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.
Vintage Grand Seiko for women
Now that we have completed our series of articles on the men’s Grand Seikos that featured in the old Seiko catalogues of the 1960’s and 1970’s, we need to close things off with a couple of epilogues, the first of which is this article, that serves to provide an overview of the vintage Grand Seikos that were made for women.
We chose to present the women’s watches separately for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it’s a simple fact that the vast majority of those people who are interested in collecting vintage Grand Seiko, or simply learning about the history of the brand, will be interested almost exclusively on the men’s watches – women’s watches, regardless of brand, are just not of much interest to your typical male collector.
But secondly, we of course do recognise that for those people who are interested in ladies watches, it probably makes more sense to group them all together and present them in one single article, rather than expecting the interested collector to bounce around multiple different articles hunting down just a small paragraph of text relevant to the offer for women in each of the catalogues in which they feature.
So without further ado, we present here the five watches in the women’s vintage Grand Seiko range, and detail the catalogues in which they appear.
1964-0010 in stainless steel and cap gold
The first Grand Seiko for women was introduced in the 1969 Volume 2 catalogue at a price of 35,000 Yen, with a movement-case reference code of 1964-0010, and a catalogue reference of 19GS R100.
Initially it was only available with a stainless steel case, and would make a total of four catalogue appearances, featuring in 1970’s volume 1 and 2, and 1971’s volume 1, in addition to its debut appearance.
The scan above is taken from the 1970 volume 2 catalogue, where the stainless steel reference was joined by a variant cased in cap gold, for a premium of 5,000 Yen.
This cap gold cased reference was only detailed in the 1970 volumes 1 and 2 catalogues, and shares both movement-case, and catalogue, codes with the base stainless steel cased watch.
Joining the Grand Seiko for Women range in the 1970 volume 2 catalogue, where it made its sole appearance, is the 1964-0020.
Whereas the 1964-0010 had a case that was clearly a derivative of the classic men’s “Grammar of Design” 44GS series, the 1964-0020’s case had a more elegant and feminine design.
1964-0020 with platinum plated case, or is it?
This is a very confusing listing, but we will discuss it here to clear up that confusion!
First detailed in the 1971’s volume 2 catalogue, with text underneath the “PMP . WR” designation saying “Coming soon”, is a watch that is pictured with the case of the 1964-0020, whose catalogue code would have been 19GS R101.
However, multiple examples of this catalogue that we are aware of have a sticker over the catalogue code, manually altering it to 19GS R100. We have actually pealed off the sticker to double check this on our own catalogue, and that is indeed what was originally printed.
So – we have a photograph of a 1964-0020, detailed with its correct catalogue code of 19GS R101, but the code has been altered.
Why? Well, if we skip to the next appearance of the watch that was intended to be detailed here as “coming soon”, we discover the reason for the manual edit.
1964-0010 with platinum plated case
It would seem that the earlier “coming soon” depiction of this reference in the 1971 volume 2 catalogue was incorrect. Whether the intention originally was to release the watch as depicted, and then a change of mind occurred; or whether the watch we see pictured above was always planned, and someone simply made a mistake in 1971’s volume 2 catalogue we will probably never know.
But what does become clear by the time we see the final version of this reference – first pictured correctly above in the 1973 volume 1 catalogue – is that the “PMP” (platinum plated steel) watch is actually based on the “Grammar of Design” 1964-0010 reference.
1972’s Special Luxury Catalogue saw the introduction of the women’s “VFA”. With a movement-case code of 1984-3000, and a catalogue code of 19GS S400, this was the pinnacle of the Grand Seiko for Women range, and – whilst not claimed to be as accurate as the men’s VFA’s – was a remarkable achievement in a watch so relatively small.
“AAA” rated, which meant it was accurate to +/- 3 seconds per day (the same as the men’s “Specials”), the VFA is an extremely rare and collectible watch that is rarely seen available on the market today.
In addition to its debut in the 1972 Special Luxury Catalogue, it made a second – and final – appearance in volume 1 of the 1973 catalogue.
The vintage Grand Seikos for women, whilst – VFA excepted – not particularly collectible compared to the men’s references, do demonstrate the commitment of the Grand Seiko brand back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We believe that not only were these watches the first in the world to put a 36,000 bph movement in a women’s sized case, but also quite possibly the only instance of that ever being achieved.
As stated at the top of the article, this is the first of two epilogues to our series of articles on the vintage Grand Seiko era based on the historical Seiko catalogues.
The second epilogue – and final article in the series – will be published in the coming days, and feature those references that – for some reason or another – never quite made it into the official catalogues.