15 BEST Grand Seiko Dive Watches (Going Beyond Swiss!)
Grand Seiko is a high-end watch brand famous for its accuracy, style, and fine craftsmanship. This titan of a brand was originally created to be a higher-end companion piece to the Seiko brand. Over the years, it has established a reputation as one of the most distinguished watch companies in the world.
Everything from the silky smooth steel bracelets and ethereal dials just radiates luxury. It uses only the best components and cutting-edge technology, and each Grand Seiko watch is created in-house by expert craftsmen in Japan. Grand Seiko offers a variety of models to fit every taste, whether you’re searching for a dress watch or a sports watch. Each of these watches lasts an entire lifetime and glows just as brilliantly as the day you bought it.
About Grand Seiko Dive Watches
Eclectic collectors looking to expand their collection beyond well-established Swiss brands should look no further than Grand Seiko. They are among the most coveted timepieces for divers on the market today. These timepieces combine the renowned brand’s high quality and precision with the durability and functionality needed to explore underwater.
Additionally, Grand Seiko’s legendary Spring Drive mechanism guarantees unmatched accuracy even under the most difficult circumstances. Grand Seiko dive watches are a great option for individuals wanting the greatest quality, durability, and performance levels.
History of Grand Seiko Dive Watches
Grand Seiko made its debut in 1960, primarily as an answer to the luxury Swiss watch market. At the time, Japanese watches were mostly known for their affordability and functionality. However, there was a distinct lack of anything that could be considered luxury Japanese watches.
Grand Seiko was released with the goal of becoming the most accurate watch brand out there. Until 2017, Grand Seiko was considered another part of Seiko. However, Grand Seiko has since split off from its sister company and become its very own brand, offering stunning timepieces that will surely be the talk of the room.
Dive watches have always been a part of the Seiko DNA, and Grand Seiko followed that with the release of its very first dive watch in 2008, the SBGA029. Before becoming its own brand, every Grand Seiko release had two labels on it.
A regular Seiko label and a Grand Seiko label on the dial. In addition to dive watches, Grand Seiko also has numerous other collections in its lineup. These collections include Masterpiece, Evolution 9, Heritage, Sport, and Elegance.
The Best Grand Seiko Dive Watches
Starting off this list is the quintessential Grand Seiko. Stainless steel case construction, deep black dial, Spring Drive movement, and impeccable finishing. As a part of Grand Seiko’s Sport collection, the ruggedly handsome design and modern enhancements make this dive watch both functional and effortlessly cool.
The power reserve indicator is a simple but extremely useful complication that does not detract at all from the functionality of the watch. The large 72-hour power reserve is more than enough for this serious dive watch. The legibility is enhanced by the Lumibrite indexes generously large hour and minute hands. Both hands are distinctly shaped and ensure the time is always clear to the wearer.
Who doesn’t love a limited edition collection? They increase exclusivity and really make each piece special. This limited offering from Grand Seiko is a gorgeous, abyssal blue waffle dial dive watch that has a silky smooth bezel action, gargantuan 600m water resistance, and a lightweight titanium case and bracelet.
The waffle pattern on the dial really brings out visual interest and draws attention to the dial. One of my favorite features is the date window at the unusual 4 o’clock position, which is angled to mimic the other indexes on the dial. The outstanding precision is due to the Caliber 9S85 hi-beat movement, a premium offering from Grand Seiko.
The most stunning feature of this watch is the High-Intensity titanium case and bracelet. Grand Seiko is a pioneer in luxury, high-quality materials and uses various materials to increase the durability of its watches. One such material is High-Intensity titanium, an alloy applied to many of Grand Seiko’s titanium timepieces.
Notably, Grand Seiko’s titanium shines brighter than any kind of stainless steel and is twice as strong. The lightweight, all-metal 44mm case is ultra comfortable and feels like a pillow on the wrist. This model is powered by the smooth Spring Drive movement and includes a power reserve indicator for easy viewing.
A quartz movement from Grand Seiko is hardly the kind you would find in common everyday watches. Grand Seiko’s quartz movements are designed to be extra secure and long-lasting. Unlike many other quartz watches, a Grand Seiko 9F quartz movement can be regulated due to its high-quality construction and protective seal. This ensures accuracy over even longer periods of time.
Through complicated mechanics, the movement is ultra-accurate, up to +/- 10 seconds per year. The SGBX115 has a clean white dial and a large, chunky bezel. Residue and grime easily slide off the sloped edges of the case and the engineered grooves around the bezel.
The Grand Seiko lineup became a lot more colorful with this incredible limited edition model. The most notable feature of this watch is, of course, the patterned aqua-green dial. This is a welcome change from the numerous black and blue dials that are extremely popular in dive watches. The color and the repeated diamond shapes remind wearers of the gentle ocean tides.
Besides the stunning dial, the Zaratsu polishing on this limited edition watch makes it shine in the light. One thing that must be mentioned is the size. This is by no means a small watch at 44.2mm in diameter and 14mm in height. This watch demands wrist presence, and the stainless steel construction will certainly remind you of that.
This Grand Seiko is simply an amazing sports watch. I love how the watch sits on the wrist without being too heavy. Like most other Grand Seikos, it is relatively large at 43mm in diameter. However, the gentle curve on the lugs and caseback makes wearing this watch a comfortable experience.
The black ceramic bezel is hard like a diamond and will almost never scratch. Even if you have owned this watch for years, it will still look brand-new. I thoroughly enjoy the extra secure clasp, with the Grand Seiko logo deeply etched into it. The clasp is smooth, secure, and simple to operate.
