Grand Seiko has been making a huge push into the US market over the last few years and has rightfully garnered significant attention with dials and finishing that match the best that the Swiss have to offer. This attention to detail, innovation, and quality however are not new features of their watches. In 1959, the two Seiko factories, the Suwa Seikosha factory and the Daini Seikosha factory, became two separate entities within Seiko as a way to foster intro-company competition and innovation. The Suwa factory introduced the first Grand Seiko in 1960 and shortly after introduced a series of design guidelines that would set standards for Seiko designs for years to come. Those guidelines or “the Grammar of Design” as they would be coined were:
- All Surfaces and angles from the case, dial, hands, and indices must be flat and geometrically perfect to best reflect light.
- Bezels must be simple two-dimensional faceted curves.
- No visual distortion will be tolerated from any angle and all cases should be mirror finished.
- All cases must be unique for each reference with no generic round case designs.
Grand Seiko wasn’t merely focused on design. Technical prowess and innovation were also at the heart of their desire to compete on the global stage with the Swiss watch industry. Shortly after the brands launch, Grand Seiko began sending watches to the Neuchatel observatory to have them benchmarked against the best in the world. When they first entered they placed 144th but within 3 years they had moved into the top 10 and, when testing stopped in 1968, Seiko was competing for the top spot.
The Grand Seiko reference 5645-7010 is often considered the bread and butter of the vintage Grand Seiko market. It has all of the design hallmarks of the brand’s early history, is part of the 56GS range of watches, the last line in the original Grand Seiko, and was produced in large enough numbers to make them readily available. Think of it as the vintage Datejust of the Grand Seiko world. This particular piece was produced in July of 1972.
The case shows in very good but not great condition. The hallmark of these cases are extremely sharp angles on the lugs and these are very sharp indeed. Overpolished examples will easily lose these sharp angles. Additionally, the watch retains the correct brushed finishing on the top of the lugs with a polished finished on the other surfaces. There are small scratches throughout the case including a more major scratch on the bottom right lug. The watch wears the correct crown and caseback with the correct caseback medallion.
The Dial and Hands
The silver sunburst dial is in very good condition and shows no scratches or tarnishing. The dial condition is matched by the applied hour markers, handset, and date window all showing in excellent condition with no defects to report.
This watch features the Suwa Seikosha Co: 25 jewels: Automatic 5645A movement. This is a hi-beat movement but has a lower beat rate than earlier Grand Seiko hi-beat movements (reduced from 36,000 bph to 28,800 bph). The watch is running and keeping good time. The service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Suwa Seikosha Co. Automatic 5645A|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|