Vintage Grand Seiko collection

Some may feel it is a little early for a #GSWednesday post, but it’s gone 2am in Tokyo already, so why not get started 🙂 Featured here is almost the entirety of my vintage Grand Seiko collection. I left out the dodgy black dialed 57GS’s, and a rather scrappy 5722 cap gold, which left me with a nice round 60 to share!
After a lot of research, I believe there were 122 distinct models released in the vintage era, so I’m basically half way there now! I’ve come a long way from the original plan which was just to get a single example of each movement that was used. I doubt I’ll ever complete the full set, but as they say – “never say never” 😂
OK. So who can name every single model pictured here? 😉

#Seiko #GrandSeiko #グランドセイコー #セイコー #vintage #vintagewatch #seikofam #watchfam

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Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180

It suddenly dawned on me that whilst I’ve posted quite a few shots lately of the rarer Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180 variants, it had been quite some time since I shot the more common “raised logo” dial from the collection.
There seems to be an almost insatiable demand for these watches at the moment, with good examples now selling in the upper 300 to lower 400k Japanese Yen range. That would have been unthinkable just six short months ago, so if you come across one of these at a good price, don’t hang about!
#Seiko #GrandSeiko #グランドセイコー #セイコー #vintage #vintagewatch

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On the block – 27

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

For this week’s “On the block”, where I highlight three interesting vintage Grand Seiko’s on the market in Japan, I’ve selected one watch from Yahoo Japan auctions, one from Rakuten, and one from an established dealer

For those of you not familiar with how to purchase from Japan (very nearly all sellers there will not ship overseas), do check out my detailed article on ZenMarket that I posted back in November 2016.

As always, I will illustrate this post with images of watches from my own collection. Click through the links provided to see the details of the watches actually available for sale.

Rakuten

Starting off this week with a watch that is listed on Rakuten – an early “Grand Seiko” dialed 6146-8000.

6146-8000 Grand Seiko dial
6146-8000 Grand Seiko dial

For the first few months of their production, the 6145- and 6146-8000 had different branding on the dial to all subsequent 61GS series watches, in that underneath the “GS” Grand Seiko logo was the text “Grand Seiko”. There are four different models with this dial, with both the 6145- and 6146-8000 being available in steel and cap gold cases. Also of interest on the dial is the fact that the Suwa factory logo underneath the text is of a different design to that found on the later watches. Continue reading “On the block – 27”

Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180 AD dial

Close up of the logo on the Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180 AD dial. See previous post for the full dial shot and background to this rare piece!
#Seiko #GrandSeiko #グランドセイコー #セイコー #vintage #vintagewatch #seikofam #watchfam #3180 #gs9 #gs9club

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Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180 AD dial

Well here it is. The incredibly illusive Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180 with the AD dial.
This is a watch that I wasn’t even aware of the existence of until Yoshihiko Honda’s recent article on the 3180 that was published in issue 11 of Low Beat magazine in Japan.
Quite how rare this AD dialed variant of the first Grand Seiko is, is I think something that remains to be established. Whilst it is possible that some have changed hands without people even realising it, I have only been able to track down five examples that have been advertised on Yahoo Auctions in the last two years, and I’m pretty sure that two watches have actually each featured twice in those listings.

The most striking thing about the dial is that – like that of my stainless steel example – it has a sunburst finishing. All other 3180 variants have a matt finished dial. The other immediately obvious difference is that the colour of the hands and hour indices is consistent. On the regular SD-dialed raised logo 3180, the hands are always a much duller colour than the indices. I’ll post some comparison shots in the coming days.

Does this finally complete the full set of 3180 filled gold dial variations? Only time will tell!
#Seiko #GrandSeiko #グランドセイコー #セイコー #vintage #vintagewatch #seikofam #watchfam #gs9 #gs9club #3180 #GrandSeikoFirst #AD

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On the block – 26

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

For this week’s “On the block”, where I highlight three interesting vintage Grand Seiko’s on the market in Japan, I’ve selected all three watches from Yahoo Japan auctions.

