On the block – 20

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

Due to time constraints, a shorter column this week that features just a single watch currently available on Yahoo Japan. If you need some guidance and advice as to how to go about buying watches from Japan, check out my feature on ZenMarket.

I was actually hoping to include this listing in last week’s VFA round-up, but the seller hadn’t re-listed it. It’s a rather special Grand Seiko 6186-8000-G VFA that has been on-and-off the market for the last few weeks.

Grand Seiko 6186-8000-G VFA
Grand Seiko 6186-8000-G VFA from my own collection

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On the block – 19

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

Grand Seiko 6185, 6186 and 4580 VFA's
Grand Seiko 6185, 6186 and 4580 VFA’s

For this week’s On the Block, I thought it would be interesting to do a round-up of the Grand Seiko VFA’s that are currently available on the market in Japan. The reason for focusing on the VFA’s is that I can’t recall a week where there has been such variety for sale.

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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.

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Grand Seiko 6156-8040

Grand Seiko 6156-8040.
Regular followers will know that I am a huge fan of the 61GS “Specials”. These watches were regulated to +/-3 seconds per day – only the VFA’s were more accurate.
One Special in particular has been eluding me since I started collecting vintage Grand Seikos – the 6156-8040. With it’s fantastic lug-less case, and spectacular textured dial (more on that in a later post for #macromonday), this to me is by far the most special Special. I was delighted to be able to pick one of these up a couple of weeks ago after more than a year of looking for one.
With a manufacturing date of August 1974, this is the youngest vintage Grand Seiko in my collection.

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Grand Seiko 6146-8000

Grand Seiko 6146-8000 in cap gold with early Grand Seiko dial.
The earliest 61GS series watches – this one is from December 1967 – had dials that were laid out in the same way as the late 57GS’s, 44GS’s and 62GS’s. That is, with Seiko up top, and the GS logo and Grand Seiko text down bottom.
Then, just a few months later, the dial layout was changed – the Grand Seiko text was removed, and replaced with the movement description (“Hi Beat 36000”), and “Automatic” added under “SEIKO”. Apart from the VFA’s, these early 61GS models were the last vintage Grand Seikos to actually include the full branding anywhere on the dial or case.
For more background to the dial layout changes that happened during the lifespan of the vintage models, check out my website (link in bio) and click on the “General articles” menu option.
It is extremely rare to come across a cap gold 61GS with the Grand Seiko dial. As such, I snapped this one up despite the fact it wasn’t in top condition – although to be fair, it was an absolute bargain because most people were put off by the apparent state of it.
Ideally needs a new crystal, and a bit of TLC to remove the remainder of the tarnishing on the case (I’ve got rid of the worst of the tarnishing – you should have seen the state of it when it first arrived!). Very happy to have been able to secure one of these for the collection.

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Grand Seiko 6185-8010 VFA

The Grand Seiko 6185-8010 VFA, with the 6185A movement, would appear to be significantly rarer than the later, 6185B movement based, 6185-8020.
Manufactured in 1968, it is of particular interest due to its blue dial and palladium/silver alloy hammer-toned case.
Watches utilising this movement are so rare, that the only other similar watch I have seen for sale since I acquired my example was a 6185-8000 that differs primarily by not having the hammered case, and coming on a rather fetching matching bracelet. That bracelet commands a significant premium though – the 6185-8000 sold in auction earlier this year for over 2.5 million Yen.
Happy #GSWednesday!

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Grand Seiko 6156-8010

Grand Seiko 6156-8010 “Special”

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Grand Seiko 6156-8010 “Special”

From 1970, the 6155 (date) and 6156 (day-date) “Specials” were regulated to +/- 3 seconds per day, whereas the “Grand Seiko standard” was -3/+5 seconds per day. Only the VFA’s were more accurate at timekeeping than the Specials.

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