Seiko have been among the watch brands to embrace the spirit of collaboration most wholeheartedly, whether that’s Japanese streetwear giants BAPE or game series Final Fantasy VII Chronograph Limited Edition. It’s less often though that Grand Seiko get in on the action too, which is a shame; this new Watches of Switzerland collaborative special edition is a beauty.
That’s largely because the Toge Special Edition (ref. SBGM241) isn’t just a newly liveried take on a classic design. This is instead a shiny new case design created by Grand Seiko Chief Designer, Nobuhiro Kosugi, whose previous credits include the 44GS.
The link to the British watch retail group is pretty clear, with a dark ‘British racing’ green dial, enhanced by the eye-catching texture of the Mount Iwate dial, a Grand Seiko staple. It’s a level of finishing we’ve become strangely accustomed to seeing from the Japanese watchmaker. From anyone else it would be extraordinary. Here it’s kind of par for the course, which is no bad thing.
The dial works particularly well with the gold GMT hand and helps the 24-hour ring stand out nicely. With flawlessly-polished indexes, hands, date window and just about anything else you can find, it’s a stunner, with plenty of Zaratsu polishing and strikingly curved lugs.
The Toge is powered by the calibre 9S66 calibre automatic movement with a 72-hour power reserve and an accuracy most watchmakers would beg for: -3 to +5 seconds a day.
Following the likes of Harrods and Bucherer, this is a new collaboration only available in Watches of Switzerland; though there are enough of those around that you’re not likely to be all that limited once lockdown lifts.
Still, if you’re desperate to try it on as soon as possible, Grand Seiko and Watches of Switzerland have created an augmented reality filter on Instagram and Facebook where you can strap it on digitally. It’s certainly not the real thing, but right now we’ll take what we can get.
Price & Specs:
Brand: Grand Seiko
Model: Watches of Switzerland Exclusive Toge Special Edition
Case/Dial: 39.5mm x 13.7mm, Zaratsu-polished stainless steel
Water Resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre 9S66 with stop-seconds function, automatic, 35 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 72h
Functions: Hour, minute, seconds, 24-hour GMT, date
Strap: Brown crocodile leather with green stitching and three-fold clasp