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Thread: How is Grand Seiko compare to R****?

  1. #1

    How is Grand Seiko compare to R****?

    Hi All,

    Not sure if I should have started another controversial post as almost everytime Rolex is mentioned in the title, things go downhill.
    Anyway, I am fairly new Rolex convert and beginning to understand what's the fuss is about.
    I currently have Explorer 214270 and Milgauss Z Blue.
    I am really enjoying wearing both and I would say in terms of comfort, Explorer wins hands down, Milgauss however is so intriguing. It is really very un-Rolex in terms of dial and crystal colours, the second hand and really pops out and fun.
    Anyway, I am beginning to notice a lot about Grand Seiko watches, especially Heritage collection.
    It is really elegant and timeless. From what I read, the dial on these watches are amazing too also the very fine movements.
    How would you compare the two brands?
    Should I dip my toes into GS brand or I should just stick to tried and tested??

    Thanks everyone in advance.

    Best,

    km9


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    Last edited by km9; 14th May 2019 at 12:05.

  2. #2
    Master
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    Well......to me, Rolex are probably the best overall watch brand. But how many do you want? I decided one, possibly two, models were enough. Theyíre all quite alike really, in a good way.
    If you agree, then you can spread your Wings among the competitors. I like GS, and always seem to own one or two. But I enjoy rival brands as well. Comparisons are fun, but in the end there are a lot of fine watches, plenty of variety.

  3. #3
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Only you can answer this, go and find your nearest GS dealer and try on some of their watches. I have Rolex and GS and also drive an MX-5. You too could be cool like me.
    You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

  4. #4
    Not impressed by GS at all. Cheap trinkety bracelets. Rolex bracelets are top notch.

    In the shop windows (Chisholm Hunter - Kingston) the GS looked cheap compared to the Oris watches.

    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...t-Underwhelmed

  5. #5
    I still want to add Sub ND and JLC Reverso to my collection so may be GS is kind of sideway step??
    As you can see from the pictures below, thinking of releasing Sinn and Zenith.

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  6. #6
    Master
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    Rolex vs Grand Seiko often end up with polarised views being expressed.

    My Z-Blue happily exists in the same box as a GS. If you like the Z-Blue, I reckon you will like the dials on many GS.


  7. #7
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    GS is much higher quality at the same price point. Rolex has better residuals, better bracelets but you sadly suffer from a lack of originality by owning one. Answer is get both!

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  8. #8
    Master
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    Seems like a long time since we have had a GS vs Rolex thread

    I like the GS bracelet and the slim clasp on them, always found them comfortable on the two examples I have bought and sold. I think the dials and polished markers are where GS impresses..
    At least they (GS), are more readily available now, whereas new (sports), Rolex's are made out of 'unobtanium' !

  9. #9
    A polarising question which will be met with subjective opinions on either side.
    You should look at GS and decide for yourself. No point in relying on opinion of people you don't know and have no idea of their biases. What is not subjective is residuals.
    I think quality is crazy comparable no matter what anyone says. GS is not better, even if some like to shout from rooftop.
    Rolex scores IMO in residuals, bracelet and crown action. I have or have owned a wide spectrum of watches and very few can rival Rolex/Tudor's crown action/feel. Just feels so damn secure.
    GS are lovely and much less common which might be a consideration for some. Spring drive is an excellent movement.
    No point in thinking about- How much for a Seiko???
    I gravitate towards dive watches and GS diver is up there with Rolex submariner. There is no 'should' in this hobby. There are no rules. Do your homework and decide for yourself.
    Last edited by RAJEN; 14th May 2019 at 16:32.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by gbn13 View Post
    Rolex vs Grand Seiko often end up with polarised views being expressed.

    My Z-Blue happily exists in the same box as a GS. If you like the Z-Blue, I reckon you will like the dials on many GS.

    That's a beautiful dial.

    I actually like this GMT version.

    *picture taken from GS website.

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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    GS is much higher quality at the same price point. Rolex has better residuals, better bracelets but you sadly suffer from a lack of originality by owning one. Answer is get both!

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    Agreed.

    And, if I were the OP and seemingly a little nervous, I'd start with a quartz model. Case and dial finishing is at the same level as all the other GSs and you can pick up a used one for less than 1500 quid. Something like the SBGV025/225 would give you a bit of a Datejust vibe, for example, but better!

  12. #12
    Having owned a Sub date, a GMT, and a datejust, and picking up my first GS tonight, I will let you know my considered opinion!


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  13. #13
    Craftsman
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    I own a GS Peacock dial, itís my office watch, phenomenal finishing, outstanding value and tends to get noticed by people who care about watches!

