I don’t know many people in this modern day who are thinking ahead enough to strategically purchase a thing that will last them their entire lifetime.
And if there was such a person, what would that even be? What item would have the style, endurance and functionality to last a lifetime?
An obvious, and perhaps the only obvious answer would be a watch.
Now in my mid-fifties, I like the idea of buying quality that will last. But I would have liked that sentiment a year ago when I started binge shopping for quality watches.
And I would have liked that mindset in my twenties, though I could not afford a nice time piece back then. But perhaps I would have waited and researched and saved.
Today I saw a video about a Grand Seiko watch, the Grand Seiko SBGD001 on Watchfinder & Co. Watchfinder is a great resource for watch enthusiasts:
What does SBGD001 mean? It is a reference number which is sufficient to look up and find this watch online or to ask about it by this reference number at any Authorized Dealer otherwise referred to as an AD. Just like there are authorized dealers for Rolex and Omega and the like, there are AD’s for Seiko/Grand Seiko as well.
During last years watch binge, I had been looking at the Grand Seiko line which branched off of Seiko in 1960 as their luxury brand. I had seen some videos on the Grand Seiko SBGA211 also referred to as the ‘Snowflake’ with Spring Drive technology but was never convinced enough to pull the trigger on this or on any of their current models.
The same may be true of the SBGD001 which I have yet to see in person. But from this video it visually represents everything I would love in a one time forever watch. Here is how I broke down its qualification.
Technology: The Grand Seiko Spring Drive technology may be the best, most refined watch technology ever to be created. You may only notice it in the smooth flow of the second hand, but you will know that it is there keeping the most precise time in this genre of watch.
Craftmanship: As you can see in the video, the craftmanship of this watch is impeccable, probably unmatched. It reminds me of what the greatest samurai would look for in a sword. Perfection in every detail.
Luxury: Platinum with a diamond dust dial – enough said.
Elegance: The elegance of the Grand Seiko SBGD001 is subtle and refined. Perfectly paired with a suit and tie or more formally with a tuxedo.
Diversity: The SBGD001 can also work with more casual wear. Especially with the flash of the blue second hand giving it versatility. I really think this watch can be perfectly suited to any occasion.
Subtlety: This is something that I really like. Only I and a rare few people would know that I was wearing an expensive watch of the highest quality. Unlike Rolex which blares in your face “I’m a Rolex”. This watch can pass undetected. Rolex watches, though high end and wonderful in every way, are not the best in any one way other than in brand recognition. This fact along with the difficulty in attaining so many of their watches, has made them targets for thieves. So much so, that AD’s sell them with a warning to get insurance and if held up, to just hand the watch over to the thief and let insurance replace it for you rather than risk bodily harm.
The aspects I don’t know about this watch are “cost of upkeep”, how much does it cost to get a watch this expensive with this level of precise mechanization serviced? “Longevity”, how long does Spring Drive technology last and what can go wrong? “Insurance”, how much does a watch this expensive cost to insure? And if lost or stolen, how easy is it to get it replaced. “Value Retention”, what will this watch be worth in 20 years?
I imagine most of the answers to these questions can be discovered, but I probably will not bother to find them out simply because my recent watch binge has taken me out of the market for a Grand Seiko Spring Drive watch and out of the market for my one and done watch… for now!
If I were to recommend a more cost effective one and done watch to you however, it would be the Rolex Submariner “No Date” with the black face and black bezel.
This watch was not only made popular by every man’s fashion icon ‘Bond, James Bond’, but it was shown to pair beautifully with every outfit and situation possible from casual to formal, under water to fire and air. The no date Sub is a watch I could have saved for in my 20’s, purchased, and still had it be my perfect one and done watch today. Plus it’s value would have increased over time, making it a good investment watch. The no date and date Submariners are both beautiful, I only recommend the no date because it stands out less as a Rolex making it more subtle and less enviable and the no date costs a $1,000 less. Both, however, make a nice one and done watch for under $10,000. And that, as a total cost to your watch collection, is music to any watch enthusiast’s ears.