Vintage Grand Seiko dial layouts

As I write this post, there is a lot of buzz around from people anxious to see what Seiko reveal at Baselworld tomorrow (Thursday 23rd March). The top rumour this year is that there is going to be a significant change to the dial layout on Grand Seikos.

There are three dial elements that are common across the entire modern Grand Seiko range (except for certain historical re-issues, for obvious reasons) – at 12 o’clock you will find the text “SEIKO”, and at 6 o’clock there is the “GS” logo above the gothic “Grand Seiko” text.

The Grand Seiko community has been very active in discussing what might be revealed tomorrow, and some interesting Photoshop mock-ups have been shared as people try to second guess what the change (if any!) will be. Following a discussion on one of the forums, I thought it was an appropriate time to summarize how the dial layout changed during the course of vintage Grand Seiko lifespan.

I will only be focusing on the three major elements on the dial – the Seiko text, the Grand Seiko text, and the GS logo.

So without further ado, onto the history lesson…

Grand Seiko Chronometer/”First”/3180 – all models

Grand Seiko Chronometer
Grand Seiko Chronometer

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Ever since I first started sharing on Instagram my vintage Grand Seiko collection, people have been contacting me to ask where I manage to find these pieces. Naturally as a collector, one of the things you have to consider carefully is sharing with others how and where you acquire your watches. The danger of course being that the more people who know how to buy these, the bigger chance that you will end up bidding against them when the next watch you want turns up!

Grand Seiko 6145-8030
Grand Seiko 6145-8030

Up until recently, I have been reluctant to “spill the beans” on the secrets to acquiring vintage Grand Seikos as I was still building my collection. I sometimes even questioned the sensibility of sharing my watches on Instagram as I bought them. Several people mentioned to me that my Instagram feed may well be responsible for introducing new collectors to this little niche of the watch collecting world – there is no doubt that demand has risen, which has led to the prices being paid for these watches increasing (substantially in some cases) over the course of 2016.

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