    I donít own a Rolex, I struggle with having £10k in cash yet having to convince someone to be kind enough to take it from me for a watch I want. That said, if the option came up to purchase a new BLNR or Root Beer then Iím in the Rolex owner group...but I canít justify paying over RRP for a pre-owned watch that is basically mass produced.

    The GS will take a hit on residuals, but you can get discounts and LEs will hold up well.




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  14. #14
    Master mondie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAJEN View Post
    I gravitate towards five watches and GS diver if up there with Rolex submariner. There is no 'should' in this hobby. There are no rules. Do your homework and decide for yourself.
    As an owner of both, yes it is. I don't really wear my Sub at all anymore, I much prefer the GS for many reasons which include accuracy, exquisite quality, that sweeping second hand, 72hr PR, micro-adjust bracelet and the size at 44mm being perfect to me. Rolex has a cachet no other brand has, if you can look past that you may see things differently. If that matters to you get a Sub

    IMG_20190514_161227 (Medium) by Simon Gee, on Flickr

  15. #15
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    I love both brands!


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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by peterdo View Post
    I own a GS Peacock dial, itís my office watch, phenomenal finishing, outstanding value and tends to get noticed by people who care about watches!

    I donít own a Rolex, I struggle with having £10k in cash yet having to convince someone to be kind enough to take it from me for a watch I want. That said, if the option came up to purchase a new BLNR or Root Beer then Iím in the Rolex owner group...but I canít justify paying over RRP for a pre-owned watch that is basically mass produced.

    The GS will take a hit on residuals, but you can get discounts and LEs will hold up well.




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    Wow, that is a beauty.

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  17. #17
    Master Wooster's Avatar
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    Rolex has 5 letters, Grand Seiko has 10, so it's two times better.


    ... I own a 16600 and a SBGR061, love them both. Different purposes, different design grammar, different approaches to marketing. Not sure how to compare them. Both very well made, should be, given the price. I wear them depending on my momentary mood. I've no hesitation to recommend either of them to a watch collector.

    Cheers,
    Christian

  18. #18
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    Irrespective of your choice there will be divisive opinions. To preface my post I have no real issue with either brand. I have owned Rolex watches and all have left me slightly underwhelmed. The brand cache seems to draw more than actual horological offerings. I nearly fell asleep when checking the time on my Milgauss. Not that I take issue with Rolex but a bit of colour on a bezel (that 99% of people won't realistically use) means a huge price hike and just highlights how herd mentality works. Add to that miserly residuals talk and we have a winner. Just think, some Rolex owners can discuss the couple of grand they have made as they go for Chemo or when standing at their wife's funeral.
    Grand Seiko offers high end micro engineering but the name is a sales killer/snob deterrent. As for Quartz variants what's the point as they're just a well sculptured piece with kitchen clock internals.

    I could buy both at some point in the future so ignore the above.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by KurtKnispel View Post
    Irrespective of your choice there will be divisive opinions. To preface my post I have no real issue with either brand. I have owned Rolex watches and all have left me slightly underwhelmed. The brand cache seems to draw more than actual horological offerings. I nearly fell asleep when checking the time on my Milgauss. Not that I take issue with Rolex but a bit of colour on a bezel (that 99% of people won't realistically use) means a huge price hike and just highlights how herd mentality works. Add to that miserly residuals talk and we have a winner. Just think, some Rolex owners can discuss the couple of grand they have made as they go for Chemo or when standing at their wife's funeral.
    Grand Seiko offers high end micro engineering but the name is a sales killer/snob deterrent. As for Quartz variants what's the point as they're just a well sculptured piece with kitchen clock internals.

    I could buy both at some point in the future so ignore the above.
    Not sure I agree about kitchen clock internals. Have you read up on the level of engineering involved?

    https://www.hodinkee.com/articles/se...ith-caliber-9f

  20. #20
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    When Grand Seiko make a 40mm GMT Spring Drive then I'll be first in line because the watches are quality personified, a Rolex GMT 17610 is my dream watch but that spring drive movement is something else, its hypnotic...

  21. #21
    Master Toshk's Avatar
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    How is Grand Seiko compare to R****?

    ^ It is. I bought the SBGC231 earlier. Delivery in two weeks.

  22. #22
    Master
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    I'm a Rolex person, but I really like GS as well. A lot of them are too large for me, but the quartz are probably what I'd buy if I wanted a nice quartz watch.

    I liked GS a lot more when they said "Seiko" and were cheaper than they are now. Does anyone remember the thread on here where the person's GS hands flaked and GS wouldn't help him? I remember leaving that thread disappointed in the brand.

