With production starting in April 1960 and running through to mid-1961, carved logo dial variants of the “First” are extremely desirable watches amongst collectors of vintage Grand Seiko.
Over the years, we have compiled an extensive database that details examples of Grand Seiko “Firsts” where we have been able to record both case and movement serial numbers, alongside specific design elements of the reference that were changed over the course of its production.
From this data, it would seem that the dials of watches manufactured between April and November 1960 all have a “split 12” index – the hour index at 12 o’clock is made up from two separate pieces of metal, each individually applied to the dial via pegs that fit into holes, and which are then soldered on the reverse of the dial.
These two separate elements of the 12 o’clock index can be clearly seen in the detailed image below –
Whilst the production period during which this dial variant would seem to be quite long, it should be noted that we have seen no examples of Grand Seiko Firsts that have been manufactured in July, August or September 1960. Thus, the actual number of months that this variant was in production is, we believe, five.
The distinction between these watches and the later ones with a single piece of metal used for the double index at 12 o’clock is, we believe, not widely understood in the collecting community. We anticipate that once this information becomes more widely known, we will start to see a significant premium being necessary to acquire the earlier split-12 index carved logo dial First over the later watches.
We currently have an example of this reference available dating from the very first month of production, which can be found at the following link –
Catalogues and other official Seiko publications
This reference can be found featured in the March 1961 issue of “Seiko News”, a link to an article on which is provided below –