Grand Seiko SBGR095: A Re-creation of the 1967 62GS
Special thanks to new Watchuseek member DWK100 for letting us borrow his Grand Seiko SBGR095 for this review. The SBGR095, part of the Grand Seiko Historical Collection 62GS, is limited edition re-issue of the original 62GS, Grand Seiko's first automatic watch from 1967. Below are some thoughts about how this new take of an old classic fits into the rest of the 2015 Grand Seiko Collection.
As Seiko points out on its 62GS web portal, the piece is a little larger than the original upon which it draws its inspiration. The watch features a 37.6mm case diameter with a thickness of 12.9mm, while the original was 36.5mm by 11.5mm. This is one of the most modest size adjustments I have ever seen in a re-issue. Frequently, 60s re-issues are brought out dramatically larger than the source material. For every Zenith 1969 38mm Chronograph or Omega First Omega in Space that are almost the exact same case size as the original pieces, there appear many more re-issues dramatically larger for the sake of appealing to modern audiences. Examples of such watches are the TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Carrera, or Oris Diver Sixty-Five. Both of these watches have diameters around 5mm larger than their inspiration. A case size of 37.6mm also feels like a throwback in the context of the 2015 Grand Seiko collection. With the exception of the 38mm quartz models, and the SBGH035, all of the 2015 Grand Seiko models are 39.5mm or larger. Seiko notes that the watch wears large for its size, but I think that's somewhat minimized by its recessed crown at four o'clock.
The dial of the SBGR095 is an attractive silver color featuring a traditional sunburst pattern. While it is an attractive sunburst with all lines evenly emanating from the center, it is a subtler pattern than that found on the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ001 which features a deeper grained texture. Though we've all seen the SBGR095's style of sunburst pattern before, it is still well executed and provides excellent contrast to the high polished hands. In sunlight, the hands and dial reflect very different colors. Were Grand Seiko to have come out with a new style of sunburst, it would have been a deviation from the watch it is trying to faithfully adhere.
SBGJ001 features a granier, more aggressive pattern than the traditional sunburst of the SBGR095.
The subtle sunburst pattern of the SBGR095.
Like models such as the SBGM021, the SBGR095 features a sapphire crystal that resembles the acrylic crystals of the 1960s. As the crystal goes directly into the case instead of into the bezel, it feels even more pronounced, or more commonly termed, "boxed". This watch is also incredibly well polished. The long angular lugs which seamlessly extend from the case sides provide a wonderful canvas to showcase the company's ability to maintain mirror finishes and extremely flat surfaces.
Mechanically the watch is similar to other 8-beat automatic Grand Seiko models in that it utilizes the 9S65 calibre which is accurate from -3 to +5 seconds a day. Though the crown placement is different than other 9S65 watches, it can still be hand wound. In fact, the recessed and off-axis placement was more than a stylish design element when introduced in 1967. As automatic watches were new to the market, this tucked-away treatment was done to convey that the crown was no longer necessary to wind the watch.
Below are some additional photos of the SBGR095: A great choice for those that want a timepiece that captures the design and spirit of the original 62GS.
The boxed crystal of the SBGR095 is similar to that found on this 39.5mm SBGM021.
The text font and term "DIASHOCK" are design cues from the original 1967 62GS.
A look at the recessed, off-axis crown, and the extended case sides of the 62GS.
The thin black alligator strap has a 1960s feel similar to the brown strap on the 39.5mm SBGM021.
The SBGR095 caseback emblem and recessed writing. All features similar to the original from 1967.
A look at the SBGR095 on Burlingame Ave.
The high-polish extended case sides of the SBGR095 in are truly mirror-like.The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.