  23. #23
    Master bedlam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP Chestnut View Post
    Does anyone remember the thread on here where the person's GS hands flaked and GS wouldn't help him?
    No.

    There definitely was a thread on the GS forum of WUS about 2 months or so ago where a guy found a mark on one of the hands (that needed magnifying to be seen) on a GS and Seiko fixed it without bother.

  24. #24
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxy100 View Post
    Only you can answer this, go and find your nearest GS dealer and try on some of their watches. I have Rolex and GS and also drive an MX-5. You too could be cool like me.
    Foxy an MX-5 really? Isn't that a girls car!! Always figured you to be an Aston Martin guy oh well

  25. #25
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedlam View Post
    No.

    There definitely was a thread on the GS forum of WUS about 2 months or so ago where a guy found a mark on one of the hands (that needed magnifying to be seen) on a GS and Seiko fixed it without bother.
    Found it:
    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...+seiko+problem

    Flakey markers, not hands. I'll reread it now.

  26. #26
    Master bedlam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JP Chestnut View Post
    Found it:
    https://forum.tz-uk.com/showthread.p...+seiko+problem

    Flakey markers, not hands. I'll reread it now.
    Your linked thread discusses a second hand watch paskinner bought, that appeared to have a small amount of (possibly) moisture damage on some markers, that had not even been looked at by Seiko.

    How the heck did you go from that to a GS had damage on the hands and the customer service from Seiko was terrible?
    Last edited by bedlam; 17th May 2019 at 03:45.

  27. #27
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedlam View Post
    Your linked thread discusses a second hand watch paskinner bought, that appeared to have a small amount of (possibly) moisture damage on some markers, that had not even been looked at by Seiko.

    How the heck did you go from that to a GS had damage on the hands and the customer service from Seiko was terrible?
    Whatever dude. You're an insufferable fanboy.

  28. #28
    Master
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    Old news, but make no mistake...the watch had dreadful plating which blistered . The guy I sold it to, very cheap, tackled GS but eventually gave-up in disgust. They didn’t want to know. But they did want £800 to replace the’ bubbling ‘ rhodium plated markers, which were supposed to be corrosion proof.

    I still buy GS watches,and like them, no other trouble, but Rolex, and firms like Omega, are, in my experience, more responsive to their customers.
    Still, this was a couple of years ago; maybe things have changed.
    Last edited by paskinner; 17th May 2019 at 05:45.

  29. #29
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toshk View Post
    ^ It is. I bought the SBGC231 earlier. Delivery in two weeks.
    Itís 44.5mm???


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  30. #30
    Master Toshk's Avatar
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    How is Grand Seiko compare to R****?

    Quote Originally Posted by Martylaa View Post
    Itís 44.5mm???


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    Yes, but it has everything under the hood. Chrono, GMT, date and PR. Cased in the best titanium alloy with 200m WR.
    Last edited by Toshk; 17th May 2019 at 07:32.

  31. #31
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxy100 View Post
    Only you can answer this, go and find your nearest GS dealer and try on some of their watches. I have Rolex and GS and also drive an MX-5. You too could be cool like me.
    You're a motorbike short of a full set. Close but no cigar.

  32. #32
    Craftsman GTuned's Avatar
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    km9, if this helps, I have owned multiple Rolexes, JLC models and a GS (SBGR099) among many other watches. The Rolexes I have owned are all sports models (Deep Blue, SD4K, Explorer II, Ceramic Sub no Date, GMT2 BLNR etc) and the GS was a much dressier watch so I don't think it is really fair to compare them. The dressier JLCs and GS compare better, and in terms of finish (no magnifying glass used) are on par. The GS however was less than half price of any of its peers (simple 3-hand model). Apparently, under a magnification, the GS is spectacular and in comparison photos I have seen online is way above anything near its price range including Rolex and Omega. But really, does it matter?

    The bracelet is great on my GS, it is solid and I have had no issues. Rolex bracelets are fantastic, but only really the clasps set them apart on some models due to the micro adjustment capabilities. Other than that, they are the same, and this a dress watch so it is normal for it to not have a micro adjustment clasp.

    The movement on my GS is nothing special like what GS is capable of producing, however it is well within its spec and I specifically bought my GS for its size 42mm and simplicity of design being a pure 3 hander, and frankly Rolex has nothing in that size without an ugly cyclops. GS is currently ahead of most (all?) brands in the world for mechanical accuracy on their top of the line movement (Caliber 9R01) and have a huge range of movements that they make mechanical, quartz and hybrid and their innovation and dedication to diversity is quite impressive. Very few, if any other brand can claim that.

