Grand Seiko created a new version of the Spring Drive GMT, with an 18K yellow gold bezel, crown, hands, and hour indices that will be available for sale starting September 2019.
Like previous models, the watch is made of stainless steel, with 44 mm x 14.7 mm dimensions, and a steel bracelet. The movement uses the same hybrid “Spring Drive” technology which combines the benefits of an automatic winding mechanical watch with the accuracy of quartz (you can read more about Spring Drive technology here). The 72-hour power reserve, which is stored in an actual mainspring, equals a full three days, which is obviously more appealing than a two-day reserve, but ultimately it’s on par with many of the latest mechanical movements, such as the Rolex GMT’s newest caliber 3285.
Beyond the aforementioned Spring Drive technology, which has already been available, the novelty here is the yellow gold, and the blue dial and blue sapphire bezel insert. No doubt, the watch is sharp-looking, and on-trend with a two-tone color scheme and a paler yellow-hued gold. What’s surprising is that relatively speaking, the already expensive Spring Drive GMT collection, which currently hovers around $6K in steel, is about the same price as a high-beat mechanical Grand Seiko GMT in steel. And then once you add the solid gold accents, which requires far less gold than a watch with a solid gold case and bracelet, the price nearly doubles.
There’s surely a niche of consumers, a cult even, who are fans of Grand Seiko’s proprietary Spring Drive technology, however, considering its rather unique underpinnings (that are not for everyone), you might expect more of a cost-saving. Bottom line is, with Spring Drive, you’re primarily paying more accuracy. Perhaps this two-tone yellow gold model at least makes the regular steel Spring Drive GMT model, which costs $5,800, seem more palatable.
Retail is $11,500.