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”

On the block – 23

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

“On the block” this week features a couple of watches currently available on Yahoo Japan auctions, starting off with an example of this…

Grand Seiko Chronometer carved dial
Grand Seiko Chronometer carved dial

The carved dial variant of the Grand Seiko “First” is a highly sought after piece. They rarely come to market, and when they do, they of course generate a lot of interest. Continue reading “On the block – 23”

On the block – 22

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

This week’s “On the block” features two watches up for auction on Yahoo Japan, and one – very special – watch that is available with a Japanese dealer.

A guide detailing how to purchase these watches from outside Japan can be found here.

Before we get onto this week’s featured watches, just a quick reminder that I do have a few watches from my own collection that I am looking to sell, which you can find details of in the For Sale section of this site.

Grand Seiko 4420-9990
Grand Seiko 4420-9990

First up, on Yahoo Japan, is an auction that is attracting a lot of interest, and understandably so.

Continue reading “On the block – 22”

FOR SALE – Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / “3180” in Stainless Steel. US$10,000

Grand Seiko First Stainless Steel
Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” in Stainless Steel

Note – none of the photos in this listing have been “touched up” in Photoshop to hide blemishes or imperfections. What you see is what you get.

In all likelihood, anyone who is potentially interested in acquiring an example of this watch will be fairly knowledgeable about it, but I do want to be absolutely open regarding what is – and what is not – known about these pieces. So before going into detail about the specific example that I am selling, some background.

Continue reading “FOR SALE – Grand Seiko Chronometer “First” / “3180” in Stainless Steel. US$10,000″

On the block – 18

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

In this week’s “On the block”, rather than pick a single listing from each of the three main channels for purchasing vintage Grand Seikos from Japan – that is, Yahoo Japan auction, Rakuten, and individual dealer websites – I’m going to highlight three listings all from Yahoo Japan auctions that will be very interesting to watch over the weekend.

All three listings are for examples of the very first vintage Grand Seiko Chronometer, often referred to simply as the “First”, or alternatively by the reference number of its movement, the “3180”.

Grand Seiko "3180" logo variations
Grand Seiko “3180” logo variations

For the first time that I can remember, this week on Yahoo Auctions there are examples of Printed, Carved and Applied “Grand Seiko” logo dials. All three auctions close Sunday evening Tokyo time -if you have the money, this is an amazing opportunity to pick up a complete set of 3180’s within just a couple of hours bidding.

Or is it?

Continue reading “On the block – 18”

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”

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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