    GS models are very modest and I chose a Seiko labeled dial Grand Seiko (SBGR299 is the updated dial version) on purpose because they fly so far under the radar that no one even bats an eyelid. I've even had self proclaimed watch experts ask me why I downgraded to a lowly Seiko. Mission Accomplished in that case - I genuinely want to avoid the watch hysteria going on these days, especially the Rolex hysteria. Rolex make excellent watches, but the grey market prices are stupid and, to me, do not justify the value. Furthermore the hoards of fans that have suddenly "discovered" Rolex and make endless desperate comments on social media are putting me off - you can practically feel the drool and desperation oozing through the screen...

    As far as in-house manufacturing facilities/capabilities go, both Rolex (and its group i.e. Tudor etc) and Seiko and its group are both impressive in their own rights, with Seiko spanning the entire range of budgets and styles and Rolex being focused on a smaller part. The big difference being that in Japan the concept that you produce from the lowliest of products through to luxury is nothing to be ashamed of. The brand segregation and rebranding over the years is a Western influenced idea - Toyota had to rebrand its higher end products to Lexus, Nissan brought out Infiniti etc. This explains modest branding efforts by Seiko/Grand Seiko and why they have modest grey market pricing.

    In conclusion, I would say you get far more value from a Grand Seiko, but we all know that most buyers make decisions based on aesthetic and brand perception. Buy what pleases you, and not necessarily the forum, it is on your wrist after all :)

  33. #33
    Craftsman
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    What he said ^^

    As good an evaluation as you will read today!


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  34. #34
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    ‘Value’ is perhaps the overall cost. Current GS models are, in many cases, close to or at Rolex prices (compare the basic diver with a no-date Sub). But the depreciation is very different.
    The GS will probably lose 30% in the first month; the Rolex won’t lose a penny.
    I buy GS watches, and enjoy them, but these days I want a good discount or I buy used. That’s where the ‘value’ is.
    Another example, the hi-beat diver is £8,700. About the same price as the Rolex SD43. You can all do the sums....
    Last edited by paskinner; 17th May 2019 at 11:31.

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by GTuned View Post
    In conclusion, I would say you get far more value from a Grand Seiko, but we all know that most buyers make decisions based on aesthetic and brand perception. Buy what pleases you, and not necessarily the forum, it is on your wrist after all :)
    I'm not so sure anymore about this. Most brands in the same tier have really started upping their prices - including GS. Look at the cost of their new diver, 10k. At retail (and I do emphasise this particular part) it seems to me Rolex SS sports pricing is on par with the rest of the industry (or the rest have caught up to Rolex pricing). And Rolex do a much, much better bracelet than most (still).

    I would say there is much more fun to be had if you look outside of Rolex, frankly a lot their designs are just too conservative and boring for me.

  36. #36
    Journeyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterdo View Post
    What he said ^^

    As good an evaluation as you will read today!


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    Agreed. Grand seiko second on my list after Deepsea.

  37. #37
    Master bedlam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Old news, but make no mistake...the watch had dreadful plating which blistered . The guy I sold it to, very cheap, tackled GS but eventually gave-up in disgust. They didnít want to know. But they did want £800 to replace theí bubbling Ď rhodium plated markers, which were supposed to be corrosion proof.
    Rhodium is only corrosion resistant.

  38. #38
    I used to think Rolex were the best, because I wore one.
    Now I wear GS, and theyíre the best. Fact (for now at least).
    End of discussion. Youíre welcome.




    ;)


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  39. #39
    Master
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    The best watch brand? Physical watches? Watch models?

    What are the factual comparable matrices?

    What are the objective points for comparison?

    Without any parametres all you have is subjective opinion, polarisation and most of these threads end up a SH!T show.

    I can't say R Vs GS as I've not owned a GS. As to R vs GS compared to the greater watch market? They are both mid range great watches, but nothing special.

  40. #40
    Grand Master
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    In my opinion, GS is nowhere close to Rolex and the bracelets are bog awful.
    Some people slaver over them because they go against the Rolex grain but if I was spending a chunk and didn't want to be oh so boring with Rolex, I wouldnt be buying a grand seiko. I prefer the 300 quid standard ones.

  41. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by nunya View Post
    The best watch brand? Physical watches? Watch models?

    What are the factual comparable matrices?

    What are the objective points for comparison?

    Without any parametres all you have is subjective opinion, polarisation and most of these threads end up a SH!T show.

    I can't say R Vs GS as I've not owned a GS. As to R vs GS compared to the greater watch market? They are both mid range great watches, but nothing special.
    Thanks for contributing 'nothing' except an unnecessary dose of snobbery. For most people the cost of a Rolex or a GS is a substantial outlay and the purchase means a lot to them which makes them special.

