the dial in real life? It looks like an absolute stunner, but there's precious few photos of it online.
    The brown is actually very classy in real life. The light varies it between looking black and brown.

    Tried to capture it again earlier.


  21. #71
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    I'm half tempted to sell all my Swiss watches (a grand total of 3 these days) to buy a GS, and to hell with it. I reckon I could raise £5k as there's no Rolex's in there (so no big numbers) but that should be enough hopefully.

    There's something about GS that's fascinated me for a while, and it won't go away.

    A Japanese one watch collection, now that's an idea...

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    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 6th December 2018 at 17:53.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    I'm half tempted to sell all my Swiss watches (a grand total of 3 these days) to buy a GS, and to hell with it. I reckon I could raise £5k as there's no Rolex's in there (so no big numbers) but that should be enough hopefully.

    There's something about GS that's fascinated me for a while, and it won't go away.

    A Japanese one watch collection, now that's an idea...

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TZ-UK mobile app
    I did exactly this earlier in the year, albeit I bought first and sold second. I paid for the GS on a credit card I had no liquid means of clearing. So began the quick and rapid disposal of my collection which included an Aqua Terra, Carrera, a few cheaper Seikos and one of Eddie's. I have not regretted it one bit.


  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanST150 View Post
    I did exactly this earlier in the year, albeit I bought first and sold second. I paid for the GS on a credit card I had no liquid means of clearing. So began the quick and rapid disposal of my collection which included an Aqua Terra, Carrera, a few cheaper Seikos and one of Eddie's. I have not regretted it one bit.
    Damn it Sean you've got me really thinking now, especially as i have an AT and a PRS-82 so i'm almost following the same path.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 7th December 2018 at 07:41.

  24. #74
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    I would suggest that Grand Seiko mechanical watches are a welcome alternative to good European watches (Swiss and German); but I don't see them as superior overall.
    In fact, forced to choose, I'd say Rolex have a real lead; longer guarantees, better mechanical movements, a better history, easier access to service , a wider range of models.....which is why they have better resale values.
    So, yes, GS are fascinating watches, with a lovely finish. But they have work to do.......
    Where they do lead the field is in great quartz models, and the innovative spring-drives.
    Last edited by paskinner; 6th December 2018 at 18:48.

  25. #75
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    Ow that we have the GS fam in one thread I might as well post my other GS.

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    I would suggest that Grand Seiko mechanical watches are a welcome alternative to good European watches (Swiss and German); but I don't see them as superior overall.
    In fact, forced to choose, I'd say Rolex have a real lead; longer guarantees, better mechanical movements, a better history, easier access to service , a wider range of models.....which is why they have better resale values.
    So, yes, GS are fascinating watches, with a lovely finish. But they have work to do.......
    Where they do lead the field is in great quartz models, and the innovative spring-drives.
    Good call, and interesting thoughts. Now I'm even more unsure :)

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  27. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    I'm half tempted to sell all my Swiss watches (a grand total of 3 these days) to buy a GS, and to hell with it. I reckon I could raise £5k as there's no Rolex's in there (so no big numbers) but that should be enough hopefully.

    There's something about GS that's fascinated me for a while, and it won't go away.

    A Japanese one watch collection, now that's an idea...

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TZ-UK mobile app
    For me every collection needs a Grand Seiko.....and a Zenith for that matter, some stunning examples on show in this thread.

  28. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    I would suggest that Grand Seiko mechanical watches are a welcome alternative to good European watches (Swiss and German); but I don't see them as superior overall.
    In fact, forced to choose, I'd say Rolex have a real lead; longer guarantees, better mechanical movements, a better history, easier access to service , a wider range of models.....which is why they have better resale values.
    So, yes, GS are fascinating watches, with a lovely finish. But they have work to do.......
    Where they do lead the field is in great quartz models, and the innovative spring-drives.
    However, Rolex do have a significant shortcoming in my eyes which is that they are much, much uglier and with the possible exception of the Explorer there isnít one current Rolex Iíd want to wear.

  29. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    ....In fact, forced to choose, I'd say Rolex have a real lead; longer guarantees, better mechanical movements, a better history, easier access to service , a wider range of models.....which is why they have better resale values....
    Ummm, a couple of things;

    That history where Wilsdorf rebranded another company's movement and went on to have great success is better than Seiko's? Obviously that is a matter of opinion. Both companies have amazing history in watch making.

    Better movements? Do Rolex do a high-beat movement? They certainly have nothing like Spring Drive.

    I have personally had no problem with access to service, even in Australia. The problems with Rolex servicing of older watches is legend.

    There is no way you can seriously claim there are more Rolex models than GS models available.

    Also, you didn't mention the purchasing experience; when buying my AD didn't make me go on a waitlist. Neither did they keep my tags and the like.

