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
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.
Part 2 of a write up of the vintage Grand Seiko watches in my collection that utilise the 61GS movements.
Since there are over 40 pieces in the collection, it makes sense to break this “state of the collection” 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 61GS series started production in 1967, running all the way through until 1974.
With seven different movements, there are as many calibers being utilised within this single series as in all earlier series combined. Not only that, but numbering over 40, there are more individual 61GS watch designs than existed across those earlier series (the Grand Seiko First, 57GS, 44GS and 62GS).
Given the extent and diversity of the 61GS series, it is not feasible to discuss all the examples from my own collection in a single post, and as such, I have split the write-up of the 61GS over two separate articles.
A link to the first article – covering the watches in my collection that utilize the 6145A and 6146A movements – can be found here.
In this article, I will be covering the watches in my collection that utilize the remaining 5 movements from the 61GS series – the 6155A, 6156A, 6185A, 6185B and 6186B.
No historical Grand Seiko series utilizes more movements than the 61GS. No fewer than 7 different movements were used over the 6 or so years that this series were on sale.
Seen here are the “Specials”. On the left the 6155-8000, and on the right, the 6156-8010. Both of these watches are from 1970. The difference between the two movements is clear from the photo but in addition, this particular variation of the 6156 has a 3-faceted cut glass crystal.
These truly are beautiful watches. The cases in particular are so crisp.
What makes the “Special” special, is that the movements were regulated to an even greater degree of precision than the regular Grand Seiko standard. The “daily rate” was regulated to -3 > +3 seconds per day, whereas the regular Grand Seiko standard was -3 > +5. Astonishingly, these watches were actually rated to be more accurate than the modern 9S calibers.
There were some more finely adjusted Grand Seikos that were regulated to an even greater level of precision than that, and I’ll share images of one of those watches at the weekend. (Surprisingly, these Specials are not so hard to track down. Earlier this month, no fewer than 4 different dealers in Japan all had the 6156-8010 available, although it must be said that none of them were in as great condition as this sample. So if you’re after one, be patient and wait for a good one – you don’t have to panic-buy the first one that comes up for sale!)
Another from the 61GS range – the #GrandSeiko 6145-8000. As mentioned in an earlier post, there are 7 different movements in the series. I have 5 watches, doubling up on one of the movements. The missing 3 movements from my collection are the VFA’s. #Seiko