Discover more from the Grand Seiko guy
The Seiko 1969 Number 2 Catalogue
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 1969 no.2 catalogue
The speed at which Seiko were innovating and expanding their horological offering at the tail end of the 1960’s is truly remarkable.
I mentioned in the previous newsletter that, whilst there was little to hint at what was come were you to just look at the single page of Grand Seikos featured with it, behind the scenes there was an astonishing pace of development underway.
Prominently featured on the cover of the second catalogue of 1969 is the result of just one strand of that development - the world’s first automatic chronograph, the fabled 6139-8000.
This catalogue would turn out to be one of no fewer than four separate catalogues published by Seiko in the second half of 1969, and over the coming weeks I will be detailing them all. Building on the groundwork established in the first catalogue of the year, once again we find that all the featured models in the range are from the 61GS and 45GS series, and hence have 36,000 bph movements.
Now spread over the first two pages of the catalogue, we see ten Grand Seiko watches pictured, representing a total of 16 distinct references.
Ten of the references detailed in this catalogue are carry-overs from those shown in the first catalogue of the year.
The first four images on page one are the same first four that we have seen previously, but if you pay attention to the text under the photos, you will notice that 18K gold cased versions of the 6146-8000 and 6145-8000 are introduced at prices of 195,000 and 190,000 Yen respectively. Prior to this, the only time a precious metal Grand Seiko had been officially listed as being part of the range was the appearance of the 18K gold cased 5722-9000 in the very first catalogue from 1966.
The final two references pictured in 1969’s number 1 catalogue (4520-8000 and 4522-8000) are moved to the second page, thus making way for the prominent introduction of two new watches -
These references - both with movement-case codes 4522-7000 - represent the first of many vintage Grand Seikos to be introduced over the coming years that would move away radically from the only very recently introduced “Grammar of Design”.
Not only was the case design of these references, with its dramatically faceted profile, a big step forward, but it was also the first time that a vintage Grand Seiko featured a dark coloured dial.
These days it is interesting to note that it is exceedingly rare to come across a blue dialed vintage Grand Seiko that retains its original colour. In almost all instances, the blue pigment has faded away leaving the dials looking almost black, as seen in the photo below of a 4520-7000 -
The 4520-7000 pictured above is of course the time-only version of the previously shown 4522-7000 references, and we find both white and blue dialed versions introduced to the range, and featured on the second page of the catalogue.
Something that is not obvious from the catalogue shots of the white dialed 4520/2-7000 is that the dial has a wonderful linen-textured finish -
As first seen in the year’s earlier catalogue, a consistent dial text layout is seen across all references.
Presented below are scans of the two pages from the 1969 Number 2 catalogue that features Grand Seiko references.