Let’s be honest, we all know about the Grand Seiko Snowflake Spring Drive. It is THE signature GS dial design that everyone talks about and only White Birch and Lake Suwa come close to comparing. It is spectacular.
It has a 41mm titanium case with GS’ signature Zaratsu polishing, which is both beautiful and versatile. It also houses an absolutely legendary movement, the Spring Drive, which combines mechanical prowess with the precision of quartz.
But those features aren’t what makes it a true cult icon. What puts it a tier above is the textured dial. The minute impressions on the white base creates the impression of a snowdrift on the top of a mountain, windblown, graceful and untouchable. However, when we first reviewed it in January 2020, we had one small gripe: the bracelet. The high intensity titanium is super lightweight, which means it doesn’t feel quite as luxurious as you might hope.
Fortunately, bracelets and straps are one of the easiest modifications you can make to a watch. So, when the Snowflake made its way back into our hands, we simply had to try it out on a handful of great strap options from the French strap and leatherwork specialists, Jean Rosseau. If any strap is going to stand up to the artisanry of the Snowflake, it’s one of these.
Our Favourite Strap Combinations
Classic 3.5 Alligator Blue, £245
The blue alligator is perhaps the ultimate companion to the Snowflake. The colour almost perfectly matches the seconds hand and really makes it stand out, while the chunky texture of the skin provides a foil to the fine texture of the dial. And don’t worry, it’s sustainable.
Classic 3.5 Calf Blue Vintage, £100
If you prefer a less exotic strap, you can still match the blue of the seconds hand with a standard calf leather strap. It’s slightly less vibrant than the electric blue but makes up for it with sleek white stitching, matching the two main colours of the dial.
Classic 3.5 Calf Navy Embossed, £100
Embossing makes for a slightly finer texture than alligator and here is a better reflection of the fineness of the dial. Again, the blue references tonally works with the blued steel hands, although this one is far darker and the most reserved of the blue tones.
Classic 3.5 Calf Tan, £100
Alternatively, you can emphasise the classical shape and design of the Snowflake by going for a simple brown leather number. It really shows the watch’s versatility and this tan version is super comfortable to wear thanks to the 3.5mm padding which tapers towards the pin holes.
Atlantis Alligator Brown, £270
However, if we wanted to take the name a little bit too literally, then the perfect strap to be worn in an actual snowfall is the brown alligator strap from Jean Rousseau’s Atlantis collection. The Atlantis straps have boosted water resistance meaning they will retain their colour, shape and function after full immersion in water. So, they’re suitable for tackling short swims, or a blizzard or two.