This year Seiko released five limited edition watches in an Historical Collection paying homage to the 1964 Grand Seiko Self-Dater. The original watch featured a very distinctive case with wonderfully sturdy lugs, giving it a beefy yet still elegant appearance.
That 1964 watch was the second generation Grand Seiko with the initial production run using the low beat 430 manual wind 35 jewel chronometer movement fitted with a tadpole regulator. Subsequent refinements to the movement, now renamed 5722, included fine adjustment regulation (see below).
81,000 units were produced priced at 27,000 Yen each, about twice the price of the 62MAS, released a year later.
Three of the new interpretations of this 50 year old classic are fitted with Spring Drive movements, two using steel cases and one white gold.
All three are considerably beyond my means (the white gold model in particular!) but the remaining two are fitted with the Grand Seiko 9F82 quartz movement. With some crafty purchasing tactics, one of these should be within my grasp. I should say at this juncture, that my motivations in this case are driven by the fact that my age, this year, has recently become the same as that of the original model, and I’ve been thinking of something appropriate to mark the occasion. Given the still considerable cost of entry, the fact that the maintenance costs should be minimal goes some way to justifying the expense.
The 9F82 is a development of the Grand Seiko 9F61, the highest end quartz movement in Seiko’s arsenal and one which they boast may be the best quartz movement ever made.
It is accurate to ±10 seconds per year and features such innovations as a second hand which stops exactly on each second marker, without any vibration. This is achieved though the addition of a regulatory wheel that automatically adjusts the backlash between the gears. The instantaneous date change mechanism changes over in one 2000th of a second and the sealed body of the movement ensures that no additional lubrication will be needed (theoretically) for fifty years. That should see me out, I would hope.
Decision made, I settled upon the silver dialed SBGV009, produced in a limited run of 1200. I received the watch a few weeks ago but it remained in its box until last week when I reached my own half century. I’ll let the pictures complete the story:
The watch is pretty spectacular in the flesh, very comfortable on the wrist but, in spite of its star quality, I think will slip in with the other regulars in my collection without looking too out of place.