Grand Seiko 5646-7030 macro

Ok, time for that close-up of the dial of the Grand Seiko 5646-7030 that I promised you.
Just a wonderful texture that, as @etio_nono suggested in a comment on my previous post, may well be a source of inspiration for some of the modern Grand Seiko dials.
This particular watch dates back to July 1974, and is actually the latest manufactured vintage Grand Seiko currently residing in my collection.

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Grand Seiko 5646-7030

For this week’s #GSWednesday, another photo of a recent addition to the collection – the 5646-7030.

I managed to acquire this one with its original bracelet, but sadly with a missing link or two, so it can’t fit on my wrist. No worries, I thought, I’ll just remove the bracelet and I can wear it on one of my quick-release spring bar straps. Went to put on a strap, and was very surprised to find that it wouldn’t fit.
Nearly all vintage Grand Seikos have 18mm lugs. But this one is just 17mm, so at the moment, I can’t wear it! Back into the box it goes then.

I’ll post a close up of the textured dial later in the day. This is a fabulous watch that is seriously undervalued in my opinion. Picked this one up for a song, and they are not too hard to find.

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Grand Seiko SBGA129

And last, but my no means least, for #macromonday, what I think it probably the most incredible detail on the Grand Seiko SBGA129 of them all – the minisculely raised platform on the top of the hour marker. I’m not entirely sure just how small the step is, bit it’s without a doubt the smallest perfectly detailed feature of any watch I’ve shot to date.
No other manufacturer that I’m aware of even attempts something like this.

Quite remarkable.

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Grand Seiko SBGA129

Next thing to focus on regarding the finishing of the Grand Seiko SBGA129 is the dial texture. Similar to that of the famed “Snowflake” SBGA011, or SBGA125 “Blizzard”, and yet still unique. It is worth remembering that this dial was created for a limited edition of just 369 watches.

And what about that printing? Or another demonstration of perfect – and it truly is perfect – “Zaratsu” black polishing on the logo? Or the structure of the grey second hand?

Everywhere you look, finishing of a quality that you would be hard pressed to find in a watch from another brand costing not just 10x, but even 100x the $5,000 these watches are now changing hands for.
But I’m saving the best until last. Stay tuned for the final post in this #macromonday series, coming up in a few hours time…

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Grand Seiko “First” Chronometer dial logo variants

For #GSWednesday, a look at the three different ways that the Grand Seiko logo was represented on the dial of the Grand Seiko “First” Chronometer.

It is widely accepted that the earliest dials had printed logos. The printed example shown at the top here is actually from my stainless steel 3180, the provenance of which is unconfirmed (a deep dive into that will be coming in due course). You are about as likely to come across a printed dial regular (filled gold) 3180 as you are to find a hen having recently been for a check up at the dentist tucking into the droppings of a rocking horse. If you have one you are considering selling, do not hesitate to contact me.
Next up, in the middle of this composite image, is the most recent arrival to my collection – a wonderful example of a carved logo dial. The carved logo dialled watches are found with cases dating from 1960 and 1961. It’s worth remembering that these logos were carved by hand. No programmable CNC machines in the early 60’s!
Whether apocryphal or not, the legend goes that too many dials were ruined by mistakes in the hand carving process that Seiko moved to a dial less prone to ruination due to manual error, and started using applied logos.
Regardless, over the last year or so, I have probably seen something in the order of 50-100 examples of an applied logo 3180 for every carved logo.

An example of an applied logo dial can be seen in the bottom of the image.
As should be clear from the above commentary, applied logo 3180’s are very common compared to printed and carved logo examples. But don’t take from this that there are lots of them out there. There are not – certainly not in good condition. In a single month, if I’m lucky I see maybe one example of an applied logo 3180 the I would be happy to own.
Right now, it seems that everyone is after good examples of the very first vintage Grand Seiko. It’s hardly surprising – this is a truly iconic watch of the 20th century, and it seems that of late, demand for them is greatly outpacing the supply.

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