100 Years of Watchmaking Limited Edition Grand Seiko – SBGR081

I finally bought another Grand Seiko after 7 years. My previous GS purchase was the SBGR029 and it was way back in 2006.

This time round, I went for the 100th Year of Watchmaking commemorative model, SBGR081.The watch comes with a metal bracelet but I put it on a leather strap as soon as I brought it home.

This watch is limited to 1200 pieces and is powered by the 9S65 movement with 72 hours power reserve. The Grand Seiko’s I bought previously were powered by the older 9S55/56 movement that have roughly 50 hours power reserve.

First thing I notice is that manual winding felt super “smooth” when the watch has almost zero power reserve. I remember the 9S55/56 movements never felt so smooth although they are considered smooth when compared to other Seiko movements.

The dial is not exactly white in colour and it is not the kind of silver colour you would expect. It has a very light sunburst effect which is hardly visible to the eye. The picture above is a close depiction of the colour and texture of the dial.

These days Grand Seiko’s come with see-through caseback to show off the finishing of the movement. It looks nice but the stripes on the movement are also reflective at the same time. I actually find them distracting when I tried to look at the movement.

Personally, I prefer solid caseback with the Grand Seiko lion medallion at the center. I like to feel the cold metal on my wrist when I strap on the watch.

The SBGR081 is a little bit thicker than the SBGR029 (solid caseback). Below is a comparison shot.

The design of this watch is pretty much based on the 44GS from 1967. It has an aesthetically pleasing look from the front as well as from both sides. The case is finished meticulously with the use of brushed finishing and mirror polishing. I especially like the brushed line running along the side of the case (see pictures below).

Here are a few more shots of the watch.

Diameter: 40mm
Lug width: 19mm
Thickness: 13.4mm (approximately)
W.R.: 10 Bar

35 thoughts on “100 Years of Watchmaking Limited Edition Grand Seiko – SBGR081

  1. The SBGW047 metal case back doesn’t come with the lion. Only “Seiko GS” is scripted on the medallion and it is a pity that the medalion is not gold like the vintage pieces. Just wondering why not the black dial SBGR083 for you?


    • It’s a personal preference. If you look at my collection on Flickr, you will notice most of my dress watches have silver or cream coloured dial. I usually don’t choose black dial for dress watches.


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  3. Hi , I have been following your blog for many years and I like to collect seikos.
    Just a query if you can answer: what is the historical importance of the late 60s early 70s Grand Seiko 44gs with 4420b caliber. How much should one expect to pay for the watch in 70 % condition?

    Would be glad if you can help with this.



    • In the late 50s, Seiko began to put more emphasis on design and finally in the mid 60’s, Mr. Taro Tanaka created a “design formula” which became known as the “grammar of design” within the company. The 44GS produced in 1967 was the first watch that was designed based on this formula. The story can be found in the book “A Journal in Time – The Remarkable Story of Seiko” (Chapter 8).

      Unfortunately, I’m not familiar with the market price of the vintage Grand Seiko’s.


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  5. “Personally, I prefer solid caseback with the Grand Seiko lion medallion at the center.”
    Just got my first Grand Seiko and this post actually influenced me a lot. My SBGR081 also has a sapphire caseback. I just noticed that the sapphire glass actually has the GS Lion imprinted on the glass! Hard to capture though! Any chance you know how it was done?


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