If you're one of the many watch enthusiasts who tends to look down on analog quartz watches, Grand Seiko wants to show you just how refined and high-end a quartz timepiece can be. The celebrated Japanese watchmaker has been doing this for a long time, after all, with its family of in-house 9F movements — and the latest of them powers a sporty GMT that's likely to make you forget your snobbery for mechanical watches when you put it on your wrist.
Grand Seiko is best known for its dressy-leaning character, but the new watches live in its somewhat overlooked Sport collection. Though still sized for easy daily wear at 40mm in steel, some bright colors and 24-hour marked ceramic bezels inject sportiness and distinguish them from previous versions. They'll feel even more action- and travel-ready when you know that they're water-resistant to 200m.
They might be ruggedly built and quartz-powered, but these watches will hardly feel like "beaters" — instead, expect a high-end wearing experience. This comes from materials like sapphire crystal and ceramic, and you can expect the same ultra-sharp, ultra-high-end finishing found on all Grand Seiko watches, from the dial to the case. But we're not only talking about a nice exterior hiding some run-of-the-mill quartz movement: the 9F is not only accurate to +/- 10 seconds per year, but designed and engineered with the same kind of Japanese fastidiousness as the brand's mechanical and Spring Drive movements — that wobble of the seconds hand found on cheap quartz watches is here replaced with a solid, confident jump.
Neither are the new quartz GMT watches priced like beater watches. Two versions featuring black dials with red accents or sporty blue highlights will cost $4,550 while a limited edition of 2,021 examples marking the brand's 140th anniversary has yellow highlights and a price of $5,450.