Grand Seiko - Grand Seiko SBGC231G, Spring Drive GMT Chronograph
Grand Seiko - Grand Seiko SBGC231G, Spring Drive GMT Chronograph

Grand Seiko SBGC231G, Spring Drive GMT Chronograph

Grand Seiko | 13'700 € Tax inc.

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Celebration of Spring Drive's 20th anniversary with a new Grand Seiko sports model.

Grand Seiko SBGC231

With the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Watch from Grand Seiko Watches Japan having been around for two decades, it was perhaps no surprise that Grand Seiko would chose to add a series of limited edition Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive 20th Anniversary Limited Editions to the Grand Seiko Sport Collection of the very highest quality mechanical chronograph watches, with trademark Grand Seiko detailing to the case, hands and dial, including the use of special materials including titanium. The worldwide renown of Grand Seiko Watches Japan has of course, only increased in recent years, particularly with models such as the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection Spring Drive watch SBGA407 ‘Snowflake Blue’ – reflecting on its textured watch dial the beauty of the snow of the Shinshu area which spawned the hybrid mechanical Grand Seiko ‘Spring Drive’ movement itself. The 20th anniversary of the Grand Seiko quartz-mechanical ‘Spring Drive’ movement is a real milestone for Grand Seiko Watches Japan, and a number of limited edition series have been launched, included a Spring Drive Chronograph celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Nissan GT-R, the Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Spring Drive SBGC229 Chronograph with ‘Bay Blue’ detailing, a limited edition of only 200 pieces. The concept of the Grand Seiko Anniversary Limited Edition has some history itself of course, with the brand introducing the stainless steel case Grand Seiko SBGV009 back in 2014 as a 50th anniversary limited edition piece to celebrate the first Grand Seiko to appear with a date, the ‘Self-Dater’, from 1964.

As a member of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Sport Collection rather than the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Elegance collection, the Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive SBGC231 20th Anniversary Chronograph Limited Edition is a very different type of Grand Seiko watch to models such as the SBGA 407 Grand Seiko Elegance Collection Spring Drive ‘Snowflake Blue’ watch. The Grand Seiko Elegance Collection of Spring Drive watches to which the Grand Seiko SBGA belongs continues to trace a slightly different thread of Grand Seiko mechanical watch DNA, where elegance and simplicity are at the forefront, a thread which in recent years has attracted the attention of rival brands such as Omega and Jaeger-LeCoultre with its Master Control Date model.

The Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive 20th Anniversary Limited Edition forgoes the beautiful simplicity of the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection, the Grand Seiko Sport Collection instead offering a series of more rugged, sporting features, such as the chronograph complication,  typified in models such as the Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive Chronograph GMT men’s hybrid mechanical wristwatch. But just like the Spring Drive GMT Chronograph, the Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive SBGC231 20th Anniversary Chronograph Limited Edition is no Casio, and at the same time, because of the unique nature of its hybrid Grand Seiko quartz-mechanical 9S family movement, is it similar to anything from the likes of IWC or Carl F. Bucherer either. The 20th anniversary of the Spring Drive on the Grand Seiko Sports Chronograph series has been mirrored by some very special limited edition models in the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection 20th Anniversary series, with stainless steel, 18k Gold and platinum case models, such as the SBGZ001.

The mechanical movement fitted to the Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive SBGC231 20th Anniversary Chronograph Limited Edition shares the same unique-to-Grand-Seiko-watches Spring Drive ‘9R’ family hybrid mechanical – electronic movement which forms the basis of every Grand Seiko in the current Grand Seiko Spring Drive Collections, in the Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive SBGC231 20th Anniversary Chronograph Limited Edition considerable further complications are added, notably the addition of the chronograph. Grand Seiko heritage and movement research, stretching back all the way to the Grand Seiko hi beat innovations of the 1960s, has evolved today into the ‘9R’ family of hybrid mechanical – electronic movement designs, technology so remarkable that the Japan based Grand Seiko Watches was comfortable enough, when introducing the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph derivative, to declare it the world’s most accurate spring-driven chronograph in history. In time, the Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph SBGC has gone on to acquire some very detailed long term reviews, from the like of David Bredan and others. The Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive SBGC231 20th Anniversary Chronograph Limited Edition is a development of the Spring Drive SBGC as one would expect, with a number of unique features to confirm the Spring Drive celebrations, most notably to the case, hands, dial, and case material, a form of titanium.

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Sport Collection of chronograph and non-chrono men’s watches has played on the characteristics of the Lion, long-standing Grand Seiko symbol, to effect a case design places power and strength over elegance, with even the case lugs being reminiscent of Lion’s claws. The Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive SBGC231 20th Anniversary Chronograph Limited Edition is perhaps the most fully loaded model in the limited edition collection, featuring not only a case that is not in stainless steel, ‘High Intensity Titanium’ being the case material of choice instead, but the chronograph complication with chronograph subdial, GMT function with its own subdial and hand, and power reserve indicator to show exactly how much of the 72 hour power reserve is remaining.

Offered in a limited edition of only 500 pieces at an exceptionally competitive price, bearing in mind the worldwide buzz around the Grand Seiko Elegance and Grand Seiko Sports Spring Drive Collections currently, the Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive SBGC231 20th Anniversary Chronograph Limited Edition is never going to be an easy to find watch outside of Japan. Established, authorized dealers and preowned resellers offering free shipping will usually be the best bet for finding one. 

Technical specifications

Limited edition for the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive SBGC231G
Spring Drive GMT 9R96 Spring Drive Chronograph 
Arming system: automatic 
Power reserve: 72 hours 
Accuracy: ±0.5 seconds per day (±10 seconds per month) 
GMT hand, Chronograph up to 12 hours  
Number of rubies: 50 
Features and characteristics 
High intensity titanium case  
Sapphire bezel 
High definition curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating 
Screwed transparent case back, screwed crown 
Water resistance: 20 bar 
Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m 
Diameter: 44.5 mm 
Thickness: 16.8 mm 
High intensity titanium strap with adjustable safety folding clasp with slide with push button 
Crocodile leather strap with folding clasp with push button deployment 
 
 
 

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