Rolex wasn’t the only brand to introduce a new GMT for this years Baselworld. Grand Seiko, the brand many considered the Asia equivalent of Rolex, released a new iteration of their sports ceramic GMT and it probably is their best one to date.
The Grand Seiko Blue Ceramic Hi-Beat GMT 36000 Limited Edition is part of the 20th-anniversary collection. To commemorate the special occasion they decided to fit the GMT with a colour coordinated theme. The middle links and parts of the case are made out of blue ceramic, and the dial, bezel, and oscillating weight are made to match.
The special in the name stands for the accuracy in this timepiece. To celebrate twenty years since the introduction of the 9S caliber, this one has been adjusted to meet the Grand Seiko “Special” standard accuracy of +4/-2 seconds a day. To make sure you don’t forget how special your Grand Seiko is they have decided to write special in caps gold lettering on the dial. The dial, by the way, is a special dial with the monogram engraved and radiating out from the centre of the rich shimmering blue.
Overall looking at this watch I would have to say that it is, in my opinion, the best looking of the GMT ceramic watches. Earlier iterations have left me confused, for they always seemed to be such a style break when compared to the watches Grand Seiko usually makes.
The big question at the end of the day then is: if waiting lists wouldn’t exist would anyone pick this over the new Rolex Pepsi? As much as I like the styling of this watch I am highly doubtful they will, myself included. And responsible for this, I hold the decision to give this watch a rather ridiculous 46.4 mm diameter! You read that right, this watch is over half a centimetre bigger than the Rolex. Sure, this is compensated in part for the extensive use of titanium to keep the weight down, but this will hardly be enough. I look forward to being able to try this watch on, but for now, I feel slightly disappointed that Grand Seiko has decided to blow this objectively great watch out of proportions.