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The purpose of this newsletter is to provide guidance on which vintage Grand Seiko auctions on Yahoo Japan might be of interest to collectors. I also detail those “dodgy” listings that you need to avoid.
What you will notice is that this isn’t just a simple list of auction listings - in discussing the merits (and demerits) of the listings I often branch off into a bit of background that I hope will be useful in helping you to learn some of the nuances of collecting vintage Grand Seiko.
For those paid subscribers who are reading one of these newsletters for the first time, you can access the archive of all the previous newsletters on the Substack website (or the iPhone and Android apps).
Going forward, I will be unlocking these newsletters a week after sending them out to paid subscribers. The main benefit is of course alerting paid subs to the auctions that they might be interested in bidding on (and avoiding), but I feel the educational value post-close of the auctions is only fair to share to all.
Important note for UK and EEA subscribers -
Yahoo Japan is now actively blocking connections from the UK and the European Economic Area due to the prohibitive costs of adhering to the GDPR regulations for a relatively small number of users.
To get around this for the purposes of this newsletter, links to the auctions detailed will be provided through one of the Japanese proxy companies - FromJapan.
Whilst I have been a customer of FromJapan for many years, I do not receive any benefits from using these links.
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It’s a relatively quiet week for recommendations this week, and we kick off with this rather lovely example of the first Grand Seiko with the common raised logo dial.
Plenty of photos provided by the seller from numerous angles, so you can work out which marks are on the crystal, and which are on the dial. Most of the blemishes that you see in the above photo are actually on the crystal, but there is quite a bit of spotting either side of the index at 12.
The case looks to be in good condition, and all the different aspects of the watch line up with a case serial number indicating production in July 1963, and a movement number starting 30. The only thing that isn’t correct (in my personal view, not a statement of fact) is the crown.
The oxidation on the inside rim of the case and caseback is a little concerning, but the movement looks clean and the seller reports the watch as running and functioning correctly. As with any purchase from Yahoo Japan, factor in the cost of a service should you win the watch.
From the same seller as the listing for the first Grand Seiko above comes this excellent example of the highly sought after 4520-8000.
Don’t be deceived by the first photo that makes it look like the 7 minute tick has rubbed off -
- as once again, the seller provides a good set of photos so that we can examine the dial from all angles -
- revealing that it’s just a slight flaw in the crystal.
No fewer than 168 people are watching this auction - there is going to be quite the bunfight for it I reckon!
Usual caveat emptors apply with any 56GS, but here’s another deliciously patinated dialed 5646-7011 for your consideration!
Rather odd to have a listing where all the photos are screenshots of photos, but there you go.
Lots to avoid with this one, but the main thing is that it looks like someone has drawn over the printed text with a crayon.
A rather obvious redial.
Whilst the watch might not be much to look at, I suspect the bracelet that its attached to might tempt a few bidders.
However, whilst the bracelet is the desirable one for the 614x-8020’s, it does not have the original curved end-links, so won’t really work on the watch it was intended for anymore.
(Note - this bracelet is also shown in the catalogues with straight end-links, but it is not the one currently attached to the watch.)
First up from our regular contributor is a poorly redialed 6145-8000.
And of course our week wouldn’t be complete without him presenting us with a trashy fake SD dialed 43999.
This is a very odd one.
How can a 4580-7010 lose its dial, handset and crown? It just makes no sense.
But how about this for a thought… Does it not make more sense that a Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer would lose its case, dial, handset and crown?
I rather suspect that is what has happened here - an AOC has been stripped down for scrap metal value, and then at a later date has been fitted into a spare case for a 4580-7010 (such things do turn up - I have one), cobbled together with a completely different crown and handset.
The chances of anyone ever picking up the missing parts to complete the transition to a 4580-7010 are about as close to zero as you could imagine, so probably not the wisest of projects to set out on!
We’ve seen these before (it’s a speciality from our usual friend), but in this instance I suspect the dial is legitimate.
However, it doesn’t belong in the -8000 case, and it doesn’t look to be in great condition.
Obviously this is not a vintage Grand Seiko, but perhaps not so obviously, this dial has been reprinted.
This is one of those pieces that I can well imagine several readers of this newsletter might be interested in, and they can fetch a lot of money.
I’d strongly advise you to steer well clear of this one though.
Last week’s auction for one of these was cancelled, and I rather suspect this is the exact same dial realisted. Checking the bidding pattern last week, it looks like possibly someone is deliberately spiking the auction to prevent the seller from getting a sale. Questionable morals, perhaps, but all it would take is one person to think it was a legitimate piece, and then get carried away bidding against the spike.
The advice remains the same as last week - ignore it, and move on.
Redone coloured dial summary
As usual, I close with the usual reminder to steer clear of any vintage Grand Seikos with coloured dials similar to the above. This is not a comprehensive photo - there are many references that get this “treatment”, and several listings typically appear every week.
Apologies for the quiet week, but I couldn’t even find a “It’s not a vintage Grand Seiko, but I like it”, and nothing new of note at any of the dealers.
See you all next week - and don’t forget, if you see a vintage Grand Seiko from any source that you are contemplating purchasing, and would like me to have a look over it for you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.