Collecting Seikos


Wayne Lee

Penang Island, Malaysia


Private Collection - Not for sale!


Note:    These are the eight most precious watches I owned - not due to price, but more on their rarities and sentimental values.  As most of you may not be aware of, since buying my very first Grand Seiko, I have decided to sell off all my Swiss watches and dedicated all funds to collect Seikos.   My collecting philosophy is to only keep 7 watches each time, but this time I have exceeded by one (and I could not make up my mind which one to let off).   

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Grand Seiko Chronometer Caliber 5722-9990This watch has 35 jewels and is on chronometer grade diashock movement caliber 5722A.   It was produced in Sept 1965.   The movement is at the classic 18,000 bph.  The caseback has a center emblem of a Seiko lion in solid gold.  A total of 81,000 pieces on this model had been produced at that time.  Through my friend Seiya Kobayashi (Kseiya), this watch was purchased from a dealer in Japan.  This is one of the earliest Seiko in their attempt to compete with their Swiss counterparts in watch-making supremacy.




Grand Seiko Automatic Caliber 6146-8000This watch has one of the best hi-beat movement ever produced by Seiko.  Beating at 36,000 bph, it maintains superb accuracy and reliability despite its age.  With 25 jewels, it was produced in Dec 1967.  There are two variants - caliber 6145 with date only, while caliber 6146 with both date and day functions.  A total of 36,000 pieces of this model was produced.  At a later date, a modification of this movement became Caliber 6185A which was used in Grand Seiko V.F.A. (very fine adjusted) - My Ultimate Grand Seiko.




King Seiko Hi-beat Automatic Caliber 5625-7040This is an official certified chronometer grade King Seiko.  Beating at 28,800 bph, the watch was produced in Mar 1974.   The pencil lead hour and minute hands adds the beauty of this little gem.   Although my collection theme is on Grand Seiko, I could not resist from purchasing this watch after seeing it for the very first time.  Another variant of this model with caliber 5626 is having the date-day function.  






Grand Seiko Diashock Automatic Caliber 6246-9001This is one of the rarest Grand Seiko.  A total number of 19,800 pieces were produced at that time.  It is highly sought after in Japan and according to a reliable source, it can fetch as high as 200,000 Yen (about US$ 2000) for one in mint condition.   It was produced on April 1967 and has a slow frequency (19,800 bph) for an automatic movement.   One of the wonders of this watch is it has 39 jewels!  II bought the watch from a vintage watch dealer in Singapore.  Another variant of this watch is Caliber 6245 which only carries date function.





Grand Seiko Automatic 9S55-0010: This is the watch that changed my whole perspective on Japanese watches.  Prior to this one, I have 7 pieces of Heuer and 5 pieces of Minerva (both vintage and new ones) in my collection, along with a Zenith Chronomaster Moonphase and a JLC Grande Taille.  Upon having this piece and is impressed with its superb accuracy, nothing else in my collection at that time matters anymore.  I sold them all and started collecting Seikos (particularly Grand Seikos).  With the help of my friend Kseiya and Katsu Higuchi, I was able to procure more than 8 good reference books (in Japanese language) to let me have a better perspective on Japanese horological history, watch models, movements, etc.   Without their help, I would not have been able to become a slightly-above Seiko watch amateur. 


This model was first introduced in 1999.  It has the highest grade Seiko movement (caliber 9S55) which promises to keep time within -3 to +5 sec per day.  The range is even more stringent than for chronometer grade watches.  Under a regular 14 - 15 hours of wear every day, and position it with 6 o'clock facing up every night (9.00 pm - 6.30 am), it is keeping accurate time of +2 sec per week !  The watch above is the 20th piece of Grand Seiko Automatic produced in July 2000 (based on the serial number).  I just completed 5 months accuracy studies on this watch.  I hope to be able to come up with the long-term review soon.  



Seiko Diashock 21 Jewels Manual Wind Caliber 4S24-0070This watch was produced in Mar 1997 and has a chronometer grade manual wind movement (caliber 4S24).  It has a frequency of 28,800 bph and the movement can be hacked.  It is keeping very accurate time at +5 sec per day.  



Seiko Laurel Diashock Manual Wind Caliber 4S24-0040Cased in a 925 silver, chronometer-grade manual wind movement 4S24 is beating at 28,800 bph.  This watch is no longer in production.   I bought it earlier from Katsu Higuchi.  It showed off a classic design of an old Laurel model of 1920s.  This watch was produced in March 1995. 







Seiko Military Hi-Beat Automatic Diashock Caliber 4S15-7020

Most Seiko collectors have seen this watch before.  This is one of the most famous Seiko watches among the military watch enthusiasts.  Cased in a solid sand-blast stainless steel case, caliber 4S15 can be hacked and manually wound which makes it ideal as a military watch.  The see-through caseback tenders more appreciation among the collectors on the fine movement.  This watch is highly sought currently and I was told that it is almost impossible to find a new in box, even in Japan now.    


This watch was produced on January 1997.   This watch is of significant value to me due to two reasons: (1) This is a Valentine Day gift from my wife back in 1999,  (2) This is the watch I used to time my wife's contraction time when we were in the labour room, awaiting the arrival of our first child, Carmen, back in July 2000.


Useful references

1.  The Seiko Book.  1999.  Publisher:  Tokuma Shoten Co. Ltd.  (in Japanese)

2.  Museum of Japanese made Watches.   Publisher:  World Photo Press - World Mook.  (in Japanese).


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