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Vintage Grand Seiko models not appearing in catalogues - 45GS
For the benefit of those subscribers who have signed up recently, I have been publishing a series of newsletters featuring scans of vintage Grand Seikos that appeared in the Seiko catalogues of the 1960’s and 1970’s, culminating in a newsletter focusing on the Grand Seiko references for women.
The intention behind this series is to cover in detail every single vintage Grand Seiko, with - where possible - corroborating contemporaneous evidence for the legitimacy of the reference.
Having now covered all the official Seiko JDM catalogues of the period, there is one more major task to fulfill, and that is to document the legitimate references that never appeared in a catalogue.
These references can be broadly grouped into three different categories –
Vintage Grand Seikos that did not appear in the regular catalogues (annual, biannual, supplemental, or Special Luxury), but were featured in other official publications such as Seiko News and Seiko Sales. Examples would include both variants of the 43999.
Vintage Grand Seikos that appear neither in the regular catalogues nor other official publications (to the best of my knowledge following research to-date), but clearly were available for sale to the public based on extensive examination watches in collections and that have come to market over the past decade, and also following consultation with other experts. Examples would include the platinum cased “Firsts”.
Vintage Grand Seikos that were commissioned by third party companies, and would not have been available for sale to the general public. Examples would include the Toshiba 25 year service anniversary models.
Each of the seven men’s vintage Grand Seiko series features references that fall into at least one of these categories. Because there is a lot to cover, I will be splitting this study over the course of several newsletters, structuring the newsletters by series, and then by the above three categories.
In the previous newsletters in this series I covered the “Firsts”, 57GS, 44GS, 62GS and 61GS. Here, we take a look at the 45GS references that never appeared in the catalogues.
You can view the previously published newsletters in this series - which is now complete and covers all the vintage Grand Seiko watches appearing in catalogues - here.
Grand Seiko “45” series references missing from the catalogues
4520-7010 and 4522-7010 without “36000” text on the dial
As discussed in my newsletter on the 1970 Number 2 catalogue, where – as pictured above – the 4520-7010 and 4522-7010 make their catalogue debuts, we see examples of these two references available both with and without the “36000” text on the dial, with the watches lacking the additional line of text seemingly more common.
Fortunately, it is possible to confirm the existence and legitimacy of the non-36000 variants because the 4522-7010 without 36000 on the dial is depicted in the Seiko Sales monthly newsletter from May 1971.
Grand Seiko 4522-7010 without 36000 on dial in Seiko Sales May 1971
In the bottom right of page 6 we can see the photo of the 4522-7010 without the 36000 text on the dial. Underneath the photograph is also detailed the 4520-7000 reference (catalogue code 45GS 040).
Grand Seiko 4522-8000 Toshiba 25 year service anniversary
As discussed in an earlier newsletter, from 1965 through to 1968, Toshiba were awarding watches from the 57GS series to employees completing 25 years of company service.
Following the end of the availability of the 57GS series, they moved to using the 4522-8000 reference. This reference was issued to employees completing a quarter of a century with the company in 1969, 1970 and 1971, with the appropriate year marked on the caseback.
Grand Seiko 4522-8000 early dial
I only became aware of the existence of this watch a year ago, when an example was posted on the Instagram feed of a noted Japanese collector. It goes to prove that just when you think you’ve finally seen and documented every vintage Grand Seiko variant, there could be a surprise lurking just around the corner.
For comparison, here is the usual dial that we see on these, as shown in the 1968 number 2 supplemental catalogue in which it (and the no-date 4520-8000) made its debut.
Since the appearance of the example above, I am aware of another top Japanese collector who has managed to track down one of these. My search for one to add to my collection continues!
I wrote up a detailed newsletter on this remarkable variant which you can read here -