    Both Rolex and GS are quality watches. There is no case to be made that GS have a way to go - they have well and truly arrived.

  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedlam View Post
    Ummm, a couple of things;

    That history where Wilsdorf rebranded another company's movement and went on to have great success is better than Seiko's? Obviously that is a matter of opinion. Both companies have amazing history in watch making.

    Better movements? Do Rolex do a high-beat movement? They certainly have nothing like Spring Drive.

    I have personally had no problem with access to service, even in Australia. The problems with Rolex servicing of older watches is legend.

    There is no way you can seriously claim there are more Rolex models than GS models available.

    Also, you didn't mention the purchasing experience; when buying my AD didn't make me go on a waitlist. Neither did they keep my tags and the like.

    Both Rolex and GS are quality watches. There is no case to be made that GS have a way to go - they have well and truly arrived.
    I agree both have great histories and both are great watches. But Rolex have the better movements period. Rolex can make a high beat if they wanted to, does GS have an annual calendar? Compare the daytona to the GS offering the Rolex movements are thinner more accurate robust and easily serviced. This for me is the area where GS cannot compete head to head. Not dissing the GS by any means. Both great watches with different strengths. Just movements are not the strength of the GS. Finishing is.


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  31. #81
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    I've never owned a GS, although i shall do one day, and may go quartz i think.

    However has anyone any experience with servicing in the UK (i.e. cost on the Auto / Hi-Beat / Spring Drive / Quartz, and standard of customer service)? My limited understanding is they can now service all their movements at Seiko UK in Maidenhead after getting the specialist training needed, but for Zaratsu case finishing it still has to go back to Japan.

    You of course often read of varying experiences but when i was hanging out on WUS i heard mixed views on the above. Some UK members had some pretty negative experiences saying there where some QC issues, but that was quite a while back and i would assume they've ironed out the creases by now.

    Don't they also employ quite timely obsolescence with regards to parts supplies for their watches (i.e. they only guarantee parts availability for 10 years or something)? May be a load of old cobblers but i recall hearing it from somewhere...
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 7th December 2018 at 11:51.

  32. #82

    i wish i could ignore

    I want to like them, i love Japanese engineering and innovation, i think the movements are stunning but what drives me made is the clash of the modern seiko font with the gothic grand seiko logo and font, how can you spent so much time getting so much right and go oh that will be fine. I could let it go if it looked as if it was painted with a brush but the italic pen is just so wrong culturally and aesthetically its always driven me mad. The crazy thing is the Japanese are so good at the details but it looks like they've tried to steal something so germanic to try and give it a european feel and have missed the point. I hope they realise this and fix it because Idris love to own one, but at the moment it would jar every time i looked at it.

  33. #83
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    Lost in translation. Hopefully you got the humour :)

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using TZ-UK mobile app
    I live in Hampshire, where I suspect I'm currently enjoying the same rain as you. My joke may have been a little too abstract.
    You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxy100 View Post
    I live in Hampshire, where I suspect I'm currently enjoying the same rain as you. My joke may have been a little too abstract.
    No worries, and yep it went straight over my head!

  35. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by shalako View Post
    For me every collection needs a Grand Seiko.....and a Zenith for that matter, some stunning examples on show in this thread.
    I agree. Iíve recently added a heavyweight Zenith to mine. Both brands are under appreciated imho.

  36. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    I've never owned a GS, although i shall do one day, and may go quartz i think.

    However has anyone any experience with servicing in the UK (i.e. cost on the Auto / Hi-Beat / Spring Drive / Quartz, and standard of customer service)? My limited understanding is they can now service all their movements at Seiko UK in Maidenhead after getting the specialist training needed, but for Zaratsu case finishing it still has to go back to Japan.

    You of course often read of varying experiences but when i was hanging out on WUS i heard mixed views on the above. Some UK members had some pretty negative experiences saying there where some QC issues, but that was quite a while back and i would assume they've ironed out the creases by now.

    Don't they also employ quite timely obsolescence with regards to parts supplies for their watches (i.e. they only guarantee parts availability for 10 years or something)? May be a load of old cobblers but i recall hearing it from somewhere...
    The previous/original owner of my SBGX61 sent it back to Japan, via Seiko UK, for a service and case refinish. About £400 if I recall.

  37. #87
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    https://youtu.be/oVEwtO7E3tE

    A timely video going through the history of Grand Seiko.

    Not the usual Urban Gentry style of videos
    *which is a good thing to me.

