At Baselworld this year the focus from Seiko was on the Seiko Astron GPS, the worlds first solar GPS watch. It is a great quartz watch and was introduced by a superbly entertaining presentation from Mr. Shinji Hattori, President & CEO of the Seiko Watch Corporation.
However, the product launch that caught my eye was the new mechanical Calibre 9S86, the first ever hi-beat GMT that will only ever be available in a Grand Seiko. The lead watch for this new calibre is the Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT Limited Edition (SBGJ005). As an owner of a Zenith El Primero, I must confess to being biased towards watches that beat at a higher frequency and offer higher accuracy.
The Hi-Beat has a deep green radial dial inspired by Mount Iwate, the famous mountain outside the Shizuku-ishi Watch Studio, a golden GMT hand and a sapphire case back that highlights the titanium oscillating weight, which is treated with an anodic oxidation resulting in a gold tone. The watch comes in a 40mm stainless steel case based on the 2013 44GS Automatic.
One part (and there are many) of Grand Seiko’s appeal is that they are simply not a Rolex or Omega, and with a limited edition run of 600 this Hi-Beat 36,000 GMT is another alternative option for watch aficionados looking for something different that still has all the hallmarks of supreme excellence. The 5Hz movement, stunning finish, vivid colours and GMT complication make this a stand out watch to rival the most popular in the industry. Going into stores, including the newly opened Seiko boutique on Madison Avenue, New York, this October priced at €5,600.