Finally, after weeks bemoaning the absence of a European exclusive Grand Seiko following the release of the US exclusive Katana collection, we actually have one. Sadly, there’s no katana inspiration in sight, but what we do have is the 44GS SBGW303 Mount Iwate Autumn Dusk limited edition. A watch inspired by the long evenings of early autumn.
The watch features a 36.5mm case made from stainless steel, adhering to the current style trend we’ve been seeing that supports smaller, vintage size watches. It’s in the 44GS style, which is part of Grand Seiko’s heritage collection, featuring sweeping lines that curve around from lug to lug in a satisfying way.
Of course, as with the vast majority of Grand Seikos, the focus is the dial. Here we see the signature Mount Iwate pattern presented in olive green. It’s designed to evoke images of a yellow sunset over a verdant landscape such as the forests that surround Mount Iwate, giving the green landscape a gentle sepia glow – or given that it’s a European exclusive, that early autumn haze found at the end of the British summer or sunset over rolling French fields.
To be honest, I’m half trying to convince myself that it’s cooler and more interesting than I actually think it is because otherwise I’d look at the Americans’ SBGA493 and cry. Ultimately, it’s an olive version of a dial we’ve seen before, and in arguably cooler colours at that, like the Midnight Mount Iwate.
Here’s a tinfoil hat theory, I think the reason European exclusive watches are often on the more conservative side is because Swiss watchmakers have a reputation for being classical and refined and so Grand Seiko tries to emulate that. If only they would look at British watchmakers like Farer and Fears using bright colours and exciting designs for inspiration instead. The most exciting Grand Seikos are the ones that push the boundaries.
Well, whatever the reason, let’s bring the focus back to the Mount Iwate Autumn Dusk. Inside, it’s powered by the Calibre 9S64, a really solid movement. It’s an in-house, manual winding piece with a 72-hour power reserve and accuracy of +5/-3 seconds per day.
The Grand Seiko Mount Iwate Autumn Dusk is limited to 400 pieces at a price of £5,500 and as mentioned is exclusively available to the European market. Ultimately, it’s still a great addition to the line-up and offers solid value as well, even if it’s not the most exciting Grand Seiko of the year. Or month.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Grand Seiko 44GS ‘Mount Iwate Autumn Dusk’
- Ref: SBGW303
- Case/dial: 36.5mm diameter x 11.5mm thickness, stainless steel case, green textured dial with ‘Mount Iwate’ pattern inspired by autumn dusk skies at Mount Iwate, caseback engraved with “xxx/400”
- Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
- Movement: Grand Seiko calibre 9S64, manual winding, 24 jewels
- Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
- Power reserve: 72h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with additional leather strap
- Price/availability: £5,500, limited to 400 pieces, exclusively available in the EU