Top 4 Grand Seiko Watches to Base Your Next Mod On
A lot of Seiko watches are a great value, but the Grand Seiko line is something special in their entire lineup and in the world of watchmaking. The first thing you notice about a Grand Seiko are the simple, clean lines, and eye-catching finish. The look speaks volumes and is perfectly in sync with the original Seiko design ideals.
If Seiko represents simplicity and innovation, Grand Seiko shows the beauty of high end Japanese craftsmanship. The brand is similar to luxury watchmakers in Switzerland or Germany.
Let’s take a look at four amazing models from this luxury line and think about what they could contribute to your next watch mod.
What is Grand Seiko?
Some watch collectors describe Grand Seiko as a rarity in the watch industry. Seiko calls it their pride.
Grand Seiko arose in the twentieth century when Seiko, at that time a renowned brand in the watch industry, established two subsidiaries - Daini Seikosha Co, Ltd and Suwa Seikosha Co.
One of the teams collaborated to create the first Grand Seiko in pursuit of an ideal watch that would reach an amazing level of accuracy and advancement for the time.
A simple, sleek elegance. Source: Wrist Review
The 44GS, introduced in 1967, was a defining moment in Grand Seiko's development.
The watch was created with flat surfaces and lines to evoke a distinct traditional Japanese look. This combination works well with both light and shadow, two conflicting but essential aspects of design.
While the Seiko watch focuses on uniformity, the Grand Seiko watch takes a different approach.
The watches are capable of incorporating numerous manual features, as well as new technology. Grand Seiko watches can be made of higher quality stainless steel, which will be more durable and prolongs the life of the watch. The materials can also be completely unique such as platinum or titanium which will have their own advantages.
An impeccable movement, fit for a gorgeous watch. Source: Monochrome Watches
When it comes to accuracy, few brands can compete with Grand Seiko because these watches feature superior movements. The HI-BEAT 36000 mechanical movement and the Spring Drive hybrid mechanical movement are both used in Grand Seiko models - calibres that offer insane accuracy.
The Grand Seiko mark pursues a design concept that is simple, sophisticated, practical, and often regarded as the ideal balance of form and function.
For watch modders, the simple designs that Grand Seiko uses can act as inspiration for great watch mods. Here are four amazing Grand Seiko models for your consideration.
Best Inspirations for Mods
First introduced in 2010, the SBGA211 (a.k.a The Snowflake), offers high-end features such as a titanium case, a highly accurate movement, and most importantly, Grand Seiko’s exceptional finishing.
If you want to see a modern version of the design ideals that were built into the first Grand Seiko models, this is it.
The subtle pattern really is a beauty to look at. Source: Fratello Watches
The Snowflake also has an elegant white dial reminiscent of a field after an evening of snow, which would bring us thoughts of an artisan who is skillfully crafting the smallest details of the watch.
Also, the polished markers are capable of reflecting light in astonishing ways - almost like a mirror. Seiko calls this Zaratsu polishing, and they use it on most of the Grand Seiko models.
Regarding the movement, the Spring Dive technology used in this watch is outstanding. It has a maximum power reserve of 72 hours, and is extremely accurate at +/- 1 second a day.
To make an SBGA211-inspired mod, the most important part would be a white dial to give it its ‘Snowflake’ look. And while a genuine Snowflake dial is hard to come by, you can go for any other white dial - or something with patterns like our Great Wave dial. For the hands, there’s no better choice than Dauphine.
You’ll need a stainless steel, 3 o’clock, no crown guard case. Our NMK912 Case Bundle is a good and budget-friendly option, or you can go with a 62MAS case for a more classic look. After these, you can basically choose the parts you want to use.
Released in 2020 - the 60th anniversary of Grand Seiko, the SBGH281 is a limited edition watch that features a deep blue dial and a high accuracy, high beat movement.
Similar to other Grand Seiko watches, the deep, metallic blue dial on this one has wonderful polished markers, as well as a contrasting red seconds hand. It is incredible to see in sunlight, especially inside the finely finished case.
A great wear for any occasion. Source: Grand Seiko GS9 Club
Paying homage to the original Grand Seiko, it packs a 36000 VPH HI BEAT movement, which reinforces its tribute to the entire line that has been innovative since day one.
It is easy to see how Seiko uses clean, simple lines, combined with masterful execution to create models that are absolutely stunning. If you love the look of the dial, check out our Sunburst Blue dial. Again, you’ll need Dauphine hands to replicate the look, and we even have a set that already includes a red seconds hand. The case recommendation is the same as before.
The Grand Seiko GMT SBGN005G is more than just a quartz GMT from one of the world’s best watchmakers. This timepiece is part of a trio of GMT models powered by Grand Seiko's in-house 9F series quartz movement.
The 9F series is ridiculously accurate, and is rated at +/- 10 seconds per year. The dial uses brushed finishing to increase legibility, resulting in extremely high contrast.
A GMT for upscale events. Source: Watch Collecting Strategy on YT
It is easy to see design cues from the Rolex Explorer II in the bezel, with bold black-filled engraved numbers to highlight hours that are easily seen by the wearer.
The hour markers have diamond-beveled indices and incredibly sharply polished hands that are easy to read even in low light.
The GMT hand on the 9F movement family works independently of the hour hand. Some people think of Grand Seiko as an extremely consertive brand, but this GMT shows that it can design fun, sporty models too.
Making a true GMT homage to this watch will be a challenge unless you already have access to a GMT movement. That said, the best case for this would be a Submariner case for its 3 o’clock crown position, the same hands and dial as recommended for the SBGH281, and a stainless steel bezel insert, like our Explorer II style one.
The initial impression of the limited-edition Grand Seiko SBGR311 is undoubtedly "wow." The watch is available with a blue dial (SBGR267), but we think the brown dial version is a stunner.
The watch features simplicity without sacrificing elegance: with a slim case, clear edges, sharp hands, and diamond-like beveled geometric indexes.
If you're a fan of Seiko spare parts, you've probably heard of the 9S mechanical movement. The calibre 9S68 watch movement has an average deviation of -3 to +5 seconds per day.
We can't decide if this or the Snowflake dial looks better. Source: Time and Tide Watches
The bracelet is, of course, a big highlight. It features the same attention to detail of the case, we think it is the perfect compliment to one of the most impressive Grand Seikos out there.
The highly intricate dial will be hard to find, and you’ll most likely have to have one custom-made by a metal craftsman like @red5watchworks, and if you happen to get the patterned brown dial, next you’ll just need a 3 o’clock case with no crown guard (like our 62MAS case), a Dauphine hands set with a yellow or gold seconds hand, and an Oyster bracelet to complete the look.
Let The Masters At Grand Seiko Inspire You!
Today, Grand Seiko retains its handmade sophistication, but it also includes unique handcrafted models that are sporty and fun.
If you are into Seiko Mod Watches, we think any of the models we talked about above is a great base for your next mod.
For Watch mod parts, or even OEM Seiko spare parts, check out our amazing selection at namokiMODS. We have loads of Watch spare parts for your modding projects, and loads more.
Watch modding is a great hobby, and we are thrilled to be one of the best options for watch modding parts in the world!