Green Machine: Grand Seiko And Watches Of Switzerland’s Striking Special Edition GMT
The new SBGM241 is a best-of-both-worlds approach for the brand and retailer, and it’s a handsome combination.
Hot off the presses: Grand Seiko and Watches of Switzerland team up for their first-ever collaboration piece. The new “Toge Special Edition” combines the Japanese and British legacies of the two brands for a true east-meets-west timepiece.
Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice about the Toge Special Edition (SBGM241) is the striking green dial that serves as a meeting point between the two cultures. And that’s not just any green, that’s British Racing Green.
Shades of Green and Mountain Passes
The hallmark shade was made legendary by generations of British racing teams including Bentley in the 1920s Le Mans races, William Gover-Williams’ Bugatti in the first-ever Monaco Grand Prix in 1929, as well as the many victories of Aston Martin, Lotus, Vanwall, Cooper, and BRM throughout the 1950s and ‘60s.
The storied shade is combined with. In Japanese, the term 峠 (Tōgè) means “mountain pass.” It is an appropriate name for the new model. Especially when considered together, the combination of the storied shade of green and the texture of Grand Seiko’s signature Mount Iwate dial subtly evoke the image of a drive through the ridges of Mount Iwate in Northern Japan.
Another standout feature here is the gold GMT hand. This adds a distinct pop of color to Grand Seiko’s largely conservative designs, and, based on the press photos from the brand, it complements the color of the dial beautifully, adding an extra nod to the winning racing heritage behind the green dial. Not to mention, the GMT function means the watch is well suited for traveling between time zones, like say, Britain and Japan.
Beauty Inside and Out
The 39.5mm stainless steel case is an original creation of Grand Seiko’s Chief Designer, Nobuhiro Kosugi, the same man who created the modern 44GS case design. The case measures 13.7mm thick and forms a crescent-like shape, and thanks to Grand Seiko’s signature Zaratsu polishing, this watch will shine like the moon too.
Under the hood is the Caliber 9S66 with a 72-hour power reserve and accuracy of -3/+5 seconds per day. The 35-jewel movement is an upgrade from Grand Seiko’s Caliber 9S56 featuring a 48-hour power reserve. One cool thing here for frequent travelers is that the hour hand can be changed without affecting the minute and second hands. And like many other Grand Seikos, this artfully decorated movement is visible through the sapphire caseback.
The special edition watch will be offered exclusively at Watches of Switzerland boutiques in the US and the UK as well as select MAYORS locations in the states starting in July for a suggested price of $5,200 USD.
Can’t make it to a boutique? Grand Seiko and The Watches of Switzerland Group are launching their first Augmented Reality experience for customers to try on the new watch though Instagram and Facebook filters. With little more than a smartphone, you'll be able to see the watch digitally imposed on your wrist. The future is here!
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)