Friday, March 1, 2019

Which Grand Seiko Should You Wear for the Zombie Apocalypse?

We all know that when the zombie apocalypse comes, only a Grand Seiko will do. Forget Breguet — you don't want anything delicate on your wrist. A Speedmaster isn’t a great idea because the moon is the last place you're going to. As for a Submariner, you can pretty much bet every other zombie will be wearing one. How are you going to feel when something wearing the same Rolex as you tries to eat you?

A Grand Seiko, a must for the
zombie apocalypse. 
A moonphase? That would be useful in a werewolf inhabited world but a moonphase is only going to make your watch harder to read in a pinch.

A solar powered quartz watch sounds promising until you consider the possibility you may be trapped indoors for longer than any human should be.

I'm going to have to kiss my Grail watch, a Jaquet Droz’ Charming Bird, goodbye. But that's for the best because with zombies all around, you don't want a watch that makes any noise. (Minute repeaters are a bad idea, too.)

Surviving the zombie apocalypse without a watch is impossible. There will be plenty of times when you're going to need to meet with somebody at the water tower at precisely 2 o'clock, or you're going to utter those dire words, "If I'm not back in exactly thirty minutes, leave without me." Having a watch will also give you a clue about how much daylight is left before sundown.

When it comes to zombie apocalypse watches, Grand Seiko is the only way to go. The question then becomes, which Grand Seiko is best for the zombie apocalypse?

A Spring Drive diver might come to mind because it's waterproof (I know — water resistant, but who's going to argue with you about that in a zombie-infested world?), shock resistant, accurate, and quick to read.

If you're going the diver route, I'd suggest an automatic. You may not have zenful minutes in the morning to wind your watch, like you did in the old world.

Ordinarily, I'd say that a Grand Seiko Spring Drive diver is too large a watch for people with thin wrists, but fashion is the least of your worries after you're transformed from being your friends' and family's dinner companion to their next meal.

If you can't get your hands on a diver, a Spring Drive in general is a good option. Spring Drive accuracy is generally +8 to -1 seconds a day, and often even better.

Spring drives can go for long periods between servicing, and chances are that any watchmakers from the previous world are going to be busy doing other things.

Is the Grand Seiko SBGA229 the best watch for the
zombie apocalypse? I think so. 
What about a quartz model, especially if accuracy is your destination? I'm nodding my head as I write this, because having a watch that's accurate to within ten seconds a year (five seconds a year for some models) is helpful. You don't have to worry about setting it. Ever. Until the battery runs out, and that can be a problem. Battery life might be five years, You might find spares, but I wouldn't count on that. Judging from what I've seen on The Walking Dead, the most instructive portrayal of the world after, the zombie apocalypse will go on significantly longer than your quartz watch will run. So maybe not a 9F quartz.

Besides, even if you're wearing a quartz Grand Seiko, chances are your fellow survivors won't be wearing one. You're going to have to synchronize watches before going out on any trek or assignment, just like the spies did in the 1960's television series, Mission Impossible. (If you've always wanted to say, "let's synchronize watches," the zombie apocalypse is for you.) Synchronizing your beautifully perfect quartz watch with somebody else’s Timex — that won’t work.

Hi-beat watches, ticking away at 36,000 breaths per hour, are brilliant in a normal world, but despite their high accuracy, they're too fragile to wear when you're swinging an axe almost every waking hour.

I like the idea of a vintage Grand Seiko. Vintage Grand Seikos have been around for decades and have proven their robustness. They’re tough and have already endured a lot more than we can imagine. Because vintage Grand Seikos have traveled through  history they’re filled with spiritual wisdom that might save your skin in a pinch in ways that we just can’t imagine now. It bolsters the spirit, too, to have something pretty to look at, and I can guarantee that beauty is going to be in short supply during the zombie apocalypse. A watch that’s got history, charming looks, and the right vibes makes sense to me.

When you’re sitting around the campfire whispering with your fellow survivors about the watch they’re wearing, your vintage Grand Seiko will spark enlightening conversation. A vintage Grand Seiko will be a conversation starter, so much more interesting than the usual, “How many zombies did you kill today?”

The first thing you should do in a zombie apocalypse is
abandon your minute repeater.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
But we are talking about survival here, and vintage Grand Seikos have mostly lost their water resistance. I’m not sure how vintage Grand Seikos will hold up to the shock that accompanies each zombie kill, either. Their springs and other parts are old.

Vintage Grand Seikos might look cool on an actor’s wrist in a retro kind of way in a zombie movie, but this is the real world we’re talking about. A vintage watch won’t cut it, unless sentiment rocks you more than survival.

Circling back, I think a Spring Drive automatic diver is the way to go. With that in mind, I nominate the SBGA229, waterproof to 200 meters. Some Spring Drive divers are made out of titanium, but this model is stainless steel, heftier than titanium — you may need to clobber a zombie with your watch one day. The Lumi Brite hands will give you hours of night time use, and the dust resistance — it goes without saying that’s essential. The SBGA229 has a rotating bezel, which is helpful for timing things. As for the mirror finishing of the Zaratsu polishing, like the rest of the world it’s going to be quickly scarred. But your Grand Seiko Spring Drive dive watch will work for as long as you’re alive, which I hope will be until the score is humans 1, zombies 0.

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