Editor’s note: This hands-on review of the Grand Seiko SBGE271 has been photographed with the assistance of J Farren-Price Sydney. For our usual detailed hands-on reviews, please head to our dedicated reviews section here. This is NOT a sponsored post.
What Is The Grand Seiko SBGE271
Retailing for 9’400 AUD, the 40.2mm x 15mm Grand Seiko SBGE271 is the autumn edition of what Grand Seiko calls to be “inspired by the night skies of Kanro, the fifth Sekki of autumn, when the sun sets ever earlier and there is a chill in the morning air”.
On the wrist, it is essentially the black version of the pink-coloured SBGA413G. Stunning in execution, and from a distance appears to be just black or even slightly green; but come up close, and the beautiful texture on the dial dictates your attention and doesn’t let go. I have to admit that the dial is simply something else, one that many major Swiss brands currently don’t offer anything akin to, especially within the under 10K AUD. Smacking bargain.
Why & Where
Grand Seiko has a special relationship with nature, and since Japan gets 24 seasons, the brand utilises their charm to its advantage. This also means that watch enthusiasts have multiple options to choose from, given someone something they would truly admire. I reckon more brand’s should experiment with dials, given these usually are the prime selling point.
Alongside the Autumn Kanro Grand Seiko SBGE271, GS also announced for Australia some other timepieces, and you can read on our website the hands-on reviews of the SBGH271, SBGA413G, and SBGE275.
The Grand Seiko SBGE271 is not a limited edition release, and just like the summer Rikka Grand Seiko SBGH271, retails for 9’400 AUD. You can buy it at J Farren-Price Sydney, 80 Castlereagh St, Sydney (02 9231 3299) and GS Boutique at Westfield Sydney.
Who Is The Grand Seiko SBGE271 For
Now this is an interesting one; and not an easy thing to answer. Usually when I spend some time with a watch, the personality seems to speak out. But in the case of the SBGE271, it is hard to say. I think it’s a great looking timepiece that will do well inside any collection, big or small. The Grand Seiko SBGE271 is for those who would like any under the radar watch with GMT complication, but one that they can also admire up close when bored on a long flight. The play of light on the dial will keep you company for hours, and if you wish to doze off, simply stare at the gliding sweeping hand till it gently hypnotise you into a calm, peaceful slumber.
Basic Specs Of The Grand Seiko SBGE271
The Grand Seiko SBGE271 features the Spring Drive 9R66 movement.
It is the same movement as found in the Grand Seiko SBGE257 (hands-on here) which was released in July 2020 as part of a three watch permanent collection – SBGE253 (Black), SBGE255 (Blue) and SBGE257 (green). As a side note, the SBGE257 features a similarly sized 40.5mm diameter and 14.7mm thick stainless steel case with a ceramic bezel, so my hopes of finding a summer GS Spring Drive watch are somewhat up in the air for now. But a guy can dream.
Anyway, the Spring Drive 9R66 was first introduced in 2006 and impressively has the ability to achieve extremely high accuracy for a watch wound by a mainspring. The way it works is that a traditional spring-driven movement is paired with Grand Seiko’s electronic technology that functions without batteries or other external power sources. The mainspring, as used in traditional mechanical watches, drives a series of gears as in any other mechanical watch. What’s different is that GS makes uses of a rotor that is connected to the end of these gears that generates a small electrical charge that activates an electronic circuit and quartz oscillator.
This Spring Drive movement is comprised of 30 jewels, boasts an impressive 72-hour power reserve and has a very impressive stated accuracy of ±1 second a day or ±15 seconds per month on average. It allows for the functions of power reserve display function and dual time function with 24-hour display.
The Hands-on Experience
Out of the three new Grand Seiko watches we have recently gone hands-on with, the SBGA413G, the SBGH271 and this Grand Seiko SBGE271, this is my favourite version. Unlike the SBGA413G pink option, it is more subdued and I find it more versatile.
The dial texture is very similar to the pink SBGA413G but is cased inside the Elegance Collection case architecture which I personally prefer over the 44GS style case. It’s more circular and fits my tastes better. It’s also a better price value with an GMT complication coming for only 9’400 AUD (the same as time/date only SBGH271 and less expensive than the SBGA413G that retails for 9’850 AUD).
I also like the gilt personality that adds a bit of luxurious charm to the timepiece. Besides all the impressive Zaratsu polishing that we have talked about numerous times before, I also like the one attention to detail that many other brand’s often neglect: the date wheel is thankfully executed in black, though I kind of feel that GS missed an opportunity here to make the text yellow/golden to match the accents on the dial.
Of course one can never tire of watching that glide motion seconds hand, and in the case of the Grand Seiko SBGE271 it sexily moves across a canvas of dark, brooding cloudy night sky. Poetry in motion.
The only minor concern is that it is rather big for my slim ~16cm wrists. The Grand Seiko SBGE271 measures 40mm in diameter and 43mm with crown, a substantial 15mm thickness, and features a manageable 48.5mm lug-to-lug but with an end-link to end-link distance of 52mm. The 19mm lug interhorn does offset this a bit, but still looks bit big on my wrist. Perhaps a watch to wear on a custom suede mustard strap.
With a welcome 100m water resistance, box shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, a GMT complication, an exhibition case-back, a stunning dial and a hypnotic Spring Drive powered second’s hand, the Grand Seiko SBGE271 Kanro Elegance Collection Autumn Edition is definitely a great companion for the ride.
To find out more about the Grand Seiko SBGE271 and other GS timepieces, please head to there website here, or visit their authorised retailer J Farren-Price Sydney at 80 Castlereagh St, Sydney (02 9231 3299). All images unless otherwise stated are ©WatchYaGonnaDoAboutIt.