A few months prior, I composed why I didn’t accepting the acclaimed and much adulated Grand Seiko Snowflake. Today I will disclose to you why I purchased the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 “Mt. Iwate” instead.

Without expounding a lot on the foundation story ( you can peruse that here ), I was without a doubt after the Grand Seiko SBGA211, or Snowflake. I was entranced by the design of the dial, since the time I dealt with it during my first outing to Japan in 2015 to see the Grand Seiko make. Of course, there were a few cons for me also about this watch, similar to the force save marker and the titanium material, however the excellent snowflake construction of the dial and the Spring Drive development were more critical to me. There’s nothing amiss with titanium all things considered, however I like to feel a watch on my wrist and a force hold pointer to me on a self-winding watch has neither rhyme nor reason and it makes the dial all in all too cluttered.

Grand Seiko SBGJ201 Mt. Iwate

But I was bound to buy a Grand Seiko SBGA211 when I had the assets to do as such. Until I ended up remaining before a presentation in the Grand Seiko shop in Knightsbridge, London. That was in the mid year of 2017, when Seiko welcomed me to go along with them for the sports they support and to visit their new and noteworthy shop in Knightsbridge. In the showcase, there was the Grand Seiko Snowflake and I requested that the salesman get it out for me. At that point, with the Snowflake on my wrist, I saw this other model in plain view. The Grand Seiko SBGJ201, with a blue GMT hand and furthermore with a little construction in the dial. Be that as it may, all the more critically, as far as I might be concerned, it had the case shape propelled on Grand Seiko’s 44GS configuration (as per their Grammar of Design standards). The construction on the dial helped me to remember rice paper and was intriguing to notice. The disadvantage is that you truly should be near the watch to see it. Obviously, it isn’t rice paper roused, yet by the Mt. Iwate. The mountain that is noticeable through the windows of the Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio where Grand Seiko mechanical watches are made. ( In the previous I explored a restricted release that was likewise committed to this mountain )

Making a Decision

Where the Grand Seiko Snowflake has a bigger width (of 41mm), the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 (40mm) is somewhat thicker. Most presumably in view of the GMT work. The sticker price of the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 is a €500 higher than that of the Snowflake, yet eventually, it isn’t making a big deal about a distinction when you are thinking about one of these two watches. I didn’t take a choice at the spot (likewise on the grounds that the costs in the United Kingdom were fundamentally higher than in The Netherlands), however I chose to give the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 a thought.

Months passed by and I chose to likewise hang tight for Baselworld 2018. That made it considerably more troublesome, as the 9S 20th-commemoration pieces with blue ( here ) and earthy colored ( here ) dial were additionally extremely fascinating. However, in the wake of seeing the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 and Snowflake again in the tissue, I realized it must be the SBGJ201 “Mt. Iwate”. I requested this model as it was not accessible in stock in The Netherlands at that point (this changed a couple of months prior when they resumed the (Grand) Seiko shop in Amsterdam). Half a month later, finish of June 2018, I got a message that the watch was fit to be gotten. In the wake of having the arm band resized by a watchmaker, I put the watch on my wrist lastly was the pleased proprietor of a Grand Seiko. Like all Grand Seikos, this watch is conveyed in the blue calfskin box with a couple of booklets and a precision declaration. I feel that this could be somewhat more extraordinary at a watch with this cost tag, however I likewise understand that these cases end up away in any case, so it is more helpful when they are not very big.

Grand Seiko SBGJ201 on a strap

In the months after, I wound up wearing this watch a lot. Obviously, the Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday “Ultraman” likewise went along and their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Edition “Rising Sun” (at any rate it has a Japan topic) that I additionally got, however the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 turned into a watch I wind up wearing a ton. Not long after I additionally requested a custom blue croc tie (19mm) for this watch, with a unique Grand Seiko clasp, as I accept that a lash features the plan of the case. Particularly the dangerously sharp carries (an element I missed on the Grand Seiko Snowflake) are entirely noticeable when wearing the watch on a tie. The drawback of putting it on a tie is that the watch seems, by all accounts, to be thicker than when worn with the treated steel arm band. The look & feel changes radically however when worn on a lash. It promptly becomes a dress watch (and a thick one, at 14mm), where on the wristband, it is unquestionably an all-rounder like a Rolex Datejust for instance. The additional hour hand in blue is pleasant, and it capacities as a genuine GMT watch ought to, which means with an autonomous hour hand that you right to the nearby time region. The GMT work additionally adds some thickness to the watch (as the SBGH243 estimates 0.7mm less, with a High-Beat development and same 44GS case), yet there’s actually no other option in the event that you extravagant this dial and case in hardened steel. For the individuals who lean toward titanium, there’s additionally a comparable model accessible (SBGJ211) with a similar case and development. That dial additionally has a fascinating construction, however not founded on the Mt. Iwate.

Long-term Review

Now, February 2019, after a large portion of a time of proprietorship, I can disclose to you that not a lot has changed my contemplations and sentiments towards the Grand Seiko SBGJ201. Stupendous Seiko presented some new (restricted version) models, however the one I extravagant is US as it were. This would be the SBGA387 “Kira-zuri U.S. Restricted Edition” with 44GS case in impeccable, with Spring Drive model and staggering blue dial. I’m extremely content with the SBGJ201 however and wind up wearing it all the time. I’m going to change back to the first wristband, as the watch is a touch more adaptable that way.


