After spending over a year researching THE watch I was going to get for a significant milestone this month, I narrowed it down to a Grand Seiko. I was drawn to GS over Tudor, Rolex, and Omega (and there were a bunch of watches in that group that I really liked) because it was a bit different. Spring Drive's unique marriage of mechanical and quartz was particularly appealing. It's like a cyborg that runs on mechanical, magnetic and electrical energy all at once.
I was circling around the Snowflake, SBGA387 (I was very tempted by this one) and then ended up thinking the SBGC201 chrono would be the one. Just when I was getting ready to pull the trigger on the 201, the 231 was announced. I was worried about the controversial brown dial and size but once I got to try it on the concerns faded away. The brown dial (which has great orange accents) looks fantastic. It's texture is fun to look at up close but at a normal distance it reads dark, reddish brown. The case has striking angled lugs that somehow flow into the curved sides. The angular look recalls the Seiko samurai, which I also own, and chose over the turtle. In the end I'd like to think there was some logic to all of this, but I ended up going with my gut.
I appreciate all the info, feedback and pics on the forum. In return, here are some of my new SBGC231: