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5

SOLD - Grand Seiko 4522-7000

White dial
5

Historical background

First launching in the supplement to 1968’s volume 2 Seiko catalogue, the 45GS series was the direct replacement for the short lived 44GS, with the main technological advance being the doubling of the beat rate from 18,000bph to 36,000bph, building on the lessons learnt by Seiko’s participation in the Neuchatel Observatory Chronometer trials.

The initial -8000 cased references closely followed the classic “Grammar of Design” aesthetics of the iconic 4420-9000, but less than one year later, split over the first two pages in the second volume of the 1969 catalogue, Grand Seiko introduced what was by far and away their most radical case design to date, with the 4520/2-7000 references.

The choice to split the 45GS offer over two pages does seem a little odd - Seiko could have moved them to page two, and filled the gaps created on the first page with the 18K cased 6145/6-8000, but I’m sure it made sense at the time to present them in this way.

Four distinct references were offered utilising the same “batwing” shaped case. Customers could choose between the time only 4520- or time and date 4522- movements, each available with either a linen textured white, or matte blue, dial.

The blue dialed watches represented the first time Grand Seiko had ever utilised a “true” coloured dial (these were launched before the 614x-8020’s). Another first was the alternating flat polished/brushed finish applied to the cases, with the main flanks of the case featuring a brushed finish for the first time on a Grand Seiko. Earlier references had a brushed finish to the “bridge” across the lugs, but never before had the primary surfaces of the case had anything other than a flat polished finish.

The four references remained in the catalogues for two years, and given the number that still survive to this day, were clearly very successful sales wise.

But, it is extremely rare to come across one in the condition seen here.

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Case

As will be evident from the video, the case on the presented watch is in extraordinary condition. All too often with this reference we find examples whose cases have been polished, softening the sharp caselines and dulling (or even removing completely) the brushed finishing.

Whilst as usual I will hold back from claiming that this case unpolished, even the very minor dings (such as the one that is almost imperceptible to the naked eye circled in green in the above screen-grab) have sharp profiles, and show no signs of any attempt whatsoever to rub them down even manually with a soft cloth.

Additionally, the hairline scratches that can be seen at high magnification on the polished surfaces of the watch are signs that this is a watch that has not spent any time at the spa in its 54 years of life.

One final indication that this watch has spent the vast majority of its life in the drawer, and not on the wrist, is the largely intact original caseback protection sticker - a feature that the more discerning collectors will know is extremely rare to come across, and a sign of a museum-quality piece.

Dial

As is common on these references, the dial shows signs of patination caused (presumably) by prolonged exposure to sunlight - possibly the watch spent a long time displayed in a shop window.

Other than the gentle patination, the dial is - as can be seen in the video and the above image - immaculate, as are the dial furniture and handset.

Movement

As per usual, on confirmation of wiring of funds, the watch will be sent to my watchmaker for a complete movement overhaul.

Accessories

The watch will be accompanied by its correct “36,000 Hi Beat” inner box, and the correct GS logo buckle for this reference (both of which can be seen - sort of! - in the background of the video).

Price

Listed at US$2,500 (including worldwide fully insured courier delivery), this watch is available to paid subscribers at a discounted price of $2,250, and Founding Members at a discounted price of $2,125.

This newsletter is being sent out initially to paid and founding members, and will be forwarded to all subscribers on November 27th.

Any questions, don’t hesitate to comment below, or drop me an email.

the Grand Seiko guy is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

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