Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Divers
2017 GPHG Sports Category Finalist
Grand Seiko enters deep waters, and into the world of the professional diver, with an imposing, functional, high grade wristwatch which bears all the brand's hallmarks of watchmaking excellence.
In what has been a milestone year for the Grand Seiko brand, in which it has left the family home to set out on its own as a fully fledged independent watch brand, 2017 also welcomed its very first professional diver's watch. To qualify that statement, this is a 600m diver, and while Grand Seiko does already have a 200m, its limits have now been considerably increased, and because of that, the new Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Divers represents serious competition to rival the great and the good of high end dive watches.
Encased in a huge 46.9mm titanium case, it is bold and uncompromising, its angular faceted surfaces with brushed and polished finishing, and the robust, tactile unidirectional rotating bezel giving it a prominent, purposeful character. The dial features too are large and voluminous, for optimal legibility in low light conditions, with wide hands and luminous filled hour indices standing out against the black tapisserie-like background of the dial.
With the superb Grand Seiko 9S Hi-Beat self winding movement inside, operating with a reserve of over 55 hours, at 36,000vph, it's a magnificent beast which combines durability, reliability and practicality, with Haute Horlogerie standards of manufacturing throughout.
In a category which is as diverse as it is competitive, among the six preselected finalists in the GPHG 2017 Sports category, it's got to be a strong contender, and if recent trends are anything to go by, the jury has shown its appreciation for a quality diver with Tudor's Pelagos winning in 2015, and Eberhard's Scafograf 300 in 2016. However there are other fascinating watches vying for the same glory, including entries from Hublot, Ulysse Nardin and the otherworldly MB&F, but I still think the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver's can give them all a run for their money. It can win the Aiguille award, but will it?
The Watch Press prediction
I'm going to say no, but that is not an easy call, and I feel I could well be eating my words. This is a truly excellent watch, from a revered specialist watch brand.
BUCKLE: Folding clasp
MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 55 h, 36'000 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date
SIZE: ø 46.9 mm
THICKNESS: 17 mm
WATERPROOFNESS: 600 m
PRICE EXCL.VAT: Est. c. CHF 10'990