On the block – 17

A weekly series of posts highlighting interesting Grand Seiko watches on the market

“On the block” is the section of the website where I share some examples of vintage Grand Seikos currently available on the Japanese market.

I aim to publish a new post in this category each Friday, highlighting a vintage Grand Seiko of interest from each of the three main channels for acquiring these pieces from Japan – Yahoo auctions, Rakuten, and individual dealers’ websites.

Grand Seiko "First" - 3180
Grand Seiko “First” – 3180

Demand for the first vintage Grand Seiko has clearly increased substantially since the Baselworld 2017 release of the re-creations of the original watch as limited editions in platinum, gold, and steel.

Prior to Baselworld, prices for the “3180’s” had been steadily increasing, with good examples of the applied logo dials selling for up to 200,000 Yen.

Since Baselworld though, prices have sky-rocketed. And I don’t think it’s hard to understand why.

Continue reading “On the block – 17”

Grand Seiko 6156-8040

Grand Seiko 6156-8040.
Regular followers will know that I am a huge fan of the 61GS “Specials”. These watches were regulated to +/-3 seconds per day – only the VFA’s were more accurate.
One Special in particular has been eluding me since I started collecting vintage Grand Seikos – the 6156-8040. With it’s fantastic lug-less case, and spectacular textured dial (more on that in a later post for #macromonday), this to me is by far the most special Special. I was delighted to be able to pick one of these up a couple of weeks ago after more than a year of looking for one.
With a manufacturing date of August 1974, this is the youngest vintage Grand Seiko in my collection.

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Grand Seiko 4520-7000

Grand Seiko 4520-7000 in stainless steel and with white linen dial.
There are actually three – possibly four – different vintage Grand Seikos all with the reference number 4520-7000.

I have previously posted both the cap gold cased version, and also the steel cased version with the (very) dark blue dial.
Claims are made for a black dialed version, but I am not convinced yet that this truly exists. There are redialed ones out there, but the blue version is so close to black, that I think possibly people confuse them.
Picked this one up for a song. Sure, the dial has some light staining (that looks a lot worse in this very carefully lit photo compared to what you would see in normal use), but just check out that case. Wonderful.

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Grand Seiko 6146-8000

Grand Seiko 6146-8000 in cap gold with early Grand Seiko dial.
The earliest 61GS series watches – this one is from December 1967 – had dials that were laid out in the same way as the late 57GS’s, 44GS’s and 62GS’s. That is, with Seiko up top, and the GS logo and Grand Seiko text down bottom.
Then, just a few months later, the dial layout was changed – the Grand Seiko text was removed, and replaced with the movement description (“Hi Beat 36000”), and “Automatic” added under “SEIKO”. Apart from the VFA’s, these early 61GS models were the last vintage Grand Seikos to actually include the full branding anywhere on the dial or case.
For more background to the dial layout changes that happened during the lifespan of the vintage models, check out my website (link in bio) and click on the “General articles” menu option.
It is extremely rare to come across a cap gold 61GS with the Grand Seiko dial. As such, I snapped this one up despite the fact it wasn’t in top condition – although to be fair, it was an absolute bargain because most people were put off by the apparent state of it.
Ideally needs a new crystal, and a bit of TLC to remove the remainder of the tarnishing on the case (I’ve got rid of the worst of the tarnishing – you should have seen the state of it when it first arrived!). Very happy to have been able to secure one of these for the collection.

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