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 43999

From August 1963, a very early SD-dialed Grand Seiko 43999 “Self-dater”. This was the first Grand Seiko to have both Seiko and Grand Seiko branding on the dial.
#GSWednesday

Oh! I almost forgot to mention that the 43999 is also the only Grand Seiko in history (including both the vintage and modern eras) to have “Made in Japan” written on the dial.

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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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State of the collection – the 57GS movements

A write up of the vintage Grand Seiko watches in my collection that utilise the movements from the 57GS series

Between now and the end of the year I will 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!

Macro detail of the 5722B movement
Macro detail of the 5722B movement

Following on from the first Grand Seiko, based on the 3180 movement, were a series of watches now categorised as being in the 57GS family.

Three different movements were utilised over the period that the 57GS were on sale, and the three watches that I have representing these movements were made in 1963, 1965 and 1967.

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Grand Seiko 57GS variants

Here’s a shot featuring the three generations of Grand Seiko 57’s. On top, the 43999. This watch is the SD dial version, and the serial number dates it to August 1963, which is believed to be the first month of production for this model. As mentioned previously, personally I like to consider this model in its own 43 series rather than bundling it in with the others!

Underneath on the left, a 5722-9990 from 1965, and on the right, a 5722-9991 from 1967.

This is by no means representative of all variants of the vintage 57GS series, but it does cover the full range of calibres that were used. The 430 in the 43999, the 5722A in the 5722-9990, and finally the 5722B in the 5722-9991.

TBC

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