WatchCharts Forum

Grand Seiko: Surprisingly Affordable

Originally published at: https://watchcharts.com/wp/2021/01/27/grand-seiko-surprisingly-affordable

Amongst enthusiasts Grand Seiko is known as perhaps the biggest value proposition in luxury watchmaking. The manufacture was almost unknown to Western markets only a decade ago, catering primarily for the Japanese domestic market and only occasionally imported overseas by the few “in the know”. Now Grand Seiko can be found in high-end watch stores…

Unfortunately most Grand Seikos are not that visually appealing. The details are there, but the aesthetics are a bit boring on most and most conflate lots of detail with an appealing design. I am not big on highly polished watches so the zaratsu finishing is a downside to me, something that will get scratched immediately if worn with regularity.

Not sure why this brand seems to get such an excessive amount of hype, seems somewhat artificial to me. Might also be from the Anti-Swiss crowd as a statement, by overpromoting a brand that is Japanese they can claim some victory against Swiss watches. It all seems so pointless, just buy the watch you personally like and don’t compare it to some other watch that you “don’t care about”. I see so many forum posts about Grand Seiko where the poster ends up saying “This is much better than [insert Swiss watch brand]”. Conversely, I rarely see the inverse because most others just buy the watch they like and enjoy it.

For people who claim to not care, they’re quick to mention the other brand they definitely don’t care about…

Great article and agree 100%. As someone who started collecting with the knee-jerk “I want a Rolex one day” aspiration for no reason other than brand recognition. I have grown to learn more about what true value proposition looks like and the GS offerings are splendid. I’m a little perplexed that you chose to showcase the brown dial “whirlpool” variant vs the blue. i have the blue one SBGH267 and it’s breathtaking. Can’t wear it without compliments and queries.

There is simply no other watch that provides the finishing, horological innovation, and quality even close to the price of a GS. Once people figure this out, I will be somewhat disappointed as they prices will certainly go up. Since the Japanese refuse to compromise on quality to increase production and seem to have a penchant for limited runs on many dial variants, the demand required to push GS resale prices into the stratosphere will be significantly less than has been require to hype Rolex to the level of craziness it is now.

Looking forward to see how GS picks up steam in NA!

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Well I would say the SBGH267 is absolutely not surprisingly affordable - in fact, it’s probably one of the GS models that has the highest secondary market markup. But nice shot, you’re one of the lucky few to own one :slight_smile:

I completely agree when it comes to the value proposition of a GS - I appreciate the combination of clean, relatively simple designs with excellent execution at the price point. I saw an awesome photo a few days ago that shows just how much better their finishing is:

@WotRUBuyinWotRUSelin I don’t think the hype is artificial, I understand the designs are not for everyone but I think it’s hard to argue that Grand Seiko is not uniquely positioned in terms of its value proposition to collectors.

Ahh, and there is the Rolex put down. If a GS owner doesn’t put down Rolex, are they really a GS owner? :smile:

There’s no value proposition with any of these timepieces. If we really want to get pragmatic, you would stop at perhaps a G-Shock or maybe a ~$100 Seiko/Citizen. It’s pure lavish preference, let’s not kid ourselves. I don’t see why there is this obsession for tribalism with watch enthusiasts or the need to wax poetic to justify their purchase choices. It’s all rather silly, though this post is exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about. For none of the brands of watches I own, would you ever catch me espousing all this, it seems reserved for GS owners to “enlighten” upon the rest of us every time they talk about their watch to basically repeat the salesman’s lines that probably won them over…

I’m not saying this to be nasty, but it is rather tired. I detest marketing speak and all that goes with it. I don’t think anyone needs to justify a luxury watch purchase to anyone other than themselves, same that someone buying a luxury car needn’t justify to the person with an economy car. You do you.

P.S. Before it’s levied upon me, I own no Rolexes nor would I purchase one for the current prices.

Beautiful watch Eswift, congrats! As Charles mentioned, the choice of the SBGR311 instead was purely as a value proposition, befitting an article titled “surprisingly affordable”.

I respectfully disagree with your comments about aesthetics, I personally find GS to be among the most beautiful of attainably-priced luxury watches, but then I do really like detail and interesting dial treatments. That being said, you’re right that Zaratsu-finished cases can be a bit OCD triggering for a daily wear watch. The titanium GSes alleviate this somewhat, both because their proprietary high-intensity titanium is a little harder than 316L steel, and because the material has a slightly darker tone that hides scratches better.

Blockquote
I’m a little perplexed that you chose to showcase the brown dial “whirlpool” variant vs the blue. i have the blue one SBGH267 and it’s breathtaking. Can’t wear it without compliments and queries.

And the sbgm235 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ?