Most Significant Seiko ????

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Ninja01
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Well, I'll give a try here...

#11 Post by Ninja01 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:19 pm

I don't think it's quite practical to give a "one and only, clear winner" when it comes to Seiko ... but I'll give an example here that I consider a prime candidate for a "top 10" list covering the entire history of Seiko WRIST watches.

The Laurel!!

On another forum a question was asked a few years ago regarding which is the longest running model name. the J-LC Reverso was suggested as the "winner" since it was started in the 1930s (I think) and is still made today.

I answered that there was one other that could qualify even better, the Seiko Laurel.

Now the problem with the Laurel is that it hasn't been made continuously by Seiko through all the years of it's history, there were some lapses, years when no Laurel models were made. So, depending on how the question is actually phrased, Laurel may NOT qualify.

BUT ... in any case, here is "The Laurel" as I know it:

Remember that (originally), the "Laurel" was a brand (or "badge"?) of the Hattori Co. while "Seiko" and "Seikosha" were separate brands that were introduced much later than "Laurel". Ultimately, the main brand of Hattori Co. became "Seiko" with various "families" or "lines" of watches subordinate to it.

The First: 1913 LAUREL

This was the first model wristwatch from Hattori. They were housed in a small 26.2mm diameter "double case" and were meant for both men and women (as a small pocket watch when removed from the band and outer case. They came in a variety of styles. The crown was at 3 o'clock requiring some adaptation of the A. Schild 7 jewel movement. The dials were porcelain (and likely NOT made by Hattori), and the case silver (0.900), with nickel on the back side of the outer hinge case (in some models). Genuine cases have the "SKS" mark inside the outline of a Japanese-style folding fan.

The main problem for the collector, according to one source, is determining which are legitimate dials & cases on the used specimens now sold!

It is also believed that this is the first Seikosha product "that contained components manufactured entirely in-house". I assume this to mean, all movement parts as well as the casing parts. It is however, interesting to note that a Kelek [Swiss company that was taken over by Breitling appx 1997] related website indicated that the Japanese market was important "early on" and even through World War II (WWII). It specifically mentioned that they had a "deal with Seiko predecessor Hattori"; Kelek sold movements to other firms as well as made watches under it's own label. This fact may imply that even if the Laurel were made completely "in house", that Swiss imports did continue to play a role in Hattori/Seikosha/Seiko products throughout a significant part of the 1st 1/2 of the 20th century despite Hattori's drive to do more and more in-house as time went on.

Typical examples:

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2. Laurel ca. 1948

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The above picture from "Domestic Watch Series, 12; Pre-War/Post-War Edition," by Yoshio Nagao and Toshiki Mori. (Tombow Publishers, Osaka, 2002).

3. ca. late 1950s -> 1960s

According to one source, the Laurel was revived in 1958 after production of earlier Laurel models was ended in the early 1940s. However, this contradicts the attribution to 1948 as the production date of the model preceeding this entry (above):

Model 14025 ca. 1960 shown below
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4. Laurel - Alpinist

The 1st model of "Alpinist" was introduced underneath the Laurel "family" in the early 1960s. Later models of "Alpinist" were then moved to the Champion "family".

There are, of course, more modern models of Laurel made by "Seiko" (as the corporate name is today, no longer "Hattori") but I will not cover them as they are not my area of "expertise". :lol:

retroworx
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Re: Most Significant Seiko ????

#12 Post by retroworx » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:22 pm

I would have to classify these as the most significant Seikos to me as they are the only ones I own, lol:
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photo.JPG (77.51 KiB) Viewed 4169 times
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Ninja01
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Skyliner

#13 Post by Ninja01 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:14 pm

retroworx wrote:I would have to classify these as the most significant Seikos to me as they are the only ones I own, lol:
Skyliner ... nice looking watches!!

As I've heard it, they are the replacement for the Liner, and somewhat of a "cost reduction" effort.

I have a gold-filled 23j variant of Liner ... was trying to find the pics I have in a photo server ... taking too long & I've got stuff to do in the "real world", so - I'll have to try again later to show you. :cry:

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Ninja01
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Re: Skyliner

#14 Post by Ninja01 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:42 am

Ninja01 wrote:...
I have a gold-filled 23j variant of Liner ... was trying to find the pics I have in a photo server ... taking too long & I've got stuff to do in the "real world", so - I'll have to try again later to show you. :cry:
Well, I can get the thumbnails to show, but the large pics seem to be gone or malfunctioning ...

