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Culture > Rotor

Would you buy a Nissan GT-R watch for a million bucks?

This Grand Seiko piece honors the car’s 50th Anniversary Edition

As if a Grand Seiko in itself isn’t special enough, this piece is also inspired by a sports car. PHOTO FROM GRAND SEIKO

We will never stop seeing (and drooling over) wristwatches created in honor of automobiles, and we have another such collaboration in the Grand Seiko SBGC229 that pays tribute to the Nissan GT-R’s 50th Anniversary Edition. You will recall that Nissan unveiled earlier this year a special 2020 version of its popular sports car to specifically mark the latter’s half-century milestone. The timepiece that you see here—limited to just 200 examples and inspired by the car’s Bayside Blue paint job—is a money grab marketing execution that aims to celebrate the commemorative GT-R.

The colorway is patterned after the car’s Bayside Blue exterior paint with white stripes. PHOTO FROM GRAND SEIKO

Coincidentally, this watch also marks the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive, Seiko’s proprietary movement that combines a traditional mechanical engine with an electronic regulator, resulting in a much higher level of precision compared to regular automatic motors. The Spring Drive caliber of the SBGC229 is the 9R96, which boasts a power reserve of 72 hours and is reportedly accurate to half a second per day.

Featuring a 46.4mm high-intensity titanium case that is 16.2mm thick, the SBGC229 has a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel, dual-curved sapphire glass with antireflective coating inside, and a white crocodile-leather strap with a three-fold clasp. Besides being water-resistant up to 100m, this 50-jewel watch also has a chronograph function, a calendar-linked time difference adjustment function, and a screw-down crown.

The see-through caseback proudly lets your friends know that you drive a very nice car. PHOTO FROM GRAND SEIKO

At the back, the see-through glass displays the “GT-R 50th Anniversary” emblem in 18-karat yellow gold. The quoted selling price in the US is $21,000 (P1.093 million), an amount that shouldn’t be a big deal to the target market. Frankly, only GT-R owners who also love fancy timepieces have any business considering purchasing this Grand Seiko. If you belong to this group, that’s just like buying a new toy you can show off to your peers during the next track day.



Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 24 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. The rest, as they say, is rock and roll. He writes the column ‘Spoiler’.



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