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”

Grand Seiko 5656-7040

Grand Seiko 5656-7040.
One of the very last of the vintage Grand Seikos, this watch is from June 1973. It is unique in being the only vintage Grand Seiko with Arabic numerals on the dial. Also with a fabulous “starlight” textured dial, and a hammered case, these come up for sale rarely.
Haven’t shot this for a long while – partly because the crystal was all scratched up. But some Polywatch arrived today, and with the addition of a bit of elbow grease, it’s as good as new!
#GSWednesday

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Grand Seiko 5646-7020

Grand Seiko 5646-7020 from August 1972.
Spotted three of these for sale on Yahoo Japan in the last couple of weeks which made me realise it has been a while since I photographed my example.

Love everything about this watch, from the gorgeous graduated green dial, to the amazing case, and the totally wacky 9-faceted crystal with the deepest cuts to be found on any vintage Grand Seiko.
Sadly the recently available pieces were not even close to being in this condition, but despite that the most recent one – that closed just two days ago – sold for ¥120,000.

Glad I picked this one up when I did – I’ve yet to see a better one.

#Seiko #GrandSeiko #グランドセイコー #セイコー #vintage #vintagewatch #seikofam #watchfam #Japan #56GS

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Grand Seiko 5645-5000

Grand Seiko 5645-5000

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Much is made of the Grand Seiko “Grammar of Design” that was introduced in 1967 with the 4420-9000. Taro Tanaka’s philosophy of watch design can be distilled down to four simple rules – all surfaces and angles of the case, dial, indices and hands should be flat; bezels were two dimensional faceted curves; no visual distortion from any angle, with cases mirror finished; and no more generic round cases. (Summary from an article on wornandwound.com). And yet… Just four years after the introduction of the 44GS series, we have this.
Breaking every “rule” in the book – with its very traditional tonneau shaped bezel-less case; pencil thin hands – black for the hour and minute, gold for the seconds; hammer-toned 18K solid gold case; a “starlight” dial… There’s not a flat highly polished surface to be found anywhere!

Probably – if one is to go off the prices these fetch on the market – one of the least loved vintage Grand Seikos there is. But one that I believe deserves a place in any serious collection.
There is also a dateless version of this watch – the 5641-5000. Typically, despite the solid gold case, you should be able to pick up a really nice one of these for well under US$2,000. In fact, if you’re quick, there’s a 5641-5000 on Yahoo Auctions right now that is closing in four hours, and priced at 158,000 Yen with no bids.

#GSWednesday

On the block – 16

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. However, sometimes there just isn’t much new worth highlighting, so that may have an impact on what gets written up.

Generally, it is becoming clear that demand for vintage Grand Seikos is outstripping supply. The Grand Seiko “First” is a good indicator of this. Whereas just a few months ago, you would typically expect to find more than half a dozen examples available on Rakuten at any one time, as of today, there is just a single (terrible) example.

As to how to go about actually purchasing from overseas, check out my article on ZenMarket.

This week, I will be highlighting just two watches. One from a dealer’s website, and one from Yahoo – there is nothing new and noteworthy on Rakuten (although a few watches that I have featured in previous posts are still available).

I will also be making an exception this week and highlighting a watch that isn’t actually a Grand Seiko (although many people do list it as such!).

Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer
Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer

Japanese dealer

Just gone live this morning on Watch CTI’s website is a listing for a Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer.

Continue reading “On the block – 16”

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

Continue reading “Vintage Grand Seiko dial layouts”