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Seiko Number 1 Catalogue (1966)
Starting in 1966, Seiko began to publish catalogues detailing their range of watches.
Over the course of several years, I have been able to build up a complete collection of catalogues covering the vintage Grand Seiko years (and indeed beyond). On starting this Substack I thought it was a good opportunity to re-publish a series of articles I have written on the catalogues. These articles first appeared on The Grand Seiko Guy website, but here I have the chance to publish them in chronological order.
Combined with some ‘epilogue’ articles that will be published once all the catalogue posts have been completed, this series remains the most accurate and comprehensive record anywhere of the watches of the vintage Grand Seiko era. Where appropriate, there will be slight edits to the original articles.
The Seiko 1966 no. 1 catalogue
1966 saw the publication of the first in a new format of Seiko catalogues - prior to this, we can find numerous smaller pamphlets showcasing watches, but for our purposes, this is where it all began.
Just two Grand Seiko watches are shown, with both from the 57GS series, which was the only series available at this time.
Grand Seiko 5722-9000
The first watch featured represents the 18 karat gold cased version of the 57GS series – the 5722-9000. We believe that there were actually no fewer than three different variants of this watch, although none that look like exactly like this.
It is clear that the exact same photograph has been used to portray both watches featured in the catalogue – something that is obvious when you look carefully at the highlights on the watch band – they are identical.
The first version of the 18k cased 57GS followed the dial layout of the 43999 steel cased watch – that means they have the “Chronometer” branding under “SEIKO”, and the Grand Seiko text in gothic font in the bottom half of the dial above the text “Diashock 35 Jewels”. However, the text to the left of the 6 o’clock marker on the first version reads “Made in Japan”, and not just “Japan”, which is what we see here.
The second and third versions of the 18K cased 57GS followed the dial layout of the 5722-9991, with the Chronometer branding removed from the upper half of the dial, and an applied GS logo appearing above plain font “GRAND SEIKO” and “DIASHOCK” on the lower half. The second and third versions differ from one another in that the second has the lion logo medallion on the caseback, whilst the third version has the GS logo medallion.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the only appearance of the 18K 57GS to be found in a Seiko catalogue.
Grand Seiko 5722-9990
The second and final reference to be featured in this catalogue is the Grand Seiko 5722-9990.
We can identify that it is this specific reference from the 57GS series by the dial layout – the relative length of the text at the bottom of the dial either side of the 6 o’clock index is how it can be identified. The earlier 43999 reference, whilst having the same Chronometer and gothic Grand Seiko branding dial layout as the 5722-9990 has the text “Made in Japan” to the left of the 6 o’clock index. On this watch, it only states “Japan”.
The remaining watches on the page are not Grand Seikos. The second row shows the Seikomatic Chronometers that would in time evolve into the 62GS series. Note that in this catalogue the descriptions of the watches matches the image provided – the text states that they are Seikomatic Chronometers, and not Grand Seikos. The later 1967 volume 2 catalogue uses the same images of the Seikomatics, but they are described as Grand Seikos. It is not until the 1968 volume 1 catalogue that we see photographs of the Grand Seiko 62GS series.
In the gallery below we present a scan of the single page from the Seiko 1966 volume 1 catalogue that features Grand Seiko reference.