The vast Hotaka mountain range stands against the Shinshu skyline in Nagano prefecture. This magnificent vista is visible to the watchmakers of Grand Seiko’s Shinshu Watch Studio, homeplace to all Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive production. It also serves as inspiration for the Ref. SBGE295, Grand Seiko’s newest Spring Drive GMT in the Sport Collection.
The highlands of Hotaka experience a short summer. It’s from here that the dial of the SBGE295 borrows its verdant tones and dynamic textures, evoking the summertime vegetation that blankets the mountain’s peaks. The dial texture may be familiar to Grand Seiko collectors, as it has most notably been featured on references SBGA413, SBGA415, and 2022’s SBGE277, a model that also pulled inspiration from the Hotaka mountains.
The SBGE295 has a stainless steel case and measures 44mm in diameter, 14.7mm in thickness, and 50.8mm in length. It features Grand Seiko’s signature Zaratsu finish, with alternating mirror-polished and hairline surfaces along different parts of the case. The lugs are downturned and hug the wrist, giving the watch the appearance of being shorter from lug to lug. Paired with the offset crown at four o’clock, the size looks smaller than its dimensions would otherwise suggest, and the overall package is designed for comfort.
The rotating, bi-directional bezel has a durable synthetic sapphire overlay. Underneath the overlay is an application of Grand Seiko’s Lumibrite compound, where all the white portions on the bezel glow under dark conditions. Synthetic sapphire is the hardest of all known oxide crystals at 2,500-3,000HV, and it is highly resistant against scratches.
The dynamic, green dial has notably large indexes and hands, and they also feature Lumibrite. A 24-hour chapter ring frames the dial and can be used together with the GMT hand and the 24-hour bezel track to follow a total of three time zones.
The watch is rated to 20 bar and has a magnetic resistance of 4,800 A/m.
The SBGE295 runs on Grand Seiko’s Spring Drive Calibre 9R66. The movement has a 72-hour power reserve when fully wound, and there is a visible power reserve indicator next to the eight o’clock index on the dial. The 9R66 is a true GMT, so the hour hand is independently adjustable while the GMT hand remains fixed to home time.
The SBGE295 will be available July 2023 at Grand Seiko Boutiques and select retailers for the price of AUD 9,250.