Cheeky and Charming – The Grand Seiko SBGK007
By Daniel Yong
First of all, I do apologise for not blogging in a while guys. From this point on, I’m making it a goal of mine to post at least one story a week. For those following my watch dedicated Instagram account (@mrgrandseiko), you may have noticed that I’ve started making a challenge for myself to wear just one watch a week. To kickstart my self-imposed competition, I decided to wear a new purchase, the Grand Seiko SBGK007 from the Elegance collection. To be honest, I predicted that I would fail this challenge in a day, as sometimes I like to switch into a different watch in the evening. It’s now Sunday morning, I haven’t worn another watch, and I’ve become even more in love with this guy. And damn it, you bet I’ll strap it on again today. So after one week of wearing the SBGK007, what do I think?
First, the backstory
It was late 2018 (or was it early 2019?), that Grand Seiko announced these new Elegance models that would feature the new case and movements with a small-seconds complication. I adore small-seconds, I just think they are so classic, elegant and handsome, all at once. Initially, I was not a huge fan of the weird dial layout, as I’m kind of a boring traditionalist. I knew the dials were going to be beautiful as per typical Grand Seiko fashion. But the more I looked at the watch as a whole, the more I grew to love it. Losing my restraint, I sold a bunch of watches to make an order on the limited-edition version with the blue Mt Iwate dial. I loved it, but annoyingly, they then released the non-limited-edition model with the silver/champagne sunray dial. This one spoke to me the most. Why? Because I could have my traditional coloured dial, while also owning a bit of that quirkiness that these new Elegance models possess. So naturally, I flipped the blue one for this guy. And I don’t regret it at all.
On the wrist
Like I was saying, it’s been a full week now, and this watch gets more interesting each day I wear it. The first thing I noticed, was that the dial changes from a light silver, to a darker, warm, champagne colour, depending on the lighting you’re in. The dial is beautifully curved with complementing bent (only slightly) dauphine hands to add legibility and depth. And oh man it’s good. My favourite feature of the watch, ironically enough, is the dial layout. I wasn’t really a fan at first, but man, against that neutral coloured dial, I’m really seeing the personality of the watch. And this is why I like “minimalistic” designs, it allows the wearer to notice the charming qualities you normally wouldn’t, due to being distracted with complications (I love complications too don’t get me wrong).
Why is it cheeky and charming?
As I was saying before, stripping down a watch to the basics, exposes absolutely everything. Instead of being distracted by complications and dial art, the wearer will notice things like finishing, design, the typography and eventually, the overall personality of the watch. This is where I fell in love with the SBGK007. To sum it up, it’s beautiful man, it’s really beautiful. I say cheeky, because if you stare long enough, the watch appears as though it’s winking at you. Almost as if it’s mockingly whispering, “you guys were hating on me, but now you’re all in love with me”.
Finally, it’s charming because it possesses some of the qualities we like in charming people (I think, well for me anyway). There’s a few, depending on what source you land on, but for the purpose of my argument (haha), these are the characteristics I’ve picked: confidence, interesting, strong first impression and just overall attractive. Let me break it down.
The SBGK007 is confident because the designers dared to create an entirely new dial layout and case that people weren’t used to from the brand. And isn’t risk taking an essential aspect of brand growth? Business strategists and entrepreneurs out there, correct me if I’m wrong please. The new releases featuring the small-seconds complications are interesting because I want to know the story behind it. Why did they design an entirely new case and dial, instead of sticking to what fans already know and love? Thirdly, come on, this watch definitely had people talking upon its announcement on social media. Fans either loved it or hated it… or grew to be obsessed with it. Integrate all of these qualities and eventually, fans or potential fans of the brand would eventually fall in love with it, or like it at the least.