The first of the 57GS series of watches to be released was the SD dial variant of the 43999, and is the most collectible of all the standard steel-cased 57GS references.
The 43999 SD dial commenced production in August 1963 – the same month that we see the last examples of the Grand Seiko First dating from, with the latest example we have seen with dating from January 1964.
Whilst there are many different “transitional” mixes of dials, movements and casebacks in the 57GS series, we take the view that the 43999 SD dial examples should only be considered original with the 430 movement, 43999 caseback (falling in the date range mentioned above), and the coarse knurled crown.
With screw down case-backs – increasing water resistance to a stated 50 meters – in addition to the iterative development mentioned above, the 57GS eventually comprised models constructed from three different case materials. By far the most common are, as would be expected, are the stainless steel versions, but the watches were also available in “cap gold” (steel construction with a thick gold wrap), and the extremely rare and very costly solid 18K gold cases.
As we publish the articles on the references that make up this series, we will be exploring the differences between the variants, and highlighting some key things to look for when considering purchasing a 57GS.
Catalogues and other official Seiko publications
The Grand Seiko 43999 with SD dial can be found in a number of official Seiko publications from early 1960’s.
It features in the February, and June 1964 issues of the Seiko News, and also in a number of different flyers, all of which we have scanned and provide links to the appropriate articles below –