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The Seiko 1968 Number 2 Catalogue Supplement
For the benefit of those subscribers who have signed up recently, each Tuesday I publish an article featuring scans of vintage Grand Seikos that appeared in the Seiko catalogues of the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Although based on the articles originally published on TGSG website, these articles will be updated where appropriate with additional knowledge gained in the three or so years since they were first made available.
Additionally, since I now have the complete set of the catalogues, I am able to publish these articles in the correct chronological order - something that wasn’t possible when posting to the main website since, when starting out documenting the catalogues, I hadn’t completed my collection of them.
You can view the previously published newsletters in this series here.
The Seiko 1968 no.2 catalogue supplement
This catalogue was the third of the year, and would have been published to show watches introduced to the range subsequent to those featured in the no. 2 catalogue.
Unlike the two main catalogues of the year, the supplement did not feature the full range on offer, only those watches that were added to the range, thus, the supplemental catalogues are generally significantly smaller than the regular ones.
Just two Grand Seiko watches are pictured in this catalogue, with the watches photographed representing a total of four different references that were introduced.
Subscribers who have been following all of these catalogue newsletters may recall that we mentioned the 44GS series was introduced in the supplement to volume 2 of the 1967 catalogue. That series made its last appearance in volume 2 of the 1968 catalogue, and so was marketed (at least from the perspective of the catalogue listing) for just one short year.
This supplement introduces the 45GS series. As with the 44 GS references, these watches were based on manual wind calibres manufactured by the Daini Seikosha company, and references from the series would continue to feature in the catalogues right through until the 1973 volume 1 edition.
Eventually comprising a total of 18 different models, at the introduction of the series in this publication we see the immediate successors to the short-lived 44GS range.
The 4520-8000, available in both stainless steel and cap gold cases, was the replacement for the 4420-9000 and 4420-9990. The most significant change was of course that the movement now beat at 36,000 bph, as opposed to the 18,000 bph of the earlier references. This resulted in a surpisingly modest increase in the prices of the watches, with the base steel cased model coming in at 27,000 Yen – just a 3,000 Yen premium over the low-beat calibre that it replaced.
For the first time from Daini, we also see a Grand Seiko with a date – the 4522-8000, which similarly was presented in both stainless steel and cap gold case variants.
Following the same pricing architecture as seen on the 61GS series in the catalogue this is a supplement to, there is a 3,000 Yen premium for the added date functionality, and an 8,000 Yen premium for the cap gold cased versions over their stainless steel cased counterparts.
Comparing the pricing of the introductory 61GS series references to those 45GS series references pictured here, we can see that Seiko charged a premium of no less than 7,000 Yen for the automatic movement functionality found in the 61GS range.
Fascinatingly, an early variant of the 4522-8000 with a different dial - not seen in any catalogue - has recently surfaced from a Japanese collection.
This 4522-8000 has a dial layout the same as the 44GS and 61GS watches that were introduced earlier in the year -
I have written about this watch in an earlier newsletter here -
Presented below is a scan of the single page from the 1968 Number 2 catalogue supplement that features Grand Seiko references.