If you were in the market for a go-anywhere-do-anything type watch, then a stylistically versatile steel GMT on a bracelet would tick a large number of the boxes. And as far as versatile steel GMTs go, there aren’t too many choices that give quite as much as the popular replica Grand Seiko’s SBGJ203. It’s got the looks: a unique, angular and particularly well-finished 40mm case, paired with a rich dial that sets an exceptionally high bar for the competition.
There’s better detail at play, but it’s not a fake watches to peacock its virtues, or to sacrifice comfort and function in favor of style. And then there’s movement. Grand Seiko’s 9S86, launched in 2014, is a connoisseur’s choice, a well-finished automatic that beats at an accurate 5Hz rate, with an antimagnetic balance spring and 55 hours of power reserve. Not to mention the user-friendly GMT itself, which shows two time zones from central hands, and allows for quick, hour increment adjustments of the local time, a more logical implementation than the replica GMT hand adjustment, which is more common.
The SBGJ203 is the kind of watch that has me going out of my way to find flaws. You might find the finishing – particularly on the bracelet – a little too polished and showy for your tastes, and some people might find the overall style of the watch a little too conservative. However, those are two pretty subjective gripes, and if the replica Grand Seiko’s intention was to make a top-quality, everyday fake watch, then they’ve delivered on all fronts.