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Grand Seiko Spring Drive Diver SBGA229 Luxury Watch Review

207 ratings | 18178 views
Shop all Grand Seiko watches: https://goo.gl/nDKzFh The Grand Seiko Spring Drive 200m Diver features a 44.2mm stainless steel case surrounding a black dial on a stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds, date and power reserve indicator. The watch also measures 14mm in thickness and 50.6mm from lug-to-lug. For complete details, watch the full review! Please subscribe to our channel for the best luxury watch reviews on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/WatchBoxReviews/?sub_confirmation=1 Visit our website at www.thewatchbox.com for the latest pre-owned luxury watch arrivals and industry-leading value in previously loved luxury timepieces.
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Text Comments (49)
WatchBox Reviews (7 months ago)
I'd take this over any 43-44mm Rolex Sea-Dweller. Short of a ceramic bezel insert, this Grand Seiko diver has it all; distinctive character, engineering, hand finish, and durability., Moreover, its character stands out from the mass of Submariner clones in the crowded dive watch segment. Best, Tim
AlexxxxxSaysHi (5 months ago)
japanwatchconnection spring drives are recommended to be serviced every 5 years but you'll find the vast majority of owners on forums haven't had them serviced for 10 years or more since they simply don't need it.
japanwatchconnection (5 months ago)
Tim but the residuals in this watch will never match those of the Rolex Sub C. I have seen the steel SBGA029 used go for as low as $3500 in watch forums. Owners get rid of them and get the SubC because this watch over the long haul doesn’t satisfy in the same manner as the Rolex. Other negatives of this model... the steel model is very heavy tipping the scales at over 220grams. The titanium 031 version is much lighter but another $1200 over this one. Warranty is only 3 years vs 5 for Rolex. Rolex now recommends first service at 10 years and Seiko recommends Spring Drive service between 3-5 years. And let’s not go into the aftersales experience. Rolex has at least 3-4 service centers in the US. This watch has to go back to Seiko-COSERV in New Jersey which has a terrible reputation for repairs and lead times or send it back to Japan and lose the watch to them for 6+ months. Spring Drive is a proprietary movement and no one outside of Seiko can fix them. Service costs? For this 9R65 you are looking at $600-$800 and if you want the case and bracelet refinished add another $400. For a watch that doesn’t have solid residuals, I am not sure if anyone is prepared to pay nearly 50% of the value of the watch over a 10 year period to keep the thing serviced.
JungleEddie (6 months ago)
This is a richly appointed and highly accurate amateur diver. The Sea Dweller was originally designed as a hardcore diver and is still capable of any underwater environment.
Professor Pesca (7 months ago)
You’ve successfully made me covet this watch Tim. I wouldn’t have given it a second glance before but the details that you have picked out in this video are compelling.
Samuel Gray (24 days ago)
The Grand Seiko Titan!!!
Samuel Gray (24 days ago)
+WatchBox Reviews that's my nickname for the watch I'm hoping it takes off in the watch community! I feel like it's a deserving nickname lol.
WatchBox Reviews (24 days ago)
Sounds like an amazing TV show or Comic Series "Grand Seiko Titan" has a nice ring to it! - WatchBox Team
spalkin (1 month ago)
At 8:02 you got a subscription. That was simply a PHD explanation of the spring-drive movement! I'm writing it down...
SGK MURTHY (1 month ago)
whats its cost..?
WatchBox Reviews (1 month ago)
Hi! You can check this out at our website: https://www.thewatchbox.com/shop/pre-owned-seiko-grand-seiko-spring-drive-sbga229/ Thanks for watching! --Team WatchBox
Emilio Reyes (1 month ago)
Fantastic watch review, really appreciate the service you provide.
ripperx444 (2 months ago)
These used to be 3750 pre owned!! Prices gone up
Jonnie Bangkok (2 months ago)
400 dives here...believe me, no SCUBA diver wears a "diving" watch...they're just for armchair divers so you can stop talking about the supposed diving features on this watch like they actually mean anything!
Mark Bloom (1 month ago)
Jonnie Bangkok Ya you’re right most dive watches should be called vacation swimmers, and I believe this is the finest vacation swimmer available anywhere!!
GapBahnDirk (3 months ago)
I would like to see screws for the bracelet links on the SS version and a ceramic bezel. Regardless, this will probably be in my collection at some point after I acquire the GMT with the sapphire bezel.
Young Doan (4 months ago)
Hi Tim. How much for this one on brand new. Thanks
Siong Hee Leong (5 months ago)
That bright even lume is the cherry on top of the icing of this very delectable watch.
Mac Battle (5 months ago)
Few watches are as accurate as a common cell phone. And yet, the money I've spent on cellphones over the years could easily purchase this watch. I am enamored with wristwatches, particulary these Spring Drives with their forward thinking engineering and their handcrafted excellence. An elegant, understated timepiece that can't access FB...and that's fine with me.
mgmmaze (3 months ago)
That's it no more cell phones for me after reading that
WatchBox Reviews (5 months ago)
That's an amazing analogy! Thanks for your feedback! - WatchBox Team
Canon Yeo (5 months ago)
This watch is much better than sub in every aspects. If u own both u would know.