Although the watch has the celebrated Zaratsu finishing strategy applied to the case, I figured out how to keep it liberated from scratches (*knocks on oak wood). It should be the bad dream of any Grand Seiko proprietor, as the Zaratsu cleaning must be revamped in Japan. On the positive side, the adjusting costs of Grand Seiko are truly worthy so you can adhere to the exhorted stretches. As per Grand Seiko, a help span is recommended at regular intervals. The authority cost for adjusting this 9S development is €385 ( the administration costs for the other GS developments can be found here ). For my situation, the assistance can happen here in The Netherlands, aside from the Zaratsu cleaning work.

However, after only 7 months of possession, my Grand Seiko SBGJ201 isn’t in the need of a help. The 9S86 high-beat development runs sweet and well inside the details (- 3/+ 5 seconds every day). As a matter of fact, mine runs with – 2 seconds per day with the dial side up, and +1 seconds every day with the crown down. The adequacy is 270 degrees with the dial side up, and 254 degrees when the watch is vertically situated. The high-beat development has a ticking number of 36000vph, which makes the seconds’ hand clear easily over the dial.

Unreal Finishing

As lauded commonly previously, the (hand) completing of the hands and hour markers are from a different universe. In any event, when noticed utilizing a loupe or large scale focal point, the cleaned surfaces and edges are dangerously sharp. I essentially can’t accept how much exertion Grand Seiko spends in getting these subtleties right, which are just noticeable very close (or with a loupe even). Compared to the standard Swiss brands in a similar value classification, it is actually no competition. Stupendous Seiko plays in an alternate alliance here. The equivalent applies to the Zaratsu cleaned case and the treated steel wristband. Albeit the wristband isn’t actually my taste, because of the cleaned joins, the completion is wonderful. It is these subtleties that give me incredible happiness in wearing and possessing the Grand Seiko. I additionally follow a portion of the Grand Seiko communities on Facebook with incredible interest and saw the cordial climate there. There’s a ton of regard for the brand and for one another, in those groups.

Strap Choices

Ever since I had my eyes on this watch, I concluded I planned to wear it on a lash. As I composed above, I had a custom lash made in dull blue and requested a Grand Seiko clasp for it also. I truly love the vibe of the watch on a tie, however as it rapidly transforms into a dressier watch along these lines, the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 is altogether too thick. By one way or another, on an arm band, I am not wasted time with its tallness by any stretch of the imagination. I have a lot of dress watches, from vintage to current and in steel, bi-shading and gold, and none of them is as enormous (breadth and stature) as this Grand Seiko SBGJ201. The way that a watch is on a calfskin tie doesn’t make it consequently a dress watch obviously, however some way or another this one does. Most likely because of the cleaned surfaces working on it and high cleaned hands and hour markers. Additionally, the way that I put a croc tie on this watch likely give it an unexpected appearance in comparison to when I would have utilized a calf tie, for instance. I should check that out soon, to have something made in 19mm from calf calfskin, maybe with the vintage join even. For the present, it is back on the tempered steel arm band. The wristband additionally unquestionably adds some weight to the watch, of course.

Price And Market Value

A subject that I once in a while contact while doing a watch audit is the market esteem. Or on the other hand resale esteem. As far as I might be concerned, that’s not actually significant when portraying or making a decision about a watch. On the off chance that you need to have solid resale esteem, purchase a games Rolex or a Patek Philippe Nautilus and so on I purchase a watch to wear and appreciate, not to make a brisk buck or even with selling it later on once more. I did that 20 years prior when I began gathering watches, however I am more quiet nowadays and set aside more effort to choose when I buy a watch. All things considered, I likewise examined the used market of Grand Seiko watches. What I saw is that the stock, in any event in Europe, is little. The creation of Grand Seiko watches is likewise generally little obviously, with an expected 45.000 watches a year, however it additionally appears to be that individuals who get them, clutch them. Or then again really bought them to appreciate, not to be the following flipper. There isn’t one Grand Seiko SBGJ201 being offered on Chrono24 today, in used condition. Just a used archetype, when there was still ‘Seiko’ on the dial alongside the Grand Seiko logo (this changed in 2017), is being offered available to be purchased, for €4500. Given the way that Grand Seiko offered these watches with a considerable amount of rebate themselves when they began to utilize the Grand Seiko-just dials, that’s a reasonable cost. It is fascinating to see that the quantity of used Grand Seiko watches being offered on Chrono24 is so low. Just 15 used Grand Seiko watches altogether with the creation year of 2017 or later.

Today, the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 has a retail cost of €6500. I don’t think and feel that this is a ridiculous or exorbitant cost, in spite of the fact that it opens up a great deal of different alternatives also. Be that as it may, taking a gander at the quality and finish of the watch, it is well awesome. On the off chance that these watches would flood the used market for half off, I would in any case feel the equivalent about the actual watch, however the appreciation from the market would be beneath mine.

What’s Next

It took me a year to pull the trigger on a Grand Seiko, however I concluded I should set aside the effort to settle on a decent decision for a watch that I need to appreciate for quite a while. Also, I do appreciate it, a ton. The Grand Seiko SBGJ201 has demonstrated to be an extraordinary companion up until this point. All things considered, it likewise caused me to understand that Grand Seiko is offering a significant shocking ‘product’ (I prefer not to utilize that word) at the cost they are inquiring. Despite the fact that I don’t have a particular wish for a next Grand Seiko, I concluded that it is presumably going to be a watch with their Spring Drive development. That development interests me and I simply need to locate the correct case and dial arrangement for it. On the off chance that they would make a watch with a snowflake dial, in steel, I would gladly pull the trigger. Then again, my associate Gerard bought a lovely hand-wound Grand Seiko SBGW235 with this dabs of-rice arm band that is quite wonderful. I will take my time.

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