When I decided to build up a collection of vintage Grand Seikos, the original intention was to acquire one example watch of each movement. With roughly 20 different movements used over the 15 or so year history of the vintage range, it seemed a reasonable – and manageable – target to aim for.
I’ve mentioned previously that it was the watch on the right of this post – the 6145-8030 – that really was the catalyst for this little escapade. Broadly speaking, the first four digits of the model number of a vintage Grand Seiko indicate the movement that is used. It’s not quite that simple, as “A’s” and “B’s” come into play on occasion, but it’s a good enough guideline for the purpose of this post.
The watch on the left though also uses the exact same movement. It’s a 6145-8020. And as you can see, that single digit change makes a huge difference.
Suffice to say, relatively early in in my quest to build the collection, the idea of just getting a single representative example of each movement went out of the window.
I mean come on. How would I pick between these two?! And I actually have a third example of a 6145 on its way from Japan as I type this.
You may have noticed from earlier group shot posts of watches from the same series (the “First”, the 57GS, the 44GS, and the 62GS – just scroll back through my feed a couple of weeks to see these) that there were only very subtle design differences across the models that were released in each series over the course of up to 5 years. As an example, just compare the 43999, 5722-9990 and 5722-9991, from 1963, 1965, and 1967 respectively to see what I mean (posted on September 11h). To the untrained eye, they are practically identical. Almost zero changes to the aesthetics of the series over a 5 year lifespan.
For some reason – and I’d just love to know why – there was an absolute explosion in the variety of styles with the introduction of the 61GS series in 1967.
Both of these watches shown here were made not just in the same year – but in the same month. August 1969.
I’m glad I didn’t stick to my original plan. Just think what I would have missed out on!
But if you had to pick one? Which would it be… 👈, or 👉?