Canon Yeo (5 months ago)
Suresh, totally agree.
suresh karpane (5 months ago)
Canon Yeo a golden reply👍. Rolex' aren't bad but I hate how the y manipulate the market by creating a fake hype with the good old demand and supply trick
Canon Yeo (5 months ago)
I have the latest Hulk, Batman, Daytona, and Airking adding to my earlier collection. I have many more Grand Seiko and Seiko among my 80 pieces of collections. I know what Tim is talking about.
japanwatchconnection (5 months ago)
Canon Yeo Too big, too thick and the bracelet/clasp is clearly inferior to the current six digit sub. And they use steel pins and collars to hold the bracelet links like any cheap $150 Seiko. The Spring Drive movement is its only saving grace.
Tony T (6 months ago)
Seiko for me.
STIjojoSTI (6 months ago)
If you have a 6.75” wrist? Would this be too big?
AR 97 (2 months ago)
Probably could just don’t let it droop down to the bottom of your wrist
P K (6 months ago)
Also the 50mm lug to lug is a lot for your wrist size. It would most likely protrude. It's too bad really, I like this piece a lot and the spring drive is a super cool innovation.
P K (6 months ago)
I would say yes. I have same size wrists and would never wear 44mm. All preference of course.
Jc Joble (6 months ago)
Dat Sweep
Matthew L (7 months ago)
These reviews are amazing. I hope to own a GS one day. Would love to see this on a rubber strap.
COLLABERATORZ Sean Huang (7 months ago)
I love the smooth second hand. I'm not familiar with a spring drive movement. Is it as long lasting as a mechanical movement ?
ipariszalonna (3 months ago)
I'd imagine the mechanical part of the movement would last a longer time than a movement with a traditional escapement since there's no impact on an escape wheel by a pallet fork and the balance wheel is basically just rotates in one direction constantly.
Brad Harris (7 months ago)
A reviewer that uses the term "back EMF". Props.
WatchBox Reviews (7 months ago)
I'll never boast the highest production values on YouTube, but I can add value where the mind and metal meet! Best, Tim
Abdul Rahman Abdel Razek (7 months ago)
Hi Tim, I heard from several friends that own both this and Rolex Sub, and all of them say that the GS is much better movement, keeps better time and also goes under the radar, but everyone mistakes it with the sub anyway. I wish Seiko made more colors from this watch, a green or red ones would be fantastic. Best, Abdul
ripperx444 (3 months ago)
WatchBox Reviews I love Grand Seiko. I bought the new high beat diver (blue) last year and wound up selling it because i couldn’t get over the cheap clasp. Seiko needs to stop reusing parts from their lower level wstches. That’s one thing GS still can’t get right. Overall amazing watch and the 9S85 is one of the most accurate movements ever. I’m sure this sprinfndrive is nice also. I’ll have to check it out
Abdul Rahman Abdel Razek (7 months ago)
I totally agree, I would get the Sub, if i had to choose between both due to the aesthetics and size. But then again i choose a Red Tudor Black Bay Heritage over a Rolex Submariner (but i got a Rolex DateJust with the money difference, so 2 watches instead of 1). Best, Abdul
WatchBox Reviews (7 months ago)
If people think this is a Sub, their opinions don't matter! I do believe that the Spring Drive caliber will keep better time. In the Rolex's favor, it's a far thinner watch, wears well on smaller wrists, has a more robust bracelet construction, and features a ceramic bezel insert (this one is ADLC). Check out the titanium version of this watch, the SBGA031/SBGA231 and the SBGE015/SBGE215 for examples of Grand Seiko sports watches with more color. Best, Tim
Jesus Christ (7 months ago)
How much do these typically go for new and used? Thank you for help in advance :)
Jesus Christ (7 months ago)
Tim, as usual your time is totally appreciated. Thank you for the brilliant and detailed response!!! Cheers.
WatchBox Reviews (7 months ago)
New, these cost $6,000 U.S.; pre-owned, they're $4,000-$4,500 U.S. depending on boxes, papers, and condition. Percentage wise, that makes the SBGA229/029 one of the best resale plays on the new-watch market. I can name a hundred Lange, AP, Vacheron, and Parmigiani models that don't sell for 75 cents on the dollar on secondary markets. Best, Tim
sofrech1991 (7 months ago)
Are the bezel inserts on these still anodized aluminum? I feel that, as ceramic becomes more ubiquitous and is viewed as the more luxurious option, Grand Seiko is losing customers by sticking with the old-style dive bezels.
WatchBox Reviews (7 months ago)
Yes, it's still ADLC, which is a tough but deposited coating. I don't think Seiko is losing customers on that basis. This is $6,000 U.S. watch new, and the money goes into dial finish, case finish, bracelet finish, movement engineering, and hand assembly of the movement. You can get an Oris for under $3,000 with a ceramic bezel, but it won't have all of the other features that I described. Grand Seiko set its priorities in shooting for a price point, and I can't disagree. I would no prefer a more mechanical finish, printed dial, or a conventional automatic movement if that were the price for a ceramic bezel. Plus, you can always replace the ADLC bezel insert during service. Best, Tim
John Coughlin (7 months ago)
Definitely feel like I should check one of these out. Also, hi Tim :-)
John Coughlin (7 months ago)
Excellent! I'm a mechanical purist, but these are definitely intriguing. Love your reviews! Have a great weekend!
WatchBox Reviews (7 months ago)
Hi John! I highly recommend these. Hopefully, I can add a review of its titanium twin, the SBGA231, in the near future. Best, Tim

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