March 22, 2023

The Grand Seiko SBGV025 is a new boutique-only model with a beautiful blue dial and a super accurate 9F quartz movement.

The SBGV025 is a great choice for a pick up and go Grand Seiko, thanks to its dressy, but not boring, looks, its versatile 40mm size, and a movement that will hardly ever need to be corrected.

The key to the SBGV025 is, of course, its gorgeous blue dial. It’s a slightly darker blue than you’ll find in GS’ official stock photography, but even so, it’s a light blue, leaning a bit towards green.

The blue dial is wonderful, but you should also be aware of a terrific red dial and gold accent version, the SBGV027, and a more austere black version, the SBGV023. My personal favorite is, of course, the blue dial, followed by the red.

The dauphine hands are the typical masterpieces we’re used to from Grand Seiko. There’s no lume to get in the way of the terrific finishing and they remain super legible against the blue dial.

As usual with GS, we’ve got very nice applied indices and an applied date frame. The latter I’m particularly thankful for, as date frames seem to be going out of style, but on a dressy watch I almost always prefer to have one, particularly when the other markers are applied.

One of the problems with my extremely even studio lighting is that it doesn’t really show off the sunburst finish on this watch. In real life, the sunburst finish is very obvious and creates rather brilliant jets and halos on the dial, revealing brighter blue hues.

The 40mm case is my ideal size for a modern watch as I find it neither unusually small or unusually large. Most of my personal watches are very close to this size (and my GS actually is this size). While 40mm is fairly routine for Grand Seiko, the thickness is refreshing, at just 9.8mm.

Grand Seiko chose their sportier 3 link bracelet as opposed to their typical 5 link bracelet. The 3 link is simpler, being entirely brushed, which gives it a slightly more aggressive or “toolish” look, but it also makes it far easier for the owner to touch up scratches.

The crown doesn’t screw down, which I normally prefer (and would have preferred in the three Hi-Beats I recently reviewed), but in 9F quartz models, where you will very rarely be changing the time, I say go ahead and make it screw down. Still, it’s rated for the same water resistance as almost all other Grand Seikos at 100 meters.

The case back is typical for GS quartz, namely that it’s solid, but the 9F movement inside is so pretty that I think they ought to use display backs for it like in the SBGV019. Regardless, the 9F82 remains the same legendarily accurate movement that you’re familiar with, rated at 10 seconds per year (compared to 15 seconds per month in an ordinary quartz movement).

The SBGV025 isn’t a limited edition, but it is a boutique exclusive. If you like it, you may also want to check out the black dial version, the SBGV023, or the more exotic looking red and gold SBGV027 version. In my opinion, however, particularly given Timeless’ established fondness for blue watches (blue everything, really), this SBGV025 is the one to get.