Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231
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  1. #1
    Member TreiseKL's Avatar
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    Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    Hello F642 (Grand Seiko),

    I'm considering buying a Grand Seiko, but I have some concerns.

    I've heard many stories about SBGA211 Snowflake being the most popular and arguably best model from Grand Seiko that differentiates it from other models. I'm looking to buy one pre-owned at $4300 range.

    But it appears theres many Snowflakes on the second market atm. Almost 40 are on sale from Chrono24, WatchRecon, and WatchReddit, and Chrono24.

    Also the second market price is Almost $1300 less than retail. This concerns me.

    Perhaps Snowflake gets boring quick for the owners? I'd like your opinion on it since the Sub 5-digit bored me eventually. What do you guys think? Positives and Negatives both.

    And I've been looking at getting the SBGA231 Titanium Spring Drive Diver. Before I pull the trigger, I'd like some opinions on this watch as well. Positives and Negatives both.

  2. #2
    Member Zinzan's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    Search this forum. Same questions came up just three weeks ago.

  3. #3
    Member Tonhao's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    Retail price: GS prices are flexible across dealers and they tend to sell at a discount in the secondhand market, just like any other watch not named Rolex.

    Secondhand abundance: The fact that so many of them are out in the secondhand market does not indicate something is wrong with it. By that logic everybody must have gotten bored of Rolex... my take on this is that people who purchase GS are much more likely to be WISs or collectors, who go through multiple watches and sell one to fund another dream watch. If Snowflake were a boring watch people would have stopped buying it and you’d see lackluster reviews. That being said, I recall that a common complaint was that the watch felt too light and insubstantial.
    barbecoa likes this.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    Don't be scared OP... both the 231 AND the 211 are awesome. I want both in the future.

  6. #5
    Member bluedialer's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    The Snowflake dial is beautiful. It's almost like a miniature model, which is the type of detailing I appreciate in a fine timepiece.

    As an owner, it's a bit large for me because I have 6.2inch wrists. And im not that fond of the titanium grayness, feel, weight. I prefer stainless steel GS. But as my only Titanium watch, it's still a nice feature in the collection. So those are my only personal things.
    I'll add, the case is very comfortable with its weight and curvature, but a bit boring. And the beautiful dial is still subject to flattering and less flattering lighting, like most watches.

    The Snowflake is pretty much the most purchased and circulated GS. Serial flippers who flip just about every watch they buy will tend to buy a Snowflake if they're curious about GS. Because it's the icon and kind of has 'everything' - Spring Drive, hyped dial work, zaratsu, titanium, high recommendations. But they're flippers, so it'll get flipped.
    Last edited by bluedialer; 1 Week Ago at 01:18.

  7. #6
    Member Alter Egon's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    I wouldn’t sell 5-digit Sub, it will rather increase its value.
    Snowflake is a great watch, you can’t go wrong with it and its popularity on the second hand market is rather due to the fact that so many people want to try it.

  8. #7
    Member berni29's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    Hi

    I think the SBGA231 Ti diver is the pinnacle of dive watches. I don’t mean in terms of WR, but just overall beauty and “niceness”. I keep mine on it’s bracelet because it is so light and wearable.

    The SS version which I also have (029) does have the edge in terms of look IMHO because the SS is a little whiter, and I prefer the logo in silver rather than gold. But I have it on an Erika MN to reduce the weight, and I do love it that way.

    As for the Snowflake, it’s a great watch. What can one say. I don’t actually have one, but I have a black dial version also in Ti and it’s a stunning watch. And so light.

    You cannot go wrong with either.

    Berni


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #8
    Member clarencek's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    My favorite watch of all time has been my SBGA031 the older version of the 231.
    I love that watch and wore mine non-stop for a year. It wears big, but comfortable (my wrist is 6.75”).
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  10. #9
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    I own both but the Snowflake is the older model.
    I don't think you can do a versus comparison as they serve different roles in my mind.
    The diver is a bit big and does not dress up the way a smaller diver like the submariner will so if you want something that you need for all occasions then neither is perfect. They make a better pair. The Snowflake will dress up well but is not a great weekend warrior. Its way too nice for weekend activity but great for the office or evening wear. (I suspect that is why many get sold plus it is probably the number one seller so its gets flipped the most)

    As far as which diver (Steel or Ti), I am in the camp for the Ti version. In my opinion its worth the weight savings. A lot of people complain about the power reserve on spring drive models but I don't think they consider the value when worn in a multi-watch rotation. This feature is a must for me.

    Solution: Buy the Snowflake used and then the diver later like I did. They are great
    Good luck on you choice. (You cant go wrong either way)

  11. #10
    Member Independent George's Avatar
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    Re: Thinking about buying a Grand Seiko but some concerns... SBGA211 vs SBGA231

    Quote Originally Posted by TreiseYustiel View Post
    Hello F642 (Grand Seiko),

    I'm considering buying a Grand Seiko, but I have some concerns.

    I've heard many stories about SBGA211 Snowflake being the most popular and arguably best model from Grand Seiko that differentiates it from other models. I'm looking to buy one pre-owned at $4300 range.

    But it appears theres many Snowflakes on the second market atm. Almost 40 are on sale from Chrono24, WatchRecon, and WatchReddit, and Chrono24.

    Also the second market price is Almost $1300 less than retail. This concerns me.

    Perhaps Snowflake gets boring quick for the owners? I'd like your opinion on it since the Sub 5-digit bored me eventually. What do you guys think? Positives and Negatives both.

    And I've been looking at getting the SBGA231 Titanium Spring Drive Diver. Before I pull the trigger, I'd like some opinions on this watch as well. Positives and Negatives both.
    Forty used 211's and 231's on Chrono24 & WatchReddit is not a lot of watches. There are hundreds of Speedmasters for sale everyday, not to mention Subs, DJ's, AQTs, Big Pilots, etc. Forty used Snowflakes does not mean there is a glut, or that people "get tired" of them. Quite the opposite. You rarely find them on WatchBox or Crown and Caliber, and when you do, they move quickly.

    $1300 off retail means that Snowflakes are selling at 78% of retail value. That, my friend, is very very good. Other than Royal Oaks, Pateks and Sport Steel Rolexes (among some others), watches sell less than their retail value, often around 50% to 60%. If used Speedies sold at 78% of their retail value, you'd never hear the end of it.
    Grand Seiko SBGN001
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