I can assure you, my intentions are strictly honourable.
The purpose of this newsletter is to provide guidance on which vintage Grand Seiko auctions on Yahoo Japan should be avoided, but also to highlight auctions that might be of interest.
For those of you 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 app, or recently launched Android app).
If you don’t already, please do consider subscribing!
The statistics that Substack share with me on these newsletters can provide some interesting insight.
I will be honest with you - the only reason I have a paid subscription layer is because if it wasn’t for the fact people pay for this newsletter, I wouldn’t feel compelled to keep publishing it every single week.
Having said that, I do feel that the newsletter represents good value at just $1 a week. It typically takes me two to three hours to write it, so there is quite a bit of effort involved on my part.
Last week’s newsletter was sent out to 128 paid subscribers, and had a total of 345 views. There are three places you can read the newsletter. In the email itself, in the Substack app, or on the web. Many of you I’m sure will read it in two places, and so there will be double counting to some degree.
However, obviously sending newsletters out by email means that the email can then be forwarded on to those who do not subscribe.
And I must stress - I don’t have a problem with this at all.
In fact, I would actively encourage it. If you ever feel that a friend might be interested in the content of the email you receive, please don’t hesitate to forward it on to them.
And to those friends, if you like what you see, all I would ask in return is that you please consider subscribing!
I’m fast approaching 1,000 subscribers in total, and when I hit that number, I will be doing some giveaways to celebrate - including an actual vintage Grand Seiko! Not decided on the reference yet, but I promise it will be worth it!
Free subscribers are receiving a paywalled version of the newsletter this week that includes the first recommended listing.
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. Please note that these links may not include every image included in the listing.
Whilst I have been a customer of FromJapan for many years, I do not receive any benefits from using these links.
I think going forward I will continue to detail the positive listings first. The negative ones are pretty repetitive now, and I suspect all but the very latest subscribers probably would just skip over that section anyway!
Starting off this week with an absolute cracker - an 18K gold cased 57GS.
Whilst you can take your pick from a number of examples of this reference (and the later 5722-9001) available on the market at any time, it is very rare for one of these to turn up on an “open” - i.e. one with no minimum bid - Yahoo Japan auction.
Typically when sat with a dealer (and these tend to stay with dealers for a long time - I know of examples out there that have been sitting around for more than five years now), the asking price might be anything from 1.3M to over 2M Yen. Whilst I suspect there are quite a lot of people out there who would be keen to acquire one of these, clearly few, if any, have been prepared to pay that much to get one.
To be honest, my view is that the ones with dealers towards the bottom of that range are very well priced now if you are buying in USD. And depending on how much competition there is for this one, and what it closes for, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple finally getting picked up.
There are several - I believe three - iterations of the 18K gold cased 57GS, but the one seen here is the one that you would want to get. It has the “Chronometer” dial, and the lion medallion on the case back. Whilst the case serial number here is covered up, I’m pretty certain this will date to September 1964 - the initial production run of this reference that I suspect was created to be sold whilst Tokyo was hosting the 1964 Olympic Games.
Just one issue to highlight - the buckle is not correct. I think the crown is right - the “W Seiko” on the crown should be recessed and not in relief. It’s hard to tell from the angled shots, but from the face on shot it does look like there is nothing sticking out there.
Condition-wise, it looks to be in great shape. This is an 18K gold case, so you can be absolutely assured that in its lifetime it has seen some polishing, but clearly whenever it has been buffed up, it has been done so very sympathetically as the caselines remain very sharp for 50+ year old solid gold watch.
A couple of reference points -
The very best example of this reference that I’ve ever personally handled can be found on Yahoo here, and going by the photographs provided, I would say that the one on the open auction is right up there with that one quality wise.
Less than a handful of these have sold on open auction on Yahoo in the last decade, with the most recent selling in February 2020 for 1.38M Yen, but that one had a much softer case than the one seen here, and back then, 1.38M Yen converted to $12,300 ($1 would only buy you 112 Yen).
If you’ve ever been tempted to buy one of these for your collection, this could be your best opportunity for quite some time.