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Thread: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

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  1. #1
    Member tzakiel's Avatar
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    Question Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    I am 100% set on getting a Grand Seiko Quartz eventually.

    Which color would you get? Thoughts on black vs blue dials in general (fashion trends, dress appropriateness, longevity, flexibility with clothing) I know a lot of people will probably say "just get what you like" - but I like these two equally!

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    Why GS? I want a watch that will serve as a more casual counterpart to my only other watch, a Cartier tank solo which is rectangular, stainless, white dial. Also, the Cartier doesn't have a second hand or a date window, so I feel that the GS will provide a totally different experience.

    Once that's decided, I have to figure out where to buy from. I know the blue isn't available in the US. There are stores that sell online with a conversion from yen to USD but the exchange rate is terrible and has been for several years now. I do get to Taiwan every once in a while, so I could check the Taipei or Kaoshiung stores, but I wonder if the price would be any better there.
    Last edited by tzakiel; July 22nd, 2012 at 16:35.

  2. #2
    Member Likestheshiny's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    I'd personally take the blue and throw it on a nice dark brown leather strap.

    The exchange rate is terrible against most foreign currencies -- it's the US$ sinking that's mostly causing it. The NT$ has been getting stronger against the US$ over the last few years as a result.

  3. #3
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    Wow the blue one looks lovely. But I think I would go with the Black one. Only bc it would go with almost anything you wear.

  4. #4
    Member leroytwohawks's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    Black it's just a classic look that will never go out of style and can be worn with anything from a suit and tie to short, and from the metal band to leather or even a nato strap and still look right at home.
    Current watches: Citizen Eco-Drive Skyhawk Atomic JY0000-53E. Custom built Vintage style watch with 15 Jewel Swiss Rolex/Cortebert 616 movement with custom made dial and re-shaped case.
    Watches now sold or traded: Seiko Marinemaster SBDX001 traded ;-( but know I will buy one again, Seiko Alpinist SARB061, 2 Lum-Tec Combat B-1's, 2 Omega Seamasters, Omega Speedmaster, Anonimo Millemetri, Anonimo Militare, Hamilton Officers Chrono, Citizen Skyhawk, Rolex Day Date, Tudor Prince, Steinhart Ocean One, Seiko Mil Sub Mod, Seiko FFF Mod, Seiko Sumo, Seiko Spring Drive, Sinn Hydro Prototype, Bell & Ross Bomb Squad, BaliHa'i CaliHa'i, Luminox Black Ops and many more over the years I just can't remember.

  5. #5
    Member tzakiel's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    This video really shows off the blue very clearly:

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  6. #6
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    I've seen all the GS watches in person and the blue is amazing. It won't clash with brown or black straps and it's subtle enough you won't worry about it clashing with anything else.

    I will caution you with one thing that will get me flamed into oblivion here on WUS: If you are really into your second hand being perfect, even Grand Seiko is no guarantee of that. MOST of the GS quartz watches I have seen have been absolutely spot-on and it's great to watch the hand align flawlessly with the minute markers to complete a line from the hub almost to the chapter ring with every tick (The way a GS hand moves it's more of a ka-chunk than a tick.) but about one out of five I've seen is misaligned and every tick misses the mark. For that reason alone while I'd love to have a GS quartz I would never buy one online. If you don't care about that, good for you. I still recommend the blue.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    Tzakiel, welcome to the forum! You certainly can't go wrong with either of the GS models you are considering. You might, however, consider the high-end The Citizen models from Citizen, both the Chronomaster series with the A660 movement or the newer eco-drive models with the A010 movement. In my opinion (and I've had several of each, Citizen and Seiko), they are the equivalent of the Grand Seikos in fit and finish and overall quality (and cost about the same), and they have several features lacking in any GS quartz models: (a) perpetual calendar, (b) independently-adjustable hour hand (which makes time changes for different time zones or at DST-change times dead easy), (c) 5- (as opposed to 3-) year battery life, and (d) a phenomenal 10-year warranty (vs., I think, 3 for Seiko).

    As for dial color, the black is slightly more versatile with respect to dress, but not necessarily more attractive. Since you already have a white-dial watch that would likely meet all true dress requirements, I think that the choice between black and blue should be based entirely on your own preference. The blue-dial GS you have featured here, SBGX065 is of slightly lower quality than the newer SBGX087, seen below.



    SBGX087 has some desirable features--the crown guard and screw-down crown being two--and I must say I like it better than SBGX065. Mind you, SBGX087 costs 25% more than SBGX065, but I think you would probably see the difference in the quality of the fit and finish. I'm speculating here, though, as I haven't handled either of them.