For those of you not familiar with how to purchase from Yahoo Japan (very nearly all sellers there will not ship overseas), do check out my detailed article on ZenMarket that I posted back in November 2016.

This week, we start off with an example of the extremely rare example of a Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180. As per usual, all images in this article will be of watches from my own collection.

Grand Seiko Chronometer "First" / 3180
Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180

Having recently done an exhaustive search of all Grand Seikos recently sold on Yahoo Japan auctions, I am confident in saying that for only the third time in two years, a print logo dialed example of the Grand Seiko “First” has become available.

Continue reading “On the block – 26”

Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180 with print logo dial

So this arrived just in time for this week’s #GSWednesday.

The Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / 3180 with printed logo dial.

These watches are incredibly difficult to track down. In fact they are so rare, I’m fairly certain that there has only been a single (legitimate) printed dial 3180 sold on Yahoo Japan auctions in the last two years, and that example was in a pretty sorry state.

This arrived today in a box from Japan that contained a couple of other watches, along with plenty of reading material that will be keeping Google Translate busy over the next few days! Check out my Instagram Stories for sneak peaks at those.

On opening the package, I left this watch until the very last. Being careful to first reveal the back side, and then finally turning it over to see the dial in all its glory for the first time. I spent maybe 30 minutes just staring at it in sheer wonder.

It is hard to express in words my sincere gratitude to both the dealer who sourced this watch for me, and the collector who so very kindly agreed to allow it to leave their collection. I am eternally grateful to them both.

The 4580-7010 VFA now has a rival for the crown jewel of the collection of 61 vintage Grand Seikos that I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to put together over the last couple of years.

#Seiko #GrandSeiko #グランドセイコー #セイコー #vintage #vintagewatch #seikofam #watchfam #Japan

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Photo taken at: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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On the block – 25

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

 

When I first started writing these weekly posts, the intention was to feature one watch from each of the three main Japanese channels for acquiring vintage Grand Seikos – Yahoo Japan auctions, Rakuten, and individual dealer websites.

In recent weeks it’s been very challenging to keep to this format, as sometimes there simply aren’t significantly interesting pieces from each channel.

This week however, I’m actually spoilt for choice on all three!

For those who don’t regularly read these articles, if you want to understand how to go about acquiring a watch from Japan, when the vast majority of sellers will not ship overseas, do read my article on ZenMarket which provides all the details.

As usual, photos in this article are of pieces from my own collection, so without further ado, onto the watches. Starting with a really special one.

Japanese dealer 1

Grand Seiko 6185-8010 VFA
Grand Seiko 6185-8010 VFA

These come up very rarely indeed. In fact, the listing that I am going to link to from a dealer’s website is only the second time I have seen this particular model on offer for sale in the last two years. The last time one came up? I bought it.

Continue reading “On the block – 25”

On the block – 24

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

Something different for this week’s “On the block”, as for a change I will be taking a look at completed auctions from Yahoo Japan, rather than those about to close.

The market for Grand Seiko “Firsts” post-Baselworld 2017

In particular, I have decided to focus on auctions for the first Grand Seiko – the “3180” – that have taken place since Baselworld 2017, when Grand Seiko announced the limited edition “re-creation” pieces that are based on the original Grand Seiko Chronometer, the SBGW251, SBGW252, and SBGW253.

The buzz around the announcement of these pieces, along with the more strategic corporate approach going forward where Grand Seiko will be treated as a totally independent brand from Seiko, created a lot of interest in the original vintage watches, and had a dramatic effect on the market.

I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that the prices that good (and – as we shall see later – some bad) 3180’s have been selling for has more or less doubled since immediately prior to Baselworld in March 2017. This has had both positive and negative affects on the market.

On the positive side, the increased demand for the Grand Seiko “First” – whilst resulting in an increase in the prices that they are selling for – has also tempted more people to put their watches on the market.

Disconcertingly though, the increased demand has also resulted in what can only be described as “doctored” or “franken” watches surfacing.

Never before has the term “caveat emptor” been more applicable to hunting down these pieces – particularly if you are after the early, rarer and highly coveted, carved or printed logo dial variants.

Continue reading “On the block – 24”