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Strap Guide: Grand Seiko SBGM221

Strap Guide: Grand Seiko SBGM221

Strap Guide written by @rjkamaThank you RJ!


The SBGM221 is one of those watches that I instantly fell in love with. The creamy dial is much more complex than it would seem, going from a cappuccino brown to almost a porcelain egg shell. Whereas some watches are offered on strap and bracelet, this one was never meant to be on anything but leather.  This, and the neutral dial makes it the prototypical ‘Strap Monster’.

A watch too dressy to be a sports watch, and too sporty to be a dress watch, it is the perfect business casual piece that can be dressed up or dressed down based on the strap. I anticipated the watch to take on a more casual or formal countenance with different straps, but what I didn’t expect when playing with the different options, was how much the dial changes with the strap colours.

Glossy Caramel Crocodile Signature

I think that this is the strap that this watch should come on from factory. There is an elegance factor that it brings, along with an air of luxury. The brown tone also echoes in the dial, and the gloss serves as an extension of glimmer that the Zaratsu polishing gives to the case. I think this has been the one to stay on the watch the longest.

Nubuck Black Ostrich Signature

Mocha Crazy Horse Side-Stitch

Again, bringing out the café au lait notes in the dial, the Mocha strap not only enhances the colour of the dial, but brings a casual ruggedness to the piece.  At 39mm, it walks that perfect line between casual and dress.  I really like how it manages to reduce the formality, while still maintaining the luxury feel and essence of the watch.  With this one, I think that the best is yet to come, as I anticipate the eventual patina to add even more depth and interest to the overall look and feel of the watch.

Denim Babele Slim

It has always amazed me how much impact a small splash of colour can have on a watch. That little bit of blue that the GMT hand provides has always provided some visual interest, but really pops when you put a blue strap on this piece. Again the brown notes seem to disappear and the porcelain dial and colder tones seem to take over.  This is a completely different watch on this strap. It also imparts a fun, casual personality to the watch, making it more T-shirt and Jeans appropriate.

Olive Green Cordovan Slim

Green is the new black lately in the watch world. I was really impressed with how deep and complex the shade of green is here, and how it manages to be luxurious and casual at the same time.  The earth tones of the dial really come out to play on this strap.  This is another one that I think will age well and develop a beautiful patina. 

Extra Information

  • Reference: Grand Seiko SBGM221
  • Case Size: 39.5mm 
  • Lug-to-Lug: 46.3mm
  • Thickness: 13.7mm
  • Lug Width: 19mm

If you enjoyed this Strap Guide, be sure to check out the rest of our Strap Guides for more inspirations!


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