The Grand Seiko SGBW279 is a sophisticated, nature-inspired dress watch

When designing watches, many watch makers draw inspiration from the various places a person can take their watch or the activities they can do while wearing it. The watch world is full of such models—dive watches designed for scuba divingsees that Make Style Inspo From Race Carsand military watch Waking up to the rugged tools of past decades, But watches can also take inspiration from the natural world. Same is the case with the new Grand Seiko SBGW279, which is only available in the US.

Every year, the Oruri songbird travels from Southeast Asia to spend the summer in the mountains of northern Japan. With their striking blue plumage, these birds are a beautiful sign of the new season. Those blue wings are also the point of inspiration for the SBGW279. The main attraction on the watch is its deep blue dial, and the rest of the watch has an understated elegance that allows the dial to shine. (It also evokes the minimalist style of the original Grand Seiko watch from 1960.)

The dial has a snappy layout with no date window and simple block indexes around the perimeter. At 37.3mm, the stainless steel case has a comfortable shape that isn’t overbearing, though it does contain one surprise: Flip it over, and the see-through case back gives a glimpse of clockwork.

The watch is topped with a box-shaped sapphire crystal for durability and legibility, and is matched by a complementary brown alligator leather band. The band pairs well with the restrained styling of the watch, and overall the Grand Seiko SBGW279 makes for an attractive dress watch that will work with a wide variety of outfits, whether you’re headed to the office or on a date.

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On the inside, the SBGW279 is powered by a 9S64 mechanical movement. In keeping with its throwback look, this is an old-school hand-wound movement, so you’ll need to give the crown a few turns from time to time. But it won’t happen very often: The movement has a power reserve of 72 hours. Better yet, it’s accurate to under -3 or +5 seconds per day.

With its refined aesthetic and no-nonsense mechanics, the Grand Seiko SBGW279 is the opposite of showmanship. It’s eye-catching without looking overdone – what else would you expect when you model it after Mother Nature?


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