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.
We are confident that currently this site contains the most complete, accurate and detailed information on the historical Grand Seiko references that you will find anywhere.
The Seiko 1974 volume 2 catalogue
From the late 1960’s onwards, Seiko would publish two main catalogues each year that were distributed to retailers. These catalogues detailed the full range of product on offer, providing a photo of every watch, along with a brief description and salient details including the price, case material, and other basic information.
In addition to the half-yearly catalogues (originally titled “No.1” and “No. 2”, but later changed to “Volume 1” and “Volume 2”), towards the end of the year a supplement to the second catalogue would be published.
Volume 2 of the 1974 catalogue changes the design format to A4 size which permits a greater number of watches to be shown on each page.
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 was 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. But we’re not quite done with the Grand Seikos yet…
Nothing new to see here
No new references are introduced in this catalogue, so it really only remains to mention what has been dropped from what was featured in the 1974 volume 1 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 day 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!
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.
In the gallery below we present scans of the cover of, and pages from, the Seiko 1974 volume 2 catalogue that feature Grand Seikos.