June 2, 2023

The Grand Seiko SBGH047 is another great Hi-Beat model, in the same vein as the famous SBGH001 Hi-Beat. While they are, in fact, highly similar, there’s a little more to this boutique-exclusive than the gold seconds hand.

The SBGH047 is probably best viewed as a version of the very popular SBGH001, which is, coincidentally, the watch I wear most days. I must confess, therefore, to a bit of a bias in the SBGH047’s favor.

The question remains, however, is it as beautiful as the SBGH001, one of the most important watches in GS’ modern history, or could it perhaps be even more beautiful?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s merely an SBGH001 with some gold accents replacing the blued ones, but that’s not quite right. It also features this beautiful dial which has a subtly different texture to the more conventional sunburst of the SBGH001. It’s quite similar to the relatively recent, and well received, SBGJ001.

It does, of course, have gold accents, which look fantastic. I’m a sucker for blued accents, but gold on white is just as good.

Furthermore, unlike in the SBGH001, the GS is gold, which is a really nice touch. In this area it may even be better than the source material.

The 40mm steel case appears to be identical to the SBGH001, which is my personal ideal size and is very conventional for modern Grand Seiko. It’s also a great showcase for Grand Seiko’s hand polishing.

The case is 13.15mm thick, which oddly enough, is starting to seem relatively thin in 2017’s world of super thick watches. It also features a screw down crown, making the watch good for 100 meters of water resistance.

The movement is the 9S85 HI-Beat automatic, one of the most respected movements in the industry. As its name suggests, it beats 10 times per second, or 36,000 BPH, 25% greater than a normal automatic watch. It has a great variety of high-end features, but one of the most useful is its 55 hour power reserve, whereas the vast majority of other watches have only 40.

While the 9S85 is the same as other Hi-Beat Grand Seikos, the actual sapphire on the back is subtly different. The Grand Seiko medallion watermark has been moved to the outside of the crystal, but due to the difficulty in seeing it, much less photographing it, I’ve highlighted it for you. Personally, I prefer it in its original central location, but many Grand Seiko owners never even know it’s there (unless they’re told), so it’s unlikely to bother anyone.

So that’s the SBGH047, not a successor to the SBGH001, but more an addition, in the way the SBGA059 is to the original Snowflake.

Is it better than the SBGH001? Well, that’s really up to you. In my opinion, they’re almost dead even in terms of looks. The good news is that this doesn’t replace the SBGH001. If you prefer it, you can still buy it, but if you wanted something a little different, or preferred the gold accents, the SBGH047 is a great option. As the SBGH001 is my favorite Grand Seiko of all time, it’s great to see it become, in effect, a collection of watches instead of just a handful of permanent models.