Grand Seiko "Peacock" SBGJ227 First Impressions
The official Seiko pre-launch photo of the SBGJ227.
Every year a few of our brands come out with a select offering of watches after Baselworld, and for the last two years in a row the ones that we've felt the most excitement about have both been Grand Seiko models. Last year it was the burgundy dial Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ021 and this year it is the SBGJ227. While the SBGJ021 featured the same radial sunburst dial as the production model silver (SBGJ201) and black (SBGJ203) models, this edition features a green dial in a stamped abstract pattern resembling a peacock's plumage.
After I'd first seen preview images like the launch photo by Seiko above, I wondered how pronounced is the actual pattern was going to be. Online renders and imagery of patterns like these usually show a watch at the apex of its dynamic range, and you really don't get a sense of its prominence until you see it in the metal, and in both sunlight and in shade. We'll provide that perspective in this quick look at the new SBGJ227 "Peacock", which has arrived at Topper in extremely limited quantities.
Under the Burlingame sunlight you get a real appreciation for the beautifully stamped plumage pattern dial on the Peacock.
In the shade, the plumage pattern of the SBGJ dial is nearly undetectable.
As predicted, the dial is quite calm and subdued in the shade. Without a lot of light on the dial, you can make out the pattern but it's nothing like the renderings provided in the promotional previews from Grand Seiko.
The Peacock dial pattern displays proudly yet tastefully in the midday sun.
When in direct sunlight, or under one of the spotlights in the store, the Peacock effect comes alive in the brilliant, layered green sunburst pattern so eagerly anticipating since the fall announcement. The effect is quite striking and similar to what we've seen before in the blue dial of the SBGR097, where the repeating Grand Seiko "GS"' logo can be easily seen in certain light, yet almost completely disappears in low lighting.
The iconic case inspired by the 44GS from 1967 shows the flawless mirror like surfaces and crisp lines we expect from Grand Seiko.
The Peacock shares both proportions and movement with the Hi-Beat GMT offering of the SBGJ201 and SBGJ203. Like those models, the case is the modern interpretation of the famous 44GS design from 1967. Its stainless steel case features a 40mm diameter and a thickness of 14.4mm. This makes it a little taller than other popular Hi-Beat 3-hand models like the SBGH001. While the SBGJ021 featured a custom colorful rotor, the Peacock doesn't feature a special limited edition decoration unique from production models.
Inside the SBGJ227 is the the 9S86 Hi-Beat movement – an in-house designed and manufactured 37-jewel GMT movement with a 36,000 Vph (5 Hz) oscillation rate, generous 55 hour power reserve, and an hour hand that can be independently adjusted from the 24-hour GMT hand – which is particularly handy for frequent travelers. Along with the rest of the watch, this movement is fully assembled, adjusted, and tested by Grand Seiko's master craftsmen at the brand's Shizuku-Ishi Watch Studio in Iwate Prefecture, on the northern part of Japan's main "Honshu" island.
The sapphire case back of the SBGJ227 gives a view to the 9S86 movement, but unlike prior limited editions, the Peacock displays a rotor that is not unique from production Hi-Beat models.
The Grand Seiko SBGJ227 "Peacock" is limited to only 700 pieces worldwide and retails for $6,500. Our December allocation is almost entirely reserved (one left!) but we are taking reservations for the pieces scheduled to arrive in January. If you're interested in one, or would like to learn more, we welcome you to inquire by calling Topper Jewelers at 888-730-2221 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.The Topper Blog consists mainly of original writing by Rob & Russ Caplan with occasional special contributions and interviews. All photography in the blog is taken at Topper Fine Jewelers , or on location unless otherwise indicated in the photo captions.