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.

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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.

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Grand Seiko 4420-9000

Grand Seiko 4420-9000 early “Diashock” dial

Instagram

View in Instagram ⇒

Yesterday’s watch was about as far from the “Grammar of Design” that you could get.
Here’s where it all started in 1967, with the earliest 44GS model that followed the dial layout of the 5722-9991 with “Diashock” printed below “Grand Seiko”. Later variants of the all too short-lived 44GS series did not have the “Diashock” text, with the logo for the Daini Seikosha company taking its place.

On the block – 14

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.

This week continues the normal format of highlighting one watch available from each of the three main channels that it is possible to remotely source watches from Japan – Yahoo Japan auctions, Rakuten, and websites of individual dealers.

Japanese Dealer

They don’t come any better than this…

Grand Seiko 4580-7010 VFA
Grand Seiko 4580-7010 VFA

This week’s featured vintage Grand Seiko from a Japanese dealer’s website should need no introduction to regular followers – it’s only the second example to surface in the last eighteen months of what I believe to be the absolute pinnacle of any vintage Grand Seiko collection. The 4580-7010 VFA.

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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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On the block – 5

Fifth in a weekly series of posts highlighting interesting Grand Seiko watches on the market

The vintage Grand Seiko market

This column took a break last week due to the Christmas and New Year holidays. Things are still a little quiet out there at the moment, and this week I’ll just be highlighting a pair of watches – one from Yahoo auctions, and one from a dealer’s website. Basically, there is nothing new and noteworthy on Rakuten this week.

To make up for the lack of a Rakuten recommendation, I will do a quick wrap-up of the watches I featured in the first four “On the block” posts. It is quite interesting – so do read through to the end!

The Yahoo piece will be linked through Zenmarket – see my post on them here for details as to why I use this service. Watches available with dealers will be linked to directly, and again – refer to my ZenMarket post linked above to see how to purchase those. Images used will be from my own collection to give an indication as to the watches being highlighted, but of course click through the links to see images of the actual watch being offered.

Japanese dealer

This week’s featured watch from a Japanese dealer is what must be the best looking 6186 VFA that I’ve seen in a while.

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State of the collection – the 44GS movement

A write up of the vintage Grand Seiko watches in my collection that utilise the 4420B movement.

Note quite sticking to my original planned schedule, I will continue to be posting articles on my collection of vintage Grand Seikos.

Since there are over 40 pieces in the collection, it makes sense to break this write-up over several articles. Each post will cover a specific movement – or set of movements – from the vintage Grand Seiko releases, and include photos of the watches I have that utilise that movement.

Whilst I don’t intend these articles to provide a comprehensive and thoroughly researched scholarly history of vintage Grand Seikos, I will share some knowledge on the pieces that I have picked up over the course of the last year. If I get anything wrong, please don’t hesitate to let me know!

The Grand Seiko 4420B movement
The Grand Seiko 4420B movement

Developed from the 44 King Seiko Chronometer that used the earlier 4420A movement, the Grand Seiko 44 series were the first Grand Seikos from the Daini Seikosha company, and launched in 1966.

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