After years of collecting vintage Rolex and Patek, I have started the new year 2014 with a new collection of vintage Seiko. There are many reasons for venturing into these new field.
Firstly, Seiko, especially the Grand Seiko were very well made with high precision 36000 hi beats (remembering that it was during the 1960s) movement and it has very nice case design that requires many man hours to finish the case polishing. Secondly, these watches are affordable ranging from HK$8000 upwards making collecting less painful to the pocket. Thirdly, the challenge is to find these watches in pristine conditions especially for the diver watches that were made as a tool watch. The challenges is also to avoid the after market dials, hands, bezels etc.
My humble Seiko divers collection so far consists of the following :
1. 1965年 – 6217-8000/8001 (1965-1968) – 150M –
The retail prices in 1965 was ￥14000 yen. This is first Seiko diver and is one of the unique watch as the size of the watch is not huge compared to the later version. This is a must for any Seiko Diver fans. I have found two both with the rare dolphins back case and one with a nice dial then the other. My friend Bryan has 4 units of these beauties.
When comparing with the 6159-7010 tuna, the 6217 looks like a baby..
2. 1967年 – 6215-7000 (1967) – 300M Professional
This is a rare one and I saw one at the vintage watch shop but the condition is average only. This is in my to find list
3. 1968年 – 6159-7000/7001 (1968-197X) – 300M Professional
I was fortunate to have the help of 7 gor who has helped to work out the various administration and logistics and shipping from Japan. The watch is from a Japnese collector and it shall be arriving in 5 days time and I am eagerly waiting for it to be back. For me, this is the most beautiful diver watch. Initially, my plan was to get the SBDX003, which is the reissued version produced in year 2000 limited to 500 units. However, being priced at HK$30-34k, I find it difficult to pay for a reissue plus, as a vintage watch collector, my preference is for vintage first, whenever possible..to get this watch, I need to sell away my limited edition Fortis IQ watch...
I have just received the 6105-8000' a thinner case version from Ray yesterday night, upon my return from Shanhai business trip. The watch is in very good condition with all original case, dial, hands etc. given the thinner case, it is in fact very comfortable to wear. The faded bezel has also given the watch a vintage Rolex divers watch feel...but at a faction of the price. The hunt is on for the bigger brother and bigger cased 6150 8110 .
5. 1970年 – 2205-0640/0649/0760/0769/4090/0530 (1970-1981) – 150M Professional
This will be in my wist lists as well.
6. 1975年 – 6159-7010 (1975-1977) – 600M Professional (Tuna) – it was retailed at ¥89,000 yen in 1975.
As mentioned earlier, I have to trade one pair of my precious vintage speakers in order to get the watch. The search has been an interesting one as I was offered one but with winding crown not working and another with a loose turning bezel and scratched case. In the end, with good old fashioned barter trade, I was able to get this beauty, making it a win-win for both of us..
7. 1976年 – 6306-7000/7001 (1976-1981) – 150
This was an accidental find as initially I have no intention of getting it until I was informed that the 6306 7001 was made for the Japanese market with a different case back nos and dial marking and different day wording in Japanese as well as a different movement. Likewise, the case, dials and overall conditions are at its best!
I have bought one 6309 buy since it is still under service, I will have to ait to see if its a 6309-7040or other serial nos. I bought it at a bargain HK$1000 only..
9. 1982年 – 4205-0140/0143/0144/0150/0152/0156/015A/104A/014B/014T (1982-1987) – 150M
10. 1982年 – 7005-8052 – 70M
11. 1988年 – 7002-7000/7001/700A/700J/7010/7020/7039/ (1988-1996) – 150M
Even though some of friends could not understand why I collect Seiko, I must say the learning and joy in collecting and understanding this brand is an excitement. Moreover, the budget needed to collect these beauties were smaller and very affordable ..
Out of the 6 vintage Seiko 150m automatic divers, 4 down and 2 more to go... : )