Seiko in the Swiss Observatory Chronometer Trials

One of the key aims of this site is to be a source of information for those who collect vintage Grand Seiko. We don’t just list the watches that we have for sale in the anticipation that customers will add them to their collections – we also list watches that we have never had in stock, along with as much data about those watches as we can glean. The intent is to be a reliable source of information about exactly which references were created by Grand Seiko, and to provide data on those references.

On occasion, we will publish an article that, whilst not specifically or solely about vintage Grand Seiko, we believe will be of interest to those visiting.

As mentioned in our previous post, we have recently acquired a large number of in-house Seiko publications from the late 1960’s through to the early 1970’s. There is no question that these were some of the most important years in Seiko’s long and illustrious history, with their mechanical watchmaking reaching its peak with the Grand Seiko VFA‘s; the introduction of arguably the most important wristwatch of the 20th century – the Seiko Quartz Astron; and the incredible performance of the company in the Swiss chronometer competitions held at Neuchatel and Geneva.

One of the publications now in our possession is an issue from March 1969 of what we believe to be the Suwa Seikosha in-house magazine. In it, is what is clearly an astonishingly in-depth and comprehensive article on Seiko’s participation in those Swiss chronometer trials.

Now obviously this article is in Japanese, but it will be of immense interest even to those who do not speak the language. If there is anyone out there who would be willing to translate this article into English, please do get in contact. We believe it contains information that has quite possibly been lost for decades, as we have never seen this magazine anywhere before, and to the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that it has ever been scanned and uploaded for the community to enjoy.

Below you will find a gallery containing scans of the first 21 pages of the magazine. The first three pages are the front cover of the magazine, the inside front cover page, and then the table of contents.

The article would appear to be split into three sections over 18 pages. We believe the first section relates to the final 1968 year competition in Geneva where Seiko swept the board in the mechanical wristwatch movement category; the second section details the history of Seiko’s participation in the trials; and the third would seem to link the increase in Seiko’s competitiveness in the trials, with its expanding business worldwide.

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