Grand Seiko celebrates 60 years in the watchmaking industry with this triumphant timepiece. This watch signals a new generation in the already incredible Spring Drive movement. The new Caliber 9RA5 takes what already made Grand Seiko great and makes it thinner, more resistant to magnetism, and highly shock-resistant. The thinness was achieved due to repositioning and redesigning Grand Seiko’s Magic Lever, which is what winds the mainspring in the movement.
And, of course, the finishing on the new movement is absolutely superb. The jewels glow in the light, and the delicate finishing on the back of the movement is like a fresh morning dew. The amazing 5-day power reserve is enough to last almost a whole week of seafaring adventure. The crown is lined up with the date window at the unusual 4 o’clock position.
The Evolution 9 Collection is the newest addition to Grand Seiko’s extensive lineup. Released in 2020 to celebrate Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary, the Evolution 9 combines heritage designs with the innovations of modern watchmaking.
Most of the designs will take inspiration from a much earlier model, the 44GS from 1967. This model is made of the premium High-Intensity titanium that graces other Grand Seiko watches and has a notably grainy, sandy black dial. The numerous curves ripple like ocean waves on a cloudy day.
The bracelet has a five-link design with a new, secure clasp. Powering the watch is the new Caliber 9RA5 movement, which is more sleek and robust than earlier movements. Proudly displayed on the dial is “5 days,” which indicates the extra generous power reserve.
This watch deserves respect as the very first Grand Seiko diver. Every watch on this list is descended from this milestone in the Grand Seiko collection. The SBGA029 is like a template for future Grand Seiko releases. This watch was released when Grand Seiko was still attached to Seiko, hence the double labels on the dial.
Many Grand Seiko watches tend to run larger than most other dive watches. The 44mm case diameter is large, but thanks to the short, sloped lugs, wearing the watch comfortably isn’t a problem at all. This model was also the first to feature the Spring Drive movement on a dive watch, an innovation that would be seen in later models.
The SBGA071 is an Asia Limited Edition, which might make it more difficult to obtain for someone outside the continent. However, anyone who makes an effort to procure one of these limited watches will be rewarded with a Grand Seiko that is visually interesting.
It’s similar to the very first Grand Seiko dive watch, except for the brilliant pop of color in the gold lettering of the Seiko and Grand Seiko logos and the blue circular pip on the seconds hand. These two pops of color contrast nicely with the deep blue, almost black dial. It’s powered by the Caliber 9R65, so you know you’re getting an incredibly accurate timepiece.
Any splash of color on a Grand Seiko is worth mentioning. The SBGX339 is a colorful dive watch that has a lot of depth to it. The bright yellow chapter ring is sloped and lined with Arabic numerals. The slope gives the watch a very neat 3D effect, and it really feels like you’re looking deep inside the dial. Complementing the yellow chapter ring is a yellow seconds hand.
The thick, bold bezel is satisfying to use and is tactile and responsive. The 43mm watch is finely brushed on the sides, as opposed to the mirror finish found in many other Grand Seiko models. The high accuracy 9F quartz movement will ensure that the time will be precise up to +/- 10 seconds per year.
The Grand Seiko SBGC251 is an exciting new release in the Evolution 9 series of high-end mechanical watches. The Evolution 9 collection really does take Grand Seiko to new heights. All of the expertise in pure Japanese watchmaking is on display here in this complex and bold watch. The blue GMT hand is noticeable and one of the first things your eyes will be drawn to.
The bezel is thinner than other Grand Seiko models, adding to the slim elegance of this watch. In addition to the GMT, there is a chronograph and power reserve indicator. The Caliber 9R86 is another reason why this luxury timepiece commands such a large sticker price. The beautiful finishing and amazing accuracy is the heart and soul of this fine watch.
The SBGC221 is one of the most complex watches on this list. True to Grand Seiko’s mission of finding only the best materials for its pieces, this complicated watch uses a corrosion and scratch-resistant titanium and ceramic hybrid. This ultra-luxurious material makes everything about this watch highly durable and, most importantly, lightweight and comfortable.
The dial is highly complicated, but the design never gets too busy. The abundance of complications, including the GMT, 72-hour power reserve indicator, and chronograph, is a wonder to behold. Indeed, the SBGC221 is one of the most premium offerings in the Grand Seiko lineup. Interested buyers will be paying a hefty sum for one of the best watches from Grand Seiko.
What better way to end this list of fantastic Grand Seiko watches than with a GMT? Everyone loves GMT watches for their intricacies, practicality, and overall cool factor. Every true GMT watch will have a separate GMT hand and functional dial that work together to tell the time in another time zone.
The silvery white, blue, and black blend together harmoniously in this striking GMT watch, almost like a beautiful sapphire gemstone. This GMT and dive watch hybrid is the perfect mix of toughness and luxury. The titanic 20 atm water resistance is more than enough for any challenge, and the Caliber 9S86 beats razor smoothly and accurately.
Grand Seiko shows us the very best that Japanese watchmaking has to offer. People who hold a Grand Seiko in their hands know that they are holding onto something special. The attention to detail is outstanding. Every aspect of the watch is premium, high-quality, and precise.
The dive watches in the Grand Seiko lineup are made with premium materials and revolutionary technology. This extra luxury, however, does not compromise the core features of every dive watch: robustness, durability, and functionality. With their accomplishments in mind, Grand Seiko is a heavy hitter in the watch industry.
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