  42. #42
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by nunya View Post
    The best watch brand? Physical watches? Watch models?

    What are the factual comparable matrices?

    What are the objective points for comparison?

    Without any parametres all you have is subjective opinion, polarisation and most of these threads end up a SH!T show.

    I can't say R Vs GS as I've not owned a GS. As to R vs GS compared to the greater watch market? They are both mid range great watches, but nothing special.
    I guess you have a personalised number plate on your car, if not you should definitely get one ;-)

    Rolex and GS are both good watches, I would also say relatively good value buys for your first 'quality' watch.
    They are the Marks & Spencer's of the watch world, so go for the model in either brand that you like the most and can afford.

    Rolex watches can come with a bit of baggage as they seem to be the first stop for new money and personalised car number plate owners.
    But that image issue does not detract from them being solid reliable watches that keep good residual values.

  43. #43
    Master mondie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    In my opinion, GS is nowhere close to Rolex and the bracelets are bog awful.
    Some people slaver over them because they go against the Rolex grain but if I was spending a chunk and didn't want to be oh so boring with Rolex, I wouldnt be buying a grand seiko. I prefer the 300 quid standard ones.
    Awww, I really like you Verv and this is the first post of yours that I am not sitting here nodding in agreement. There is, of course, nothing absolute in this rather pointless and purely subjective hobby, but the attraction to GS is not a reaction to the relative ubiquitousness of Rolex. To my tastes they have an appeal all of their own, unfortunatley, Rolex is the benchmark to which they are compared.

  44. #44
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerUK View Post
    I guess you have a personalised number plate on your car, if not you should definitely get one ;-)

    Rolex and GS are both good watches, I would also say relatively good value buys for your first 'quality' watch.
    They are the Marks & Spencer's of the watch world, .........
    Then can I have the meal-deal please.

  45. #45
    Craftsman GTuned's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    In my opinion, GS is nowhere close to Rolex and the bracelets are bog awful.
    Some people slaver over them because they go against the Rolex grain but if I was spending a chunk and didn't want to be oh so boring with Rolex, I wouldnt be buying a grand seiko. I prefer the 300 quid standard ones.
    Your statement, was clearly making a point until the 300 quid part. This is perhaps more their failing by lumping all their products under one name, and so you can not mentally separate the two completely different lines.. but the rest is highly subjective.


    Back to everyones comments regarding quality, take a look at this:

    Is it necessary? No, but extrapolate this to how they treat every single part of their manufacturing process and you might start to understand the ethos of Grand Seiko. ;)

  46. #46
    ^ plus: capped stack!

  47. #47
    To the OP, I own both brands and wear both regularly.

    GS is a private pleasure which will go otherwise unnoticed. In my experience the finishing, and the dial, hands and case are above Rolex.

    Rolex is Rolex, for better or worse; unfortunately, people will take a view of the wearer (positive and negative being equally bothersome). In my experience the bracelet, and feeling of solidity are above GS.

  48. #48
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    It also depends on what you are comparing. A Sub vs a GS diver? The GS is much better finished but the Sub exudes a certain tooliness and the clasp is better.

    However compare a Snowflake or one of the dressier GS vs a Datejust 41 and the GS completely obliterates the Rolex. The polishing of the hands, indices, dial work, beveling, all the small touches that you only see on close inspection such as the mirror finishing on the date windows and power reserve cut outs etc. On the dressier pieces GS is just phenomenal. I'm sure someone is going to come on here and disagree but don't as it's not even a contest comparing a £5k+ GS with a DJ 41 as the GS is several rungs ahead of it. The DJ is an iconic design however and that is a huge pull for some (and also a put off for others as it's a bit of a 'me too' watch).

    Styling is your own personal preference of course.

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  49. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by paskinner View Post
    Old news, but make no mistake...the watch had dreadful plating which blistered . The guy I sold it to, very cheap, tackled GS but eventually gave-up in disgust. They didnít want to know. But they did want £800 to replace theí bubbling Ď rhodium plated markers, which were supposed to be corrosion proof.

    I still buy GS watches,and like them, no other trouble, but Rolex, and firms like Omega, are, in my experience, more responsive to their customers.
    Still, this was a couple of years ago; maybe things have changed.
    Itís this what has always put me off buying one. That and I had a similar experience with Seiko customer service/quality control a few years ago and was not overly impressed.

    Would I buy a cheaper Seiko? Yes. Would I spend several grand on one? Doubt it.

  50. #50
    Master
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    I will never understand why folk pay mental money for a Seiko. £200 is my max limit for a Seiko.

    Taxi.

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