Here, I have something to confess: I own this reference and I love it. To me, this watch is the quintessential Grand Seiko, the link between its forgotten past and its current ambitions. At the first glance, this GS might look unassuming, but it traces its roots back to the first Grand Seiko, the mythical reference 3180 released in 1960. As an anniversary edition, the reference SBGW033 remained highly faithful to the original, with the same 35.8 mm case – true, the original version was not manufactured in stainless steel, but still. It made a couple of concessions to modernity between the domed sapphire crystal and the increased power reserve of the manual-wind movement. Grand Seiko notably reached a 72-hour power reserve on a single barrel thanks to a proprietary alloy for the mainspring. A glance at the case polishing, at the sharp katana hands, or at the blued second hand suffice: the attention to detail is obvious, everywhere up to the subtle off-white dial.
Only a fraction of the 1,300 examples ever produced made it out of Japan, and this one is being offered for 3,900 GBP (or around $5,500) here.