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This post is about the Grand Seiko GMT Automatic but before that, here’s a quick look at the successive 9S movements after the introduction of the 9S55 and 9S51 in 1998 as documented by Seiya-san in his great article, The History of Grand Seiko (http://www32.ocn.ne.jp/~kseiya/gs/).
Year 2001: 9S54 – Handwind movement
(SBGW001, SBGW003, SBGW005, SBGW007, SBGW008)
Year 2002: 9S56 – Automatic movement with GMT hand
(SBGM001, SBGM003, SBGM007, SBGM009)
Year 2006: 9S67 – Automatic movement with 72 hrs power reserve and indicator hand
Note: Some models above may not be released in the same year as their movements.
Grand Seiko GMT Automatic
The GS GMT uses the 9S56 movement which was introduced in year 2002. Prior to that, if you look at the different Grand Seiko models from the very first model right up to the 9S51/9S55 models, you will notice that most of them came with the standard hour, minute and second hands and a date window. There are also some models with day/date window and some without. Hence, the GMT hand can be considered the first complication that was added to the Grand Seiko in so many years of its history.
Master Shop and Regular Editions
The SBGM001 is first model in the GS GMT family. It is a Master Shop edition released in year 2002. The watch comes with black dial and red GMT hand, as well as a stainless steel, non-rotating GMT bezel. Because of it design, it is often compared to the Rolex Explorer II. The SBGM001 has a water resistance rating of 100m and comes with screw in crown. Most Grand Seiko’s have 19mm lug width and the SBGM001 is one of the rare ones that has 20mm lug width.
SBGM001 – Click on the picture to see full size image
SBGM001 – caseback
The SBGM003 is the second GS GMT model. It was release in year 2004. This watch has a classic design and is fitted with crocodile strap and a beautiful GS folding buckle. It has blue GMT hand and is water resistant to 30m. Unlike the SBGM001 that uses a screw in backback, the SBGM003 uses six screws to secure its caseback. The SBGM003 is also the first GS GMT to be sold outside Japan. In 2005, Seiko launched it’s GS line in Asia and the SBGM003 was included as part of the lineup.
SBGM003 – Click on the picture to see full size image
SBGM003 – Caseback (Photo by watch-tanaka.com)
SBGM003 – folding buckle
In 2007, two more models, SBGM007 and SBGM008 were added. The SBGM007 is essentially the SBGM003 on a metal bracelet and the SBGM009 appears to be a variant of the SBGM003 with black dial and red GMT hand.
From left: SBGM007 and SBGM009
Special Edition – Isetan
Besides the above GS GMT models, an Isetan Limited Edition (SBGM005) was released in 2005. This watch is similar to the SBGM001 except it has blue dial, orange GMT hand and display back. It is limited to 21 pieces and sold exclusively at Isetan.
SBGM005 – caseback
Special Edition – Morioka Seiko
The is a special edition by Morioka Seiko Instruments Inc. It looks identical to the SBGM003 except it is installed with display back and has a gold colored winding rotor printed with the Kanji characters ‘雫石高級時計工房’ or ‘Shizukuishi Watch Studio’. The model number is SBGM00C.