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HANDS-ON:UK Grand Replica Seiko Spring Drive SBGD001, platinum perfection with a frosting of diamond dust

The first thing you notice about this Grand Seiko when you look at it is the dial. It’s a fresh as virgin snow on a crisp winter’s morning – an icy, sparkling white. Cheap replica Seiko watches call it ‘diamond dust’ and it’s easy to see why. What you notice next, if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to hold this watch in your hands is the weight. It’s heavy, real heavy. And that can only mean one thing – platinum.

The case isn’t just solid, it’s big too. At 43mm it measures in larger than most Grand Seiko’s, thanks to the 37mm wide movement. Add this uncharacteristically big case to Seiko’s impeccable polishing and the traditional styling, and what might look inconspicuous in press pictures, is actually a shimmering sight to behold in real life.

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On their own the case and dial would mark the SBGD001 out as a special watch, but we haven’t even got to the really good stuff. Seeing ‘Spring Drive’ on the dial, you probably have a fair idea of what to expect on the back. Well, any expectations you had were wrong. Because this is Seiko’s first ever manually wound Spring Drive, with a movement that boasts the longest power reserve of any Grand Seiko fake watches, clocking in at an impressive eight days thanks to its triple barrels. In addition to being the first manually winding Grand Seiko, it’s also the first produced by the Micro Artists Studio, the small team best known for the Credor Eichi, Sonnerie and Minute Repeater watches. The level of care and finish evident on this watch is really on par with the best watch making I’ve ever seen.

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Which makes it a little surprising that the caseback is so plain, dominated by a single (expertly finished) bridge. But even though the cogs and wheels of the 9R01 aren’t on show, the view is far from boring. Luxury replica watches Seiko has placed the power reserve indicator on the rear, which is smart, as cluttering up that diamond dust dial would be criminal. But they’ve also kept it interesting by using the bridge outline to trace the iconic outline of Mount Fuji. In addition, the blued screws and jewels are meant to represent the night-lights of Suwa, where the watch is created. It’s just the sort of poetic touch we’ve come to expect from Seiko’s top-tier watchmaking.

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But the main reason for the large bridge is functional, as it allows the greatest precision in position and transferring power, which in turn improves the accuracy of the watch. Thanks to the Spring Drive technology the SBGD001 boasts accuracy to within +0.5/-0.5 seconds a day.

The UK fake Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGD001 will be in regular, if extremely limited production, and has an RRP of 60,000 Euro.

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EDITOR’S PICK: Revisiting what might be the best value chronograph of 2016 in the mysterious Fake Seiko Presage UK

Editor’s Note: It’s entirely uncontroversial to say that 2016 has been a big year for Grand Seiko in Australia – with their first ever boutique opening in Sydney – and cheap replica watches Seiko in general, with a duo of chronographs released at Basel whose joint impact has far from subsided. The Presage was touted by Felix as “their finest under-the-radar release” at the time, and since then, the model celebrating the 60-year anniversary of Seiko’s first automatic watch, has only really grown in stature. What does it come down to? The fact that it’s an in-house column wheel chronograph movement? That it’s also a limited edition? Or is it that mysterious, undulating Urushi lacquer dial on the black variant? We’re revisiting the review in the month that the watch is due to arrive in Australia…

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While much attention has been paid to the latest Grand Seiko offerings, as well as their ultra-cool Prospex Marinemaster GPS-Solar Dual Time, we can safely argue that the limited edition Presage chronographs are their finest under-the-radar offerings of 2016. Seiko is launching the Presage collection internationally this year, and these two watches celebrate the 60th anniversary of Seiko’s first automatic watch.

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The pair of sleek vintage-inspired chronographs come in at a comfortable 42mm, and offer two very attractive, and very traditional dial options ­- white enamel, and the gorgeous and incredibly labour-intensive deep black Urushi Lacquer. Both just about made my heart stop, and while my personal preference is the white enamel option, it’s hard to ignore the amount of care and attention that has gone into the luxury replica Seiko watches black lacquer.

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The design of the dial – and indeed the choice of enamel – traces its roots all the way back to the original Seiko Laurel from 1913, which was Seiko’s (and Japan’s) very first wristwatch. The original example that Seiko has in its archives retains a crisp white to its enamel, and Seiko wanted to ensure that the enamel of this Presage retained the same level of colour stability throughout the decades. The same can be said for its rich black lacquered counterpart, whose dial goes through a painstaking process of lacquering layer after layer onto the dial, and hand polishing several times before reaching perfection. Each dial takes an incredible three weeks to complete, and is made by traditional Urushi artisan Isshu Tamura. This work that goes into this dial is also the reason why the lacquer dial costs nominally more than the enamel. It will also darken over time as it hardens, making it even darker, a concept that is hard to comprehend given the inky black depths the eye swims in when you focus on it.

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In terms of value propositions, anyone who can get their head out of the frankly boring ­ Swiss-only mentality will quickly appreciate this new replica Seiko watches Presage. Combining this level of handwork and craftsmanship with the 8R48 in-house column-wheel chronograph caliber at this price is hard to beat.

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Exact Replica Seiko Presage Chronograph 60th Anniversary Limited Edition Australian pricing and availability

The white enamel dialed SRQ019J is limited to 1000 pieces and has an RRP of $3900. The black dialed SRQ021J is also limited to 1000 pieces and has an RRP of $4500. They will be available in Australia from September.

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Introducing Three New Replica Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36,000 GMTs UK, Including a Limited Edition

Seiko facelifts the classic Grand Seiko GMT with two new Hi-Beat models, plus a limited edition with a deep red dial and psychedelic rotor.

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Three new models have joined the twin time zone cheap replica Grand Seiko GMT line-up, including an unusually coloured limited edition. All three additions are powered by the top of the line calibre 9S86, an automatic that runs at 36,000 beats per hour.

Morning light

The limited edition Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 GMT (SBGJ021) draws on the “colours of sunrise on Mount Iwate”, the volcanic mountain visible from Shizukuishi Watch Studio, the workshop where all mechanical exact replica Grand Seiko watches are made. Meant to evoke the morning sun as it hits the mountain, the dial is a deep red with a radial motif that’s inspired by the ridges of Mount Iwate.

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The back of the watch, however, does away with the typical conservative Grand Seiko style. Graduated tones in multi-hues cover the spiral-shaped rotor, a look inspired by the colours of the spectrum that makes up the sunlight.

Made of titanium on top – the alloy is used for its rigidity and shock resistance – the rotor is weighted with a hidden tungsten mass below. The psychedelic colours are produced via anodic oxidisation: the titanium is subject to electrolysis that creates an oxide film on its surface. That’s essentially an electric current that causes a chemical change on the surface of the titanium, with the different colours achieved by varying the current and resulting oxide layer.

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The SBGJ021 has a luxury fake Grand Seiko 40mm stainless steel case with wide polished flanks taken from the 44GS, the same case found on the first Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT unveiled in 2014. It’s limited to 500 pieces.

Two more additions to the GMT range – the silver dial SBGJ017 and black dial SBGJ019 – are part of the regular collection, featuring a dial that’s a slight tweak to that found on the original replica Grand Seiko GMT online. Both are stainless steel, 40mm in diameter and 14mm high, making them marginally larger than the ordinary Grand Seiko GMT (that’s 39.5mm wide).

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SBGJ017 (left) and SBGJ019

Pricing and availability

The limited edition SBGJ021 is priced at €7300 or ¥700,000. It will be available mid November in Japan, and end November internationally.

And the SBGJ017 and SBGJ019 are both €7200 or ¥680,000. They will reach stores late September in Japan, and a month later in other countries.