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link to a large image & not showing on my system, can you see it on yours??
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Re: Skyliner

#15 Post by retroworx » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:45 am

Ninja01 wrote:link to a large image & not showing on my system, can you see it on yours??
Nope. :(
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Re: Skyliner / Strange

#16 Post by Ninja01 » Thu Jan 08, 2015 11:04 pm

retroworx wrote:
Ninja01 wrote:link to a large image & not showing on my system, can you see it on yours??
Nope. :(
Hmm ... tried the large pix of a bunch of the other watches in that album of mine & they show. For some reason all the large pics of this particular watch just come up blank. Oh well, I tried...

============================================

So, anyone else want to try their hand at the "Most Significant" game?? ;) ... :lol:

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afire
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Re: Well, I'll give a try here...

#17 Post by afire » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:43 am

Ninja01 wrote:2. Laurel ca. 1948

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That's a nice looking watch by any standard. The long lugs make it particularly graceful looking. The styling looks more like the late '20s or early '30s than 1948, but maybe the fashions were different in Japan.
Real men wear small watches.

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Ninja01
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Re: dating of Laurel

#18 Post by Ninja01 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:30 pm

afire wrote:...
That's a nice looking watch by any standard. The long lugs make it particularly graceful looking. The styling looks more like the late '20s or early '30s than 1948, but maybe the fashions were different in Japan.
Well, I can only go by what the authors stated. But, I suppose in any watch making & wearing country ... we see a multiplicity of styles over the entire product line for any particular era; especially as time goes on, there are more "old fashioned" choices for a retro look :lol:

I can only say about Japan that I've heard they were indeed conservative in their style choices. In fact, Seiko did NOT produce an automatic Grand Seiko for half a decade AFTER the introduction of the manual-wind Grand ... and the reason I've heard in the Japanese sites is that they were concerned the "high tier" watch buyer would not accept an automatic in a high-quality dress watch, they were too "old fashioned" to accept that "modern" idea :roll:

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Another candidate ... GS VFA

#19 Post by Ninja01 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 4:07 pm

One of these was talked about at another forum recently, a post showed a sale of the hand-wind implementation (45 family movement) of a Grand Seiko [GS] Very Fine Adjusted [VFA] ...

http://wristsushi.proboards.com/thread/ ... e-adjusted

BUT ... they got one thing wrong [AFAIK], which I refuted in an article in a forum I'm on ...

http://www.network54.com/Forum/642233/m ... hronometer

Specifically, someone in the 1st article/post confused the VFA with the Astronomical Observatory Chronometer which was the GS model (in the 45 family) that was indeed used in the Swiss Observatory Trials in the late '60s.

You can see my arguments refuting that claim using data from another article written years ago by a Japanese expert in Seikos.

Here's some pics though of representative models in hand-wind 45 VFA and 45 Astronomical:

The 45 VFA, a limited production model, but still a production, not competition, watch with "ultra high precision" for a mechanical:
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There were 2 movements in this VFA grade, 4580 (time only) and 4582 (H/M/S + Date)

The "Astronomical", an actual competition watch that was "packaged" and sold to the public in limited numbers:
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And, courtesy of Kobayashi Seiya [KSeiya], the chart of movement standards for the various Grand Seiko "grades":
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another bit of proof that a VFA is NOT an "Astronomical" :geek:

OK, by the way: the "45" hand-wind family was a product of the Daini "division" of "Seiko" [Hattori Corp.]. Seikosha "division" did their own implementation of Grand Seikos, including the "high precision" end of that family, but they did automatic wind models in the "61 movement family" ...

a 6186 [autowind + Day + Date]
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and a 6185 [autowind + Date]
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Seiko made a big deal about the accuracy grade [Mean Daily Rate or MDR] and the accuracy guarantee that came with the watch for a hefty price tag ... but interestingly, you could get this same accuracy and about the same guarantee from a rather "pedestrian" (price-wise) Swiss watch of the same era!!

Back with more later ... I'll keep you guessing which one that was!!

...

OK - ready?? Here's the "hint" :lol:

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and
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same accuracy rate for MDR (not sure of other characteristics though) and MUCH Smaller price-tag!! :shock: :o

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Ninja01
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Platinum cased 1st Gen. Grand Seiko 3180

#20 Post by Ninja01 » Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:37 pm

OK, here's a nomination for a quite significant Seiko... may not be the most significant Seiko in history, but it's up there in the top 10% anyway 8-)

I saw this posting about a very rare platinum (850) cased cal. 3180 Grand Seiko. Even more impressive is that it came with original box, hang-tags, and the Chronometer Certificate from Hattori!!

See it at this link:

http://www.thewatchsite.com/21-japanese ... seiko.html

As the new owner said in his post there, "almost-mythical 1963 first-model Grand Seiko in platinum, one of my holiest of grails"... and I don't doubt it!! Never mind Platinum, even solid-gold cased mens Seikos of the '50s & '60s are quite hard to find!

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