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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Grand Seiko 6145-8020

I’m currently on vacation so thought I’d dig into the archives to find something to post for #GSWednesday, and what did I find from almost exactly a year ago?

The incredible Grand Seiko 6145-8020. You don’t see these come up for sale very often, and certainly not in unworn NOS condition like this one.

This one is well overdue for a reshoot with the new lights, so I’ll do something new for next week 🙂

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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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Grand Seiko 4580-7010 VFA

Grand Seiko 4580-7010 VFA

The VFA stands for “Very Fine Adjusted”, which means the watch was regulated to +/-2 seconds per day, with a guaranteed accuracy of +/-1 minute a month for the first two years of ownership.
This watch is, in my opinion, quite simply the greatest Grand Seiko ever made.

It’s the perfect watch.

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