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A "Poor Man's" Grand Seiko

Posted: Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:25 pm
by Ninja01
A "Poor Man's" Grand Seiko - I've seen that term thrown around on a number of Japanese watch forums in the past.

Now, I have a candidate for the "poor man's" version of the 1st Generation of the auto-winding Grand Seiko / Chronometer models!!

OK ... 1st: the 1st Generation of Grand Seiko was hand-wind (calibre 3180 with 25 jewels & a "tadpole" type fine-adjuster, running 18,000bph), introduced in 1960. They were also internally certified as Chronometers by Seiko...


But, it took a while before Seiko decided to put an automatic Grand Seiko / Chronometer out to market ... with the 6245 [Day only on calendar] and 6246 [Day + Date] calibres. They were introduced in early 1966 or late 1965. The 6245 and 6246 were highly jeweled, had a cog-wheel style fine-adjuster (an improvement over the "tadpole") and ran at a higher beat-rate (19,800bph) than the 3180. The 6246 had 39 jewels as well [6245 had 35j].

Mine shown below:

There were also non-Grand Seiko, non-Chronometer counterparts to those 2 movements!! ... the 6215 and the 6216. The 6215 was only used for a Professional, 300M diver from Seiko {quite rarely found now}. The 6216 was only used in a Seikomatic "Weekdater" water-proof type watch.

Here's mine:

and the movement ...
Now, when compared to the 6246, there are no architectural/mechanical differences! Only the "badging" of the plates and rotor are different!!

As far as I've been able to find out, the 6216 & 6246 movements are only different in the amount/degree of adjusting and regulating done at the factory. Thus, if you can't afford a 1st Generation 6246, you can try to find a 6216 Seikomatic!! You'll have everything that the Grand Seiko / Chronometer has EXCEPT:

1. the Lion gold-medallion on back [the raised Lion in those days represented a Chronometer from Seiko. The Whale on the 6216 Seikomatic represented an automatic winding waterproof Seiko watch in those days.]


2. some of the fine-adjustment & regulating that raised the performance of the basic movement to a "Chronometer"! But, the 6216, even without the highest degree of attention from Seiko was still among the highest quality and most accurate movements from the company in the mid->late '60s!!

The difference to you??

Well, based on my experience, a "nice condition" 6246 will run you well over US$1000, if you can find one these days. I got mine about 5 years ago for around US$1150.

A 6216 Seikomatic on the other hand, will run you about US$200 based on current prices I can find. I got mine about 6 years ago for under US$200, and an auction just closed within the last couple of hours here in the Philippines getting US$193.50 for one not quite as nice as mine: ... 463e6916a3

Most Significant???? ... Credor!!

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:00 pm
by Ninja01
Well, while I'm logged in & posting this elsewhere in the forum:


There's some rather impressive modern day Credor models around!!

1. GBBX998 w/ calibre 8L88 [12bps = 43,200bph!!] cased as: lacquer on 18K gold case with abalone inlay:



Regular retail price on this one is more than what I paid for my current house!

2. 4S79-0050 Certified Chronometer



Now, what's with the name "Credor" that Seiko used for this line of watches?

Well, sources say it's made from the French phrase for "Made of Gold" [Cret d'Or] 8-)

The line has been around for several decades, 1st appeared out of Seiko in the early Quartz era as a line of better/dressier quartz models. But, in recent years it has also been home to some rather fantastic fully-mechanical models as well!

Re: Most Significant Seiko ????

Posted: Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:14 am
by HamiltonIllinois
What about the late 1969 Seiko 6139 Chrono with the "world's first vertical clutch and column wheel"? This made the vertical clutch popular today. (Even though Pierce was using a vertical clutch 30 years earlier.)

Re: Most Significant /calibre 6139

Posted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:24 pm
by Ninja01
HamiltonIllinois wrote:What about the late 1969 Seiko 6139 Chrono with the "world's first vertical clutch and column wheel"? This made the vertical clutch popular today. (Even though Pierce was using a vertical clutch 30 years earlier.)
Not sure where you're getting that quote from, but it's really not accurate. What the person likely meant was that it was the worlds 1st AUTOMATIC wind chronograph that had the vertical clutch & column wheel design.

As the 6139 was released in EARLY 1969 (some specimens with case serial #s dating from February & March of that year have been found IIRC), it may also be a true statement that it was the 1st Auto-wind chronograph (of any design) released to the public.

Re: Most Significant Seiko ????

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 6:44 am
by seiko_omega
I'm also a firm believer that Seiko beat Zenith (who had five examples by january 1969) and the Buren-Heuer consortium

but going back to topic, my choice for most significant would be the Astron - the harbinger of things to come. the revolution that followed, all the years the Swiss were in limbo- if that's not a HUGE impact I don't know what is ;)

thats the most significant. but my personal favorite would be the 6139-6002. unrivalled styling, historical significance, innovative technology. hell, find me a modern watch that can move an inner bezel, adjust time, change day and date, all with one crown. and Seiko did it almost 50 years ago.

Re: Most Significant Seiko ????

Posted: Tue May 23, 2017 7:49 pm
by 441victor
I was just reading through these posts again and noticed that the 6186 has what appears to be an adjustment on the regulator to control the space between the pins.
6186 Grand Seiko VFA movement.jpg
6186 Grand Seiko VFA movement.jpg (141.59 KiB) Viewed 3294 times
That is truly obsessive engineering. Amazing. Joel

Re: 618x VFA ... curb adjuster

Posted: Thu May 25, 2017 5:30 pm
by Ninja01
@ 441victor ...

Yes indeed. One watchmaker (Seiko specialist) I knew called these "the trick regulating curb pins".

They do not just exist on the VFA movements, but also on the 6159B used in the 600M Pro Diver ["Hockey Puck"] and also the 6155 & 6156 GS Special movements 8-)

The "regular" or "entry level" grade of GS hi-beat 36K automatic movement (6145 & 6146) does NOT have this feature though.