The Seiko 1974 Catalogue Volume 2
For the benefit of those subscribers who have signed up recently, each week 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 1974 Catalogue Volume 2
Volume 2 of the 1974 catalogue changes the publication format to A4 size which permits a greater number of watches to be shown on each page.
Featuring just 9 references - 8 from the men’s range, and 1 ladies watch - this catalogue has the fewest Grand Seikos presented on its pages since 1968’s number 2 (excluding Special Luxury, and Supplemental, catalogues).
No new references are introduced, although - as we are about to see - one reference does make its debut appearance in a regular catalogue.
As is now the norm, the initial pages highlight the references in the range with precious metal cases, and unlike the first catalogue from the year, we find a Grand Seiko featured up front.
5646-7005 on 18K bracelet
Shown alongside four quartz VFA’s is the 5646-7005 on its 18K gold bracelet. Introduced in the 1973 Special Luxury Catalogue, but missing from 1974’s volume 1 catalogue, this reference was the most expensive Grand Seiko of the vintage era, and would remain in the range through to the end of 1975.
There are a total of 8 pages featuring precious metal cased watches before we arrive at the beginning of the regular catalogue, where the new format now allows the presentation of 12 watches per page.
Volume 1’s catalogue of this year featured 33 non-precious metal quartz references before we got to the Grand Seikos. In this edition, we see a total of 58 quartz references before we arrive at the single page of Grand Seikos, with the cheapest of those quartz watches being available for just 42,000 Yen.
It’s worth reminding ourselves that just two short years previously, the cheapest quartz watch in the range was 135,000 Yen, and 2 years prior to that, the only quartz watch in the world would have set you back 450,000 Yen.
Every two years, the entry price to quartz was dropping by a factor of 3. The quartz revolution was in full swing, and Grand Seiko was hanging on by its fingertips, and with every Grand Seiko in the catalogue now costing more than the cheapest quartz references, it’s not hard to understand why.
Nothing new to see here
With the new catalogue format allowing the presentation of 12 watches per page, the Grand Seiko offer doesn’t even fill the first two rows. With no new references introduced, it simply remains to summarize what is presented, and what has been dropped from the preceding catalogue.
We still see both day-date VFA’s presented, but just the single Special remains – we have lost the day-date 6156-8000 – and also gone are the date only 5645-7010 references on leather strap and bracelet. With so few references left in the range now, even when some are dropped it takes just a single sentence to summarize them!
Both the 5646-7030 and 5646-7040 that debuted in the first catalogue of the year remain in the offer, although this will be the final appearance of the latter.
All is not quite over for Grand Seiko though. In the next catalogue we will see the introduction of one, final, new reference. The last new Grand Seiko reference of the vintage era ever to be introduced.
This week sees the 26th consecutive week of publishing these weekly newsletters on Grand Seiko references appearing in the Seiko catalogues of the 1960’s and 1970’s. We’re on the home straight now, with just three more catalogues to come.