Seiko and the Swiss Chronometer Competitions


In the 1960's mechanical watches were reaching their peak and a series of competitions to determine the most accurate watches in the world were being held in Switzerland. A couple of Seiko companies joined these competitions and within a few years were able to compete at the highest levels.

To understand how the companies performance was able to improve and rapidly evolve I have created a timeline showing the details of their results along with information on the key staff members and the details of the calibers developed.

More information about the competitions can be found HERE.

Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer

Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer

In 1968 Daini-Seikosha submitted 103 specially regulated 4520A movements to the Neuchâtel Observatory for Chronometer certification. 73 of these watches passed the certification and these were then placed into 18K gold cases and sold to the public as the 45GSN Astronomical Observatory Chronometer. Additional movements were certified in later years and Seiko finally offered 226 examples for sale.

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Guide to the Grand Seiko "First" dial variations

3180 Dial.jpg

Gerald over at The Grand Seiko Guy has put together a comprehensive guide to the different variations of the original Grand Seiko model 3180 aka “First”. There were printed, carved and raised logo versions of the dials as well as multiple variations of these. This article details the differences and explains what to look for if you are trying to track down an original piece. There are numerous examples of franken models out there so this should be an invaluable resource for people looking to purchase the First Grand Seiko model.

Check out the full article here - A guide to the Grand Seiko “First” dial variations

Update: Vintage Grand Seiko Bracelets


I have made a number of updates to the Vintage Grand Seiko Bracelets article. This includes some additional photos of bracelets and some more details on the specific markings on some models.

I have also shown some photos of the very unique bracelet that comes with the 6185-8000. This bracelet reminds me a little of a lobster and it is unusual due to the double bracelet clasp and the way it is fixed to the main watch body.

The full article can be found HERE.


Update: General Reference Books


I have added a new book to the General Reference Books page. The book is called "Why are the hands of the clock clockwise? - Unraveling the mystery of clocks and time". The book has answers to general watch and time specific questions and is really only interesting to watch enthusaists because of the author, Oda Ichiro, who worked for Seiko sales and marketing in various positions for many years.

The specific book can be found HERE.

The link to the overview of the different Japanese watch reference books can be found HERE.

Update: Official Company Publications

Development and Origins.jpg

I recently added a couple of new books to the Official Company Publications section of the Japanese Watch Reference Books article.

The first was the original Japanese language version of the History of the Japanese Clock and Watch Industry (Vol.3) - Evolution of Seiko 1892-1923. The Japanese version is titled Development of Watch Industry and was published in 1984. Details of this book can be found HERE.

The second book I added was a very interesting volume titled Origin of Technology - Seiko Electronic Industry Postwar Watch Technological History. This book was published in 1991 by Seiko Instruments Inc. and contains a large number of official documents from the companies history as well as reports on the different technologies that have been implemented in the watch production process. There is information relating to the advances in machinery and how this has influenced their improvements in accuracy and production capabilities. This is a very interesting book and I have only seen the one volume ever come up for sale. More information can be found HERE.

All of the different Official Company Publications I have documented are listed HERE and the general overview of all of the different Japanese Watch Reference books is located HERE.

Seiko Caliber 19xx - World's first ladies 36,000 bph movment

Seiko Caliber 19xx - World's first ladies 36,000 bph movment

In 1967 Seiko released the world's first 36,000 bph (5Hz) movement designed for ladies watches. This compact Hi-Beat caliber was used in various watches including the ladies Grand Seiko and GS VFA models. It is also possible that this is the only series of ladies 36,000 bph models produced by any manufacturer.

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Seiko Railway Watches

Seiko Railway Watches

Seiko has had a long association with Railways in Japan that began in 1929 when they were selected as the first domestic watch approved by the Japanese Ministry of Railways. From then until today, Seiko has continued to produce models for use on the railways. While the technology powering these watches has evolved over the years the general design of these watches has remained consistent.

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