Hi guys, I’m back in the “HEQ” club (sorry, I can’t quite get used to saying “HAQ”, even though I know it’s technically more accurate) with a newly acquired Grand Seiko SBGX061.
I owned an SBGX063 previously, and adored it. See my prior review of that watch here. But last winter, I was temporarily swayed by the “Call of Rolex”, sold the Grand Seiko, and almost immediately missed it. I enjoyed the Rolex, and then cycled through a couple other pieces in the interim. I then recently took a hard look at all the various watches I’ve owned along my WIS journey. I realized the GS quartz is just about the perfect watch for me. The watch offers a gracious look and classic design. Impeccable, exquisite quality & craftsmanship. A perfect, very wearable size. Ultimate accuracy. A 50-year rated service interval (fifty!). And an understated lack of pretentiousness. The GS quartz is a dignified, mature watch, with sheer gravitas and all-around superior watchmanship. I really enjoyed the champagne dialed SBGX063 last time, but wanted to try the black dial this time for a change of pace. And I’m glad to have it.
The watch is a joy to handle and to savor its fine details.
- This has got to be the deepest, blackest, inkiest black dial I’ve ever had the opportunity to sink into. Totally matte and velvety, it’s like a black hole – light goes in, and it just doesn’t come back out.
- Not only do I find the black dial more legible to read versus the champagne, I also find the black dial to be a little more sporty, and a little better matchup with casual clothes, while still working perfectly with business attire.
- The dial, dagger hands, and overall workmanship are 100% perfect and flawless – as expected.
- Examining the watch closely under magnification, the intricate machined grooves on the hour markers, and the combination beveled, polished, and brushed surfaces on those razor-sharp hands, are just incredible. It is amazing to me that these components are all hand made.
- And as good as Rolex workmanship is, their mass-produced watches just do not offer the amazing quality of the elaborate finishing on the hands and dial elements as the GS.
- It’s interesting to note that while the 063 had applied “SEIKO” and “GS” emblems, these instead are printed on the 061 dial, in an extremely precisely applied silver ink that works very well on the deep, deep black dial.
- I also really like the black date wheel, with white numerals, peeking out from the silver framed, beveled, date window.
Here’s a back-to-back comparison between the SBGX061 (black dial) and the SBGX063 (champagne). Photos courtesy Tanaka!
Comparing this watch to a Rolex is inevitable. Rolex is great; I love Rolex watches and have owned many different varieties, including a two-tone DateJust I have that was my dad’s that I’ll never sell. Rolex has undeniable integrity and heritage, durability, and performance over the long haul. And Seiko can certainly say the same on all those elements – it’s just that they do not have the same kind of brand cachet for the uninformed (non-watch-enthusiast). In fact, and unfortunately, I have found many instances when wearing a Rolex watch transmits the opposite message from that which I prefer. In contrast, the Grand Seiko fits into any environment comfortably and allows the wearer to enjoy the very finest quality watch, but without shouting it out to the rest of the world. I very much like that sort of encoded, stealthy, desirability.
Plus, for an everyday watch, I’m personally too much of an accuracy stickler to put up with a watch that’s off by 1 or 2 seconds per day. Rolexes can achieve that level of performance, which is very good for a mechanical watch, but for my daily wearer, I just prefer the exactness of perfect accuracy – and with a 10 second per year rating, you’re not gonna get any better than a Grand Seiko quartz, short of radio synchronization.
I’ve got a new every-day watch that I know will serve me very well. It’s great to be back.