GRAND SEIKO Hi-Beat GMT Yukigesho SBGJ271

A fresh take on the classic GS GMT watch with a dial reminiscent of Japanese winter landscapes.

Natural beauty and texture have always been a fake Grand Seiko tradition. The Snowflake watch, also known as the Spring Drive SBGA211, is certainly the most famous example of this design language. Since then, we’ve seen countless models built around nature, architecture, or the changing seasons. One of the brand’s recurring themes is the Japanese winter scene, a theme evoked on the dial of the new model SBGJ271, based on the much-loved Elegance GMT watch (from which you may know it), here with the Hi – Beat automatic movement.

What really matters about this new watch, dubbed Yukigesho, is the texture and color of the dial. The former is not new, but has been used in reference SBGH269 to evoke autumnal scenery and wooden floors. This pattern of vertical stripes with irregular grain, somewhat reminiscent of the uneven stripes of Geneva, is now back in silvery white tones, giving the appearance of snow-covered trees. It was inspired by Yukigesho, a poetic expression used to describe snow. Intricate graphic motifs breathe new life into this reference, yet unmistakably feels Grand Seiko.

Another tradition of the brand is the texture of this new Hi-Beat GMT Yukigesho SBGJ271 combined with the sharp hands and hour markers from the Elegance series. Fully polished and with pronounced bevels on the sides, these hands catch the light and maintain amazing legibility in low-light conditions, even when there is no lume on the dial. The central GMT hand is black on one side for contrast.

The rest of the watch is an unsurprising version. As such, it adopts the classic case of the Elegance GMT model, with its softly rounded style and beautiful Zaratsu polished finish. With a diameter of 39.5mm and a reasonable lug-to-lug distance (just under 47mm), only the thickness of this model is questionable – 14mm is definitely a bit thick for a dressy watch. It is topped by an attractive box-shaped sapphire crystal. Despite the screw-in design, water resistance is also limited to 30 meters.

The new Yukigesho SBGJ271 features a three-link stainless steel bracelet with a foldover clasp closure for an added casual touch. Beneath the sapphire caseback is the brand’s in-house self-winding caliber 9S86. The movement is known for its high frequency of 5 Hz, claimed +5/-3 sec/day accuracy, and true GMT function, which will help when travelling. The power reserve is also comfortable at 55 hours when fully wound.

Case: 39.5mm diameter x 14.1mm height – 46.9mm lug to lug – Stainless steel case, Zaratsu polished – Box-shaped sapphire crystal and sapphire case back – Screwed case back – 30m water resistance
Dial: Silvery-white dial with stripe pattern – faceted indexes and polished hands – black GMT hand – framed date window
Movement: Caliber 9S86 – Manufacture – Automatic – 37 jewels – 36,000 vibrations/hour or 5Hz frequency – 55 hours power reserve – +5/-3 seconds/day accuracy – Hours, minutes, seconds, date and GMT functions (travel author style)
Bracelet: 3-link stainless steel bracelet, brushed and polished – folding clasp with push button safety opening
Reference: SBGJ271