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  38. #88

  39. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserphoenix View Post
    I agree both have great histories and both are great watches. But Rolex have the better movements period. Rolex can make a high beat if they wanted to, does GS have an annual calendar? Compare the daytona to the GS offering the Rolex movements are thinner more accurate robust and easily serviced. This for me is the area where GS cannot compete head to head. Not dissing the GS by any means. Both great watches with different strengths. Just movements are not the strength of the GS. Finishing is.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    It’s a matter of philosophy. All mechanical GS movements have individually adjusted alloy hairsprings, that’s why they are not as accurate as Rolex movements. Seiko has a long history of watchmaking and from their view, silicon hairsprings are fragile and not yet proven over a long time period. Removing the hairspring adjustments would remove a lot of the philosophical craftsmanship that makes them GS.

    It will be interesting to see if GS converts to silicon hairsprings due to pressure from buyers demanding higher accuracy or if they find another solution for their purely mechanical movements.

    in short, I agree, GS movements are not close to as accurate as Rolex movements.

  40. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    I've never owned a GS, although i shall do one day, and may go quartz i think.

    However has anyone any experience with servicing in the UK (i.e. cost on the Auto / Hi-Beat / Spring Drive / Quartz, and standard of customer service)? My limited understanding is they can now service all their movements at Seiko UK in Maidenhead after getting the specialist training needed, but for Zaratsu case finishing it still has to go back to Japan.

    You of course often read of varying experiences but when i was hanging out on WUS i heard mixed views on the above. Some UK members had some pretty negative experiences saying there where some QC issues, but that was quite a while back and i would assume they've ironed out the creases by now.

    Don't they also employ quite timely obsolescence with regards to parts supplies for their watches (i.e. they only guarantee parts availability for 10 years or something)? May be a load of old cobblers but i recall hearing it from somewhere...
    10 yrs or swap to new equivalent watch is for SEIKO. Modern GS models shouldnít be a problem.

  41. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    It is based on my ownership of several Grand Seiko mechanical watches, including hi-beats. None has been quite as precise as any of my Rolexes. Indeed, GS do not claim the same level of precision in their published specs. Whether it 'matters' is a personal thing. And, of course, other people may have found a different result.
    Now, the spring-drive is another matter.
    Agreed. Donít waste your time with mechanical GS pieces. It is Spring Drive, 9F Quartz or bust!

  42. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post
    Itís a matter of philosophy. All mechanical GS movements have individually adjusted alloy hairsprings, thatís why they are not as accurate as Rolex movements. Seiko has a long history of watchmaking and from their view, silicon hairsprings are fragile and not yet proven over a long time period. Removing the hairspring adjustments would remove a lot of the philosophical craftsmanship that makes them GS.

    It will be interesting to see if GS converts to silicon hairsprings due to pressure from buyers demanding higher accuracy or if they find another solution for their purely mechanical movements.

    in short, I agree, GS movements are not close to as accurate as Rolex movements.
    When you say not close to as accurate, what are we talking? Just interested as a chronometer should be -4 / +6, and i'm sure Rolex match or beat that (never owned one so wouldn't know). I thought a hi beat or spring drive movement would be in around the +/- 0.5. I suspect i'm way off and i'm sure i'll stand corrected.

  43. #93
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    Don't confuse a 'hi-beat' movement with a 'spring-drive.' In my, limited, experience , the hi-beat is slightly less accurate than a normal Rolex. But the spring drive, quartz regulated although with over 200 mechanical parts, is incredible, mine was accurate to a couple of seconds a month.
    To me, the quartz and spring-drive are the truly special GS watches.

  44. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Don't confuse a 'hi-beat' movement with a 'spring-drive.' In my, limited, experience , the hi-beat is slightly less accurate than a normal Rolex. But the spring drive, quartz regulated although with over 200 mechanical parts, is incredible, mine was accurate to a couple of seconds a month.
    To me, the quartz and spring-drive are the truly special GS watches.
    That accuracy is incredible.
    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 7th December 2018 at 20:55.

  45. #95
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    I can't talk about the High Beat but I own both an automatic and a Spring Drive GS.

    The Spring Drive used to gain a second every three days but it has slowed down now and is good to within a second a week.

    The automatic is more complicated to explain. The GS Standard is slightly better than Swiss Chronometer COSC on paper however, real world experience is more nauanced.

    The GS on any given day, may perform within or outside specs e.g. it might gain only 1 second or lose 7. On average, if worn for a good 8-hours a day, the deviation will be minimal and mine has still been within one second of the correct time after a few days. However, let the power reserve run down e.g. within the last 24-hours of the 72-hour power reserve and it starts to lose time noticeably with more than 10 seconds per day.

    By comparison, I've had two Swiss watches with the chronometer 2892-A2 movements inside and they both ran consistently within 1 second per day regardless of wearing pattern, though they do have a shorter power reserve and the 2892-A2 will stop before it starts to keep poor time.

