I think there’s already enough information about the new quartz specs, so I will talk about what makes the SBGX353 Skyflake a potential winner and why people will not buy it.
It’s not Grand Seiko if there’s no relevance to nature or their studios. Taken from GS9 Club, “Its dramatic sky-blue dial was created at Grand Seiko’s Shinshu Watch Studio located at Seiko Epson Corporation in the Shiojiri plant in Japan, through a plating process made famous by the popular Grand Seiko “Snowflake.” Ethereal deposits of material are layered onto the dial, building up a soft, powder-like surface that recalls the cold winter skies and windswept snows of Shinshu.”
Reasons to buy one
34mm Case Size
The biggest surprise comes in the case size, as it’s only 34mm. Compared to the SBGX261, for example, 36mm is already a great size, but 34mm will make the watch more elegant. However, it is still a bit thick at 10.7mm on paper. The original Skyflake is 40.2mm, so it’s a massive difference if we discuss design elements.
I am a fan of drilled lugs due to the ease of changing straps. However, with the prevalence of quick-release spring bars, I believe that drilled lugs are not as needed anymore. At least the option is there, and it will be greatly appreciated by people who change straps quite often.
Most enthusiasts love a GS quartz, and with the 9F61 movement, it can achieve an impressive +/- 10 seconds per year accuracy. This unmatched accuracy is the ultimate “set and forget” watch for casual wearers and watch enthusiasts.
At this price point as I do expect to have the hands blued. There’s no further discussion needed.
Reasons not to buy one
Closed Case Back
Not the biggest deal breaker, but some watch enthusiasts have been asking for more see-through case backs for GS quartz. Compared to cheap Chinese-made quartz movements, The GS quartz is an art.
Unfortunately, this is the deal breaker for most. It’s priced at £3,280 or $3,800 excluding tax which is absurd no matter how nice it is. This pricing is already very close to the original Skyflake pricing, and you get a Spring Drive.
There’s a market for the new quartz, and it will sell out eventually. However, the price might deter potential new customers more than the case size. I can’t wait to see what else Grand Seiko has in store for us!