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 4580-7010 VFA

Thought it was about time I shot this watch when it was showing “Grand Seiko Time”, which, for those who haven’t yet noticed, I now do my best to use when shooting any of my Grand Seiko collection.
Scroll back through my feed if you hadn’t noticed it before 🙂 These days, “Grand Seiko time” is religiously set as 10:08:42 – every single official photo of a Grand Seiko will have the hands set to this time, even when the running seconds hand is on a sub-dial on the chronographs – but back in the 1960’s and 1970’s it was actually often 10:08:43.

I take a bit of artistic license with the exact minute hand position depending on the angle I’m shooting at and the height of the hand above the dial. At this kind of angle I have it between the 9 and 10 minute markers, otherwise I think it looks a little too offset.
Wishing you all a happy #GSWednesday, with a photo featuring what I consider to be the greatest three hand watch ever made – the Grand Seiko 4580-7010 VFA.

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Grand Seiko 4520-8000

Grand Seiko 4520-8000

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Photo taken at: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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With a little over 50 watches now in the vintage Grand Seiko collection, a handful have somehow slipped through the net and not been shot for months! In fact, I don’t think I’ve photographed this 4520-8000 in almost a year.
A fabulous model from March 1971, I’m fortunate enough to have an example in pretty much NOS condition, and as a full set with box and papers.
Have a great weekend everyone!
#GrandSeiko #watchfam #seikofam #45GS #ProImaging

Grand Seiko 4520-7000

Grand Seiko 4520-7000 in stainless steel and with white linen dial.
There are actually three – possibly four – different vintage Grand Seikos all with the reference number 4520-7000.

I have previously posted both the cap gold cased version, and also the steel cased version with the (very) dark blue dial.
Claims are made for a black dialed version, but I am not convinced yet that this truly exists. There are redialed ones out there, but the blue version is so close to black, that I think possibly people confuse them.
Picked this one up for a song. Sure, the dial has some light staining (that looks a lot worse in this very carefully lit photo compared to what you would see in normal use), but just check out that case. Wonderful.

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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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Grand Seiko 4520-7000 with blue dial

Grand Seiko 4520-7000 with blue dial.

It is a very subtle blue – almost imperceptible. This watch was, it is claimed, available with white, blue, and black dial variants. I have to say though that without any contemporary documentation on it, I’m not entirely convinced the black dial version is real.

The blue is sooo close to being black, one can’t help but question why Seiko would release two colour variants that were so close together, and almost indistinguishable unless photographed very carefully.

That there are black examples in existence is not in doubt. I have a black dialed 4522-7000 (same as this watch except with a date). However, I have always been suspicious that perhaps the dial on that one had been re-done at some point.
I’ll be talking more about vintage Grand Seikos with black dials in tomorrow’s “On the block” post. It is most definitely a case of “Caveat Emptor” with these things. For the 4520 and 4522, the jury is arguably still deliberating. But for some other models, judgement had been passed, and it’s gonna get ugly 😈

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