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Discover the Grand Seiko Elegance SBGW305: A Dress Watch with a Beads-of-Rice Bracelet

This timepiece shares the same case and movement as the SBGW231, 235, and 237....

If you’re a watch enthusiast looking for a blend of elegance and unique style, the Grand Seiko Elegance SBGW305 is a timepiece that deserves your attention. Often referred to as the “Japanese Calatrava,” this watch offers a subtle yet distinctive design.

The SBGW305 takes inspiration from its predecessors, including the SBGW231, SBGW235, and SBGW237, combining their most remarkable features. This timepiece shares the same case and movement as the SBGW231, 235, and 237. From the SBGW237, it inherits the elegant silver dial, while the hands and markers are reminiscent of the SBGW231 and 235. Most notably, the SBGW305 proudly boasts the coveted beads-of-rice steel bracelet, a feature that watch enthusiasts have long wished to see available outside Japan.

The case of the Grand Seiko SBGW305 follows the distinguished design language of the Elegance collection, known for its understated yet refined aesthetic. With its polished round case, soft, rounded flanks, and a box-shaped sapphire crystal, this watch exudes sophistication.

All images credited to Grand Seiko

The scalloped lugs add a touch of character, making it perfect for formal occasions. The case is entirely polished using the renowned Zaratsu technique, ensuring a flawless finish. With dimensions of 37.3mm in diameter and 44.3mm in length, it offers a harmonious size for a dress watch, though some may debate its 11.6mm thickness. The watch is water-resistant to 30 meters and features a transparent caseback, allowing you to admire the intricate movement within.

The dial of the SBGW305 has undergone a transformation from its predecessors. It now sports a silver-toned dial with a mesmerizing sunray pattern, replacing the light cream dial of the SBGW231. All the dial’s elements, including the central seconds hand and the logo, follow the silver-toned theme. While this monochromatic approach may appear discreet to some, Grand Seiko’s renowned precision in defining these elements ensures an impressive dial.

What truly sets the Grand Seiko SBGW305 apart is its iconic beads-of-rice bracelet. Until now, acquiring this bracelet outside of Japan was a challenging task. The SBGW305 changes the game by making this exquisite bracelet available worldwide. Measuring 19mm at the lugs and featuring a folding clasp with a push-button release, this bracelet not only adds a touch of retro charm but also offers a comfortable and flexible wearing experience.

Inside the SBGW305 beats the classic hand-wound calibre 9S64, a movement known for its power and precision. Running at 4Hz, it provides a generous 3-day power reserve and maintains an accuracy rating of +5/-3 seconds per day. The movement’s finishing, featuring stripes and polished components, reflects Grand Seiko’s commitment to craftsmanship.

The Grand Seiko SBGW305 will be available from Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide starting from December 1, 2023. Priced at EUR 5,800, it may be a significant investment compared to the strap-equipped SBGW231, which retails for EUR 4,600.

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