    One benefit of the GS though is that after approximately 5-years of ownership it still functions as good as new and is still within a second of the correct time after days on the wrist (providing that I wear it for most of the day so it gets fully wound).

    I hope this helps. For fool proof accuracy, I'd recommend a Swiss Chronometer, though I prefer my robust and idiosyncratic Grand Seiko.

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  46. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by yonsson View Post
    Itís a matter of philosophy. All mechanical GS movements have individually adjusted alloy hairsprings, thatís why they are not as accurate as Rolex movements. Seiko has a long history of watchmaking and from their view, silicon hairsprings are fragile and not yet proven over a long time period. Removing the hairspring adjustments would remove a lot of the philosophical craftsmanship that makes them GS.

    It will be interesting to see if GS converts to silicon hairsprings due to pressure from buyers demanding higher accuracy or if they find another solution for their purely mechanical movements.

    in short, I agree, GS movements are not close to as accurate as Rolex movements.
    But itís not just the accuracy. The entire movement structure is not as great i feel. The GS isnít bad or anything but the movements are too thick for example although having said that i think they are slowly innovating on this front and will have slimmer movements soon.


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  47. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillHarris2306 View Post
    When you say not close to as accurate, what are we talking? Just interested as a chronometer should be -4 / +6, and i'm sure Rolex match or beat that (never owned one so wouldn't know). I thought a hi beat or spring drive movement would be in around the +/- 0.5. I suspect i'm way off and i'm sure i'll stand corrected.
    Rolex has their own standard of -2+2
    If you check GS own specs itís way higher than that. Quartz and SD are a different category.


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  48. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaiserphoenix View Post
    Rolex has their own standard of -2+2
    If you check GS own specs it’s way higher than that. Quartz and SD are a different category.


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    Of course I forgot that Rolex have their own in house Superlative Chronometer standard of -2+2 which is excellent.

    I think these days people are expecting better and better accuracy from mechanicals as technology moves on. My Omega AT 8900 (METAS) currently runs at around +1 on the wrist, sometimes better. How long that lasts as it gets older is anyones guess I suppose as it's such a new movement.

    I think if I bought a GS I'd go quartz just to have a 'put on and go' watch. Their 9F High Accuracy Quartz movements are supposedly calibrated to -10+10 per year, and in the real world i've read they're actually being quite guarded / self critical as you can expect them to perform better than that.

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    Last edited by WillHarris2306; 8th December 2018 at 08:31.

  49. #99
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    I wonder if I'm lucky with my SBGH001 Hi-Beat only losing a second a day. I haven't tried leaving it face down overnight or whatever, I might give that a whirl.

    The quartz GMTs look incredibly tempting.
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  50. #100
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    As someone that owned 4 brand new Grand Seiko watches, I think I am qualified to give out an honest opinion on their weak points:

    - The bracelets are simply not on par with other mainstream brands, namely Rolex, Breitling and others. They need to spend money on bracelet design and construction to match the greatness offered by the rest of the watch.

    - Lack of micro adjustment on the clasp in 98% of their models. This made fit a hit or miss affair. Only a few sports Spring Drive models have full size clasps with micro adjustments (Diver, SD Chronographs and SD GMT 43.5mm in titanium).

    - Lack of dial colors. You will have many choices as long as you pick black or white dials.

    - Thick and heavy steel cases in the Spring Drive models. The ligne in the automatic Spring Drive movements is quite thick. The SD Chronograph which I owned was a hockey puck at 16mm tall.

    - The weak bracelets have a hard time balancing on the wrist the heavy steel cases. Wear any of the SD sports models for an extended period of time to see what I mean.

    - Poor fitment of the solid end links around the case. My SBGE001 SD GMT began to develop rattles in both end links around year 3 of ownership. Again, they need to learn from Rolex in this area.

    - With a few exceptions, rather generic styling and from a few feet they look like any other $200 Seiko from the mall kiosk.

    - Buy new discounted (30% at a minimum) or buy used. Most people cringe at the idea of paying thousands for just a Seiko. Residuals are decent otherwise if you buy smart.

    - 2 or 3 year limited warranty is inexcusable when everyone else in this realm offers minimum 5 years warranty right out the gate.

    - After sales service is hit and miss. In most countries, Seiko local reps have one iota of idea what entails to service a luxury watch. This is a brand used to servicing disposable watches not luxury heirloom pieces.

    - SD Chronographs have to go back to Japan for servicing to the tune of USD $1000+ for a service and several months out of the watch. Here again, Rolex has them beat with the aftersales support network and servŪce experience.

    I think GS is a great watch but it is not at the same level of Rolex.

    Another aspect I dislike about the brand is the carriage of apologists in the internet ready to defend it like it were their own girl friends!

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