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? 😉
Grand Seiko 5646-7010 with blue dial and faceted crystal.
Here’s another piece from the vintage Grand Seiko collection that I’ve not shot in over a year. This is one of the NOS “full set” pieces I have that is complete with its original box, strap, buckle and all paperwork.
The one question mark re this piece however is the crystal. The seller claimed that this was a Wako limited edition, and hence the faceted crystal. Not entirely sure whether that claim is based on fact, and hard to verify given this is from 1973, but it would be nice if it were!
I needed a shot of this in portrait orientation for a little project I have been working on that will be revealed for Grand Seiko Wednesday tomorrow. See you then… #Seiko #GrandSeiko #グランドセイコー #セイコー #vintage #vintagewatch #seikofam #watchfam #watch #watchphotography
Another recent addition to the vintage Grand Seiko collection is this grey dialed 5646-8000 from April 1972. Makes a nice pairing with its similarly dialed date only 5645-8000 that I featured on this feed back in February.
As you can see, this one is complete with its original bracelet, sadly too small to fit on my fat wrists!
#Seiko #GrandSeiko #グランドセイコー #セイコー #vintage #vintagewatch #seikofam #watchfam #gs9 #gs9club
To date, by far the cheapest addition to the collection, and I had been after one of these for a while.
Patination, where the entire dial changes colour over time, is not something that is common to vintage Grand Seikos. For some reason, certain examples of the 5646-7010 seem to turn from white (the original colour of this dial) to various shades of yellow and orange. This particular example is quite a deep orange.
If you’re interested in picking one up, they do appear quite regularly on Yahoo Auctions, and can be obtained very cheaply. Well, at least they could prior to my alerting everyone to their existence with this post. 😂
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!
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.
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.
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.