Random Watches

Truth, beauty and quartz

A recent podcast (Scottish Watches, with Adam Craniotes) there was a nice side discussion of the nature of men’s watches. “Metal Barbie dolls,” to paraphrase, and it did inspire a thought or two.

This is the watch on my wrist now – Seiko SBGX117, a Grand Seiko quartz diver made between 2014 and 2017. 42mm, steel, titanium hands, thermocompensated quartz movement accurate to ten seconds per year. List price was about 4k USD new, I got it used in a trade for about about 2500.

Seiko SBGX117
Seiko SBGX117

If you’re curious, Ariel wrote a nice review here on ABtW.

I’ve also been enjoying this Scurfa recently too:

Scurfa Diver One DI-500

And of course my even-more-accurate 9F GMT:

Seiko SBGN001

For men in the western culture milieu, the only socially acceptable forms of jewelry are the watch and wedding band. There are few exceptions, of course; I’m speaking in generalities here for cishet.

And we’re not allowed to ever, ever call them ‘pretty.’ It has to be masculine, engineering-focused, etc. All gendered language. Yet all the while, we’re always looking for beauty, even if we call it proportion, ratio, finishing and craftwork.

We are, however, allowed to Seek Truth, and for that quartz is king. There’s a wonderful well of difficult problems, interesting physics and obsessive engineering required to make a really accurate timekeeper, and these Seiko 9F movements are among the finest ever made. For that matter, I have a lot of meetings these days, often over video with remote participants, so it is super useful to know the precise time.

9F movement, picture Seiko

So watches are how we thread the needle of societal expectations. We can enjoy manly bonding over our shiny jewelry while still performing masculinity. And hey, it really does come in handy to know what time it is with a watch that can get wet, handle rough treatment, lasts a decade or more and doesn’t require charging every day or two and setting every week.


Trivial news

Uncle Seiko makes decent straps.

My friend has a epic cool home hacking setup.

I got a Motiv fitbit ring… works well so far.

Here’s a beach volleyball game, middling effort:

Life goes on!

Lastly a two part scale for bad watches, from the WPAC 2019 thread.

Travel Watches Wrist shots

The 9F as an adventure watch

Took the SBGN001 for a weekend jaunt. Hiking, snow, desert. It did great. The wear comfort on this 39mm size is fantastic.


My SBGN001 arrived

19mm lugs… bad. Really limits strap choices. Some of my 20s can be fitted as shown.

More as I wear it!

And yeah, I shot it next to the Bolt, both are personal milestones.


More 9F GMT pictures and details

As noted in Coming soon to a WIS near you and Grand Seiko 9F GMTs are out!, I can’t wait to see these. As Seiko does press events, pictures and details are emerging, here’s what I’ve found so far with links to source materials.

From this WUS thread by user yonsson, click for full size versions:

Some gorgeous pictures in there! And the lime looks excellent. Interesting to see it next to the (unaffordable, yet grail) Blancpain Bathyscaphe 38mm.

From the Japanese-language oomiya blog (I recommend using the translate feature in Chrome):

Just gorgeous. On reflection, it’s hella expensive, I mean $3,500 for a quartz watch? For half that, you can get a superbly-made Citizen with solar power and perpetual calendar, with the same intrinsic 5 seconds per year accuracy.

And the lugs are, as confirmed by yonsson, a terrible 19mm. Some 20mm straps will fit, but a bad design decision.

A great pity that the green dial version forgoes the lume: (another yonsson picture)




Grand Seiko 9F GMTs are out!

I had written before about these with great anticipation, and ended up getting my first takedown request over it. Heh. Well, the embargo is gone and there are posts on multiple sites complete with nice press images, yay!

Briefly, the first three are out with more to come. One 800-piece limited edition, where the yellow-detail version has improved accuracy to the tune of 5 seconds per year. List price $3,500 for that, $3,200 for the regular editions.



Man I love that one. Subtle dial texture, should be stunning in person. Having had my Seiko with gold accents for a while I think that the yellow would rock.



Basic black. Safe color choice. I wish the others had the white-on-black date wheel that this one has.



That will, I predict, sell quite well. Right between too bold and too boring, and of course blue is super trendy.

All of these are super, versatile watches with features that make a huge difference in utility:

  • Lumed hands and dial. While I love GS hands, I want to be able to read the time at night.
  • Jump-set hour hand, aka travel GMT. Perfect for travel and also great for the idiocy that is daylight savings time.
  • 39mm by 12mm. Should wear like a dream.
  • Drilled 19mm lugs. Workable for strapaholics like me; 20mm straps will sometimes fit.
  • 100m water resistant. (Same as the Rolex of similar design).

These are the closest thing I’ve ever seen for a ‘one watch’. (Assuming, of course, you are OK with quartz). I’m in love.

Site news Watches

My first takedown request

So I got an interesting email today, a polite request to remove some content that is under embargo for a while. I’ve done so.

I’ll tag this post as 451, for obvious reasons, but this instance was a reasonable request that I’m only mildly sad to fulfill. I’m not trying to be an investigative reporter here, in this case I was doing a bit of searching and posting about what I had found.

I’ll update when the embargo is lifted or there’s related news.

Update 8/31/18: It was the unreleased Grand Seiko 9F GMT – now released.


Coming soon to a WIS near you

So there was a thread on the Seiko forum on WatchUSeek, and these two images turned up, four as-yet-unreleased Grand Seiko quartz watches, 9F calibre, sporting a new GMT complication in a case seemingly identical to the SBGM series. SBGN001G in yellow, B8T007 LE minus the bezel, and SBGN007 for black. Blue is clipped.

A stint of diligent googling and watching the Basel 2018 feeds and there’s no more news yet. Soon, I expect, as part of the anniversary releases this year. Need it? No, but I am super interested anyway, enough to sell one or two to get one… Soon, my pretty, soon…

Update: 007/001 typo, oops.

Update: Timeless has placeholder pages for the SBGN001 and SBGN007, listing the color of the SBGN007 as green. Interesting! List prices are given as $3,500 and $3,200 respectively.

Update 7/30/18: Timeless has pulled their pages, but here’s a German retailer listing the SBGN003, SBGN005 and SBGN007. Soon….

Update 8/31/18: Grand Seiko 9F GMTs are out!

Update 10/30/18More pictures and details