Grand Seiko, the more, improved version of the already fantastic utility watch manufactured by Seiko. There’s quite a bit written about this watch. Also it is compared to the Rolex Submariner, like a lot. It really is apples and astronauts. I don’t think they are comparable at all. They’re not even in the same pricing bucket. To call this a poor man’s Rolex is missing out how great Grand Seiko is.
A version of this, SBGA029, was launched a bit over a decade ago, still had the Seiko — Grand Seiko branding, but recently Seiko decided launch Grand Seiko as a stand alone brand, brilliant move to simplify the watch face.
The movement is the 9R15, Spring Drive. Spring Drive, is basically a hybrid movement, with the parts of a mechanical watch driving the power to a quartz movement. Except there is something called a glide wheel which moves the second hand, so it is natural sweep, controlled by a brake to equal a minute. There’s no ticking usually found in a mechanical watch. It moves in almost a peaceful zen-like movement. I find it comforting for some reason.
This is the steel version, the SBGA231 is a titanium version and slightly more expensive. I would say this is Grand Seiko’s mid-tier offering from their diver’s collection. The SBGH255 is their top-of-the-line diving watch and it has the superb fully mechanical “Hi-Beat” movement, the 9S85, a marvel of horology production.
Get this if you want a cool watch you can stare at for hours… and go swimming with.