The platinum cased Grand Seiko “First” is arguably the ultimate grail for any collector of vintage Grand Seiko.
To the best of our knowledge, there are no brochures, catalogues, nor other Seiko publications that mention its existence, with rumours that it was only ever available to purchase on special order from the Seiko owned Wako department store in Ginza, Tokyo.
What seems clear from the few examples of the reference that we have been able to record in our database is that the platinum First was available to order for much of the production timeline of the regular watches, which is demonstrated by the fact it can be found with carved logo, raised logo, and even AD dials.
We are aware of two examples of the reference with carved logo dials. Interestingly, the case back serial numbers indicate very different production dates, with the first dating from May 1961, and the second from September 1962.
September 1962 is extremely late for a carved dial (regardless of the case material) – possibly Grand Seiko manufactured a batch of the dials (which of course differ from the dials for the gold-filled models in that they have white metal indices) at once, and they didn’t all get cased up at the time. What is more intriguing though is that it appears that Seiko manufactured a run of cases all at once in September 1962 – we know of four examples of platinum cases with case serial numbers in the 2910001 to 2910030 range, with the carved dial example falling in this range. The other three watches in this range that we have catalogued all have raised logo dials.
Whereas the regularly cased references were priced at 25,000 Yen, the platinum cased watch was substantially more expensive at 140,000. Although we have yet to discover any contemporary documentation that supports this fact, we know it to be the case as we are in possession of a full set example of the reference (with raised logo dial), complete with a small metal stand that indicates the price.
In the background you can also see the small heart-shaped swing tag that was attached to the watch stating the case was made from platinum. We know of only two full sets of the reference, and intriguingly they have different versions of this tag.