Grand Seiko SBGC242 and SBGC244, two spring-driven chronographs made of ceramic material

Grand Seiko copy has launched two exciting new models that extend the Spring Drive chronograph series.

At the beginning of 2021, Shanda announced the Seiko SBGC240, a new Spring Drive chronograph to celebrate the 140 anniversary of the brand founded by Kintaro. Limited to 500 timepieces, this reference introduces several significant design changes to the Grand Seiko chronograph series, including a new bezel shape made of zirconia ceramics, and a new set of scaled down Chronograph button. Today, Grand Seiko launched the SBGC242 and SBGC244, these two watches continue this design evolution.

SBGC242 and SBGC244 share a stainless steel case with a diameter of 43.8 mm, a length of 51.6 mm, and a thickness of 16.1 mm. The bottom of the bezel is in the shape of a dodecahedron. SBGC242 is made of 18k yellow gold and SBGC244 is made of 18k rose gold. The top of the bezel is a solid zirconia ceramic, the former is blue, the latter is black, and decorated with a clear and easy-to-read tachymeter scale, this detail makes the watch more sporty. To match the color of the bezel, the dial of SBGC242 is blue, and the dial of SBC244 is black sun pattern. The dial is decorated with gold and rose gold respectively.

Given the complex shape of the bezel and the general difficulty of perfectly polishing the case, completing the golden part of the bezel proved to be challenging. The top surface has fine lines, while the side of the case is polished by Grand Seiko’s Zaratsu method to a distortion-free reflection.

The chronograph buttons on the SBGC201, SBGC203 and SBGC205 models have been scaled down. There is no longer a locking mechanism, and it is worth emphasizing that this redesign does not lose functionality. The crown and buttons of SBGC242 are 18k yellow gold, while SBGC244 is 18k rose gold. The case is still 100 meters.

As with past chronograph models, the functions here are arranged in an incredibly logical way. The 30-minute counter is located at about 2 o’clock, the 12-hour counter is located directly below 4 o’clock, and the movable second hand is located at 9 o’clock. Arranging two counters vertically in this way makes it easy to track the elapsed time. In addition, the Greenwich Mean Time hands allow tracking of a second time zone. The power reserve indicator is located at around seven o’clock, away from key timing components to ensure legibility.

On the back, the back of the display box shows the amazing 9R86 movement, which is a Spring Drive chronograph with Greenwich Mean Time. It uses a vertical clutch and column wheel design to achieve high precision and excellent tactility when the timing function is activated. The movement’s accuracy rating is +-15 seconds per month (extended to the elapsed time), making it the most accurate spring-driven chronograph in the world. 9R86 is composed of more than 400 parts, and each movement is assembled by hand by skilled craftsmen in Shinshu watchmaking workshop.

SBGC242 and SBGC244 will be listed in October 2021. SBGC244 is a limited edition Grand Seiko model.