    Although you didn't state perfect alignment of the seconds hand with the minute markers as a desirable feature, Lord Monocle has raised this issue. Seiko make quite a big deal about the seconds hands on their 9FXX series (9F61, 9F62, and 9F83) movements hitting all the minute markers precisely (with their "twin-pulse" stepper motor), but I can tell you definitively that this just isn't so. I've owned three GS quartz models (SBGT033, SBGT014, and SBGX075), and not one of them displayed this characteristic (and two of them, SBGT033 and SBGX075, are limited-edition Anniversary models with specially-selected movements). Others have discovered the same failure on their GS quartzes. To really know whether the seconds hand is truly hitting all the minute markers, you need to view it under a loupe. I use a lighted 10X loupe. When so magnified, the situation is far, far from perfect. I've looked into this phenomenon with all my quartz watches, and, although the GS models might be slightly better than other high-end quartz models, they are far from perfect. I would estimate that, on average, you might expect the seconds hand to hit close to the marker (that is, so that part of the hand would actually make contact with the marker if extended that far) with 75% of the markers, but be off (not touching if extended) by anywhere up to 1/4 of the inter-marker space 25% of the time. I've gone on a bit about this because it is a real sore point with many owners of high-end quartz watches. To my knowledge, there is no quartz model in existence whose seconds hand will hit the minute markers in all cases (although some owners of Citizen E510-powered, "fly-by-wire" models claim that that particular movement does so; I have no proof of this).

    As for purchasing a GS quartz (or, for that matter, any high-end JDM watch), this is very easy through any of several Japanese market dealers: Higuchi, Chino, and Seiya. In my experience (and I think, from everything I've read from other forum members), Higuchi may be the best in offering the lowest prices, along with super-fast shipping and a truly professional operation.

    HIGUCHI-INC

    To be honest, the lousy exchange rate equally affects prices whether you are buying in the US (or anywhere outside of Japan) or directly from Japan. Since the domestic retailers have to pay Seiko with weakened dollars, they will pass along the extra costs to you, and the result will be no different than buying directly from Japan. Further, I think it's safe to say that buying from Higuchi (at least) will, in general, end up costing you less than from any domestic seller. (This isn't to deny that a particular US-based dealer might be able to provide a "special deal" on one particular model.)

    In any case, best of luck with your new purchase whenever that occurs. I predict that you'll be thrilled with whatever you choose.
    Last edited by South Pender; July 23rd, 2012 at 01:31.
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  8. #8
    Member tzakiel's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    South Pender,

    Your post helped me immensely, with both information and pricing/buying options. I will check out Higuchi.

    Now you've got me looking at this beauty, from the Seiko catalog: Higher price, though.

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    Oddly I couldn't find the newer SBGX087 blue dial in the catalog or the dealer websites.
    Last edited by tzakiel; July 23rd, 2012 at 02:16.

  9. #9
    Member Lord Monocle's Avatar
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    Quote Originally Posted by South Pender View Post
    Although you didn't state perfect alignment of the seconds hand with the minute markers as a desirable feature, Lord Monocle has raised this issue. Seiko make quite a big deal about the seconds hands on their 9FXX series (9F61, 9F62, and 9F83) movements hitting all the minute markers precisely (with their "twin-pulse" stepper motor), but I can tell you definitively that this just isn't so. I've owned three GS quartz models (SBGT033, SBGT014, and SBGX075), and not one of them displayed this characteristic (and two of them, SBGT033 and SBGX075, are limited-edition Anniversary models with specially-selected movements). Others have discovered the same failure on their GS quartzes. To really know whether the seconds hand is truly hitting all the minute markers, you need to view it under a loupe. I use a lighted 10X loupe. When so magnified, the situation is far, far from perfect. I've looked into this phenomenon with all my quartz watches, and, although the GS models might be slightly better than other high-end quartz models, they are far from perfect. I would estimate that, on average, you might expect the seconds hand to hit close to the marker (that is, so that part of the hand would actually make contact with the marker if extended that far) with 75% of the markers, but be off (not touching if extended) by anywhere up to 1/4 of the inter-marker space 25% of the time. I've gone on a bit about this because it is a real sore point with many owners of high-end quartz watches. To my knowledge, there is no quartz model in existence whose seconds hand will hit the minute markers in all cases (although some owners of Citizen E510-powered, "fly-by-wire" models claim that that particular movement does so; I have no proof of this).

    It's good to see a fellow neurotic on this issue. Everyone always seems affronted that I want my second hand to be perfect, especially if I'm going to spend four figures on it. At least Seiko, Casio, and Citizen give a #$%@ about quartz. I've never seen an Omega or Patek that even looked like anyone cared what the second hand was doing.

    When Citizen get their act together and starts making radio-controlled Eco-Drive Precisionists (I know, I know, they swore they never would, but things change,) it's going to be a glorious day for quartz fans.

    The GS quartz is pretty amazing quality and many of them look perfect enough for me without magnification. I look forward to seeing tzakiel's eventual find.
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    Re: Grand Seiko Colors - Blue vs Black dial

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Monocle View Post
    When Citizen get their act together and starts making radio-controlled Eco-Drive Precisionists (I know, I know, they swore they never would, but things change,) it's going to be a glorious day for quartz fans.
    Wow, I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I thought Bulova's Precisionists were a really cool idea, but they are all ugly. And if I ever buy another quartz, I've already decided it should be a Solar powered something or other. Seiko makes quite a few I like, but I just can't pull the trigger. Now if Citizen made an Eco-drive Precisionist-style movement watch, I'd be all over that like white on rice!! Why wont they??

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