A few months prior, I composed why I didn’t accepting the renowned 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 hypnotized by the construction of the dial, since the time I took care of it during my first excursion to Japan in 2015 to see the Grand Seiko produce. Of course, there were a few cons for me too about this watch, similar to the force save pointer and the titanium material, however the wonderful snowflake construction of the dial and the Spring Drive development were more imperative to me. There’s nothing amiss with titanium all things considered, however I like to feel a watch on my wrist and a force save pointer to me on a self-winding watch has neither rhyme nor reason and it makes the dial altogether 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 late spring of 2017, when Seiko welcomed me to go along with them for the games 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. However, more critically, as far as I might be concerned, it had the case shape enlivened on Grand Seiko’s 44GS configuration (as per their Grammar of Design standards). The design 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 propelled, 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 assessed a restricted version that was likewise committed to this mountain )

Making a Decision

Where the Grand Seiko Snowflake has a bigger measurement (of 41mm), the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 (40mm) is somewhat thicker. Most likely 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 in light of the fact that the costs in the United Kingdom were fundamentally higher than in The Netherlands), yet 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 significantly more troublesome, as the 9S twentieth commemoration pieces with blue ( here ) and earthy colored ( here ) dial were likewise exceptionally fascinating. However, subsequent to 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 returned 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. Subsequent to having the wristband resized by a watchmaker, I put the watch on my wrist lastly was the glad 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 testament. I feel that this could be a smidgen more extraordinary at a watch with this cost tag, yet I additionally understand that these cases end up away in any case, so it is more advantageous when they are not very big.

Grand Seiko SBGJ201 on a strap

In the months after, I ended up wearing this watch a considerable amount. Obviously, the Speedmaster Speedy Tuesday “Ultraman” likewise tagged along and their Tokyo 2020 Olympic Edition “Rising Sun” (at any rate it has a Japan topic) that I additionally got, yet the Grand Seiko SBGJ201 turned into a watch I wind up wearing a ton. Not long after I additionally requested a custom blue crocodile 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 well honed drags (a component I missed on the Grand Seiko Snowflake) are totally obvious when wearing the watch on a lash. The disadvantage of putting it on a lash 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 certainly an all-rounder like a Rolex Datejust for instance. The additional hour hand in blue is decent, and it capacities as a genuine GMT watch ought to, which means with an autonomous hour hand that you right to the neighborhood 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 on the off chance that you extravagant this dial and case in hardened steel. For the individuals who incline toward titanium, there’s likewise a comparable model accessible (SBGJ211) with a similar case and development. That dial likewise has an intriguing construction, yet not founded on the Mt. Iwate.

Long-term Review

Now, February 2019, after a large portion of a time of possession, I can reveal to you that not a lot has changed my musings and emotions towards the Grand Seiko SBGJ201. Excellent Seiko presented some new (restricted version) models, yet 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 exceptionally 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 popular 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 entirely satisfactory so you can adhere to the prompted stretches. As per Grand Seiko, an assistance span is recommended like clockwork. 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 help 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). All things considered, mine runs with – 2 seconds every day with the dial side up, and +1 seconds per day with the crown down. The plentifulness 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 applauded 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 extremely sharp. I essentially can’t accept how much exertion Grand Seiko spends in getting these subtleties right, which are just obvious very close (or with a loupe even). Compared to the typical Swiss brands in a similar value classification, it is actually no competition. Fabulous Seiko plays in an alternate association here. The equivalent applies to the Zaratsu cleaned case and the hardened steel arm band. Albeit the wristband isn’t by and large my taste, because of the cleaned joins, the completion is amazing. It is these subtleties that give me extraordinary happiness in wearing and possessing the Grand Seiko. I likewise follow a portion of the Grand Seiko communities on Facebook with extraordinary interest and saw the agreeable 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 tie. As I composed above, I had a custom tie made in dull blue and requested a Grand Seiko clasp for it also. I truly venerate the vibe of the watch on a tie, however as it rapidly transforms into a dressier watch thusly, 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 means. 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 (distance across and tallness) as this Grand Seiko SBGJ201. The way that a watch is on a calfskin tie doesn’t make it consequently a dress watch obviously, yet some way or another this one does. Most likely because of the cleaned surfaces working on this issue and high cleaned hands and hour markers. Additionally, the way that I put a gator tie on this watch most likely give it an unexpected appearance in comparison to when I would have utilized a calf lash, for instance. I should check that out sooner rather than later, to have something made in 19mm from calf cowhide, maybe with the vintage join even. Until further notice, it is back on the treated steel wristband. The wristband additionally unquestionably adds some weight to the watch, of course.

Price And Market Value

A subject that I seldom contact while doing a watch survey is the market esteem. Or then again resale esteem. As far as I might be concerned, that’s not actually significant when portraying or making a decision about a watch. In the event 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 fast buck or even with selling it later on once more. I did that 20 years prior when I began gathering watches, yet I am more quiet nowadays and set aside more effort to choose when I buy a watch. All things considered, I additionally viewed the used market of Grand Seiko watches. What I saw is that the inventory, 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 on the other hand 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 adjacent to 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 lot of rebate themselves when they began to utilize the Grand Seiko-just dials, that’s a reasonable cost. It is intriguing 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, despite the fact that it opens up a great deal of different alternatives also. However, 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 underneath 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. Furthermore, I do appreciate it, a ton. The Grand Seiko SBGJ201 has demonstrated to be an extraordinary companion up until now. All things considered, it additionally caused me to understand that Grand Seiko is offering a serious hair-raising ‘product’ (I prefer not to utilize that word) at the cost they are inquiring. In spite of the fact that I don’t have a particular wish for a next Grand Seiko, I concluded that it is most likely going to be a watch with their Spring Drive development. That development captivates me and I simply need to locate the correct case and dial design for it. In the event that they would make a watch with a snowflake dial, in steel, I would gladly pull the trigger. Then again, my partner Gerard bought an excellent hand-wound Grand Seiko SBGW235 with this globules of-rice wristband that is quite marvelous. I will take my time.

More data on Grand Seiko, . Or click here to see all our Grand Seiko articles .