The AD dial version of the Grand Seiko 43999 makes its first appearance in the January 1966 issue of Seiko Sales.
There is an extensive article on the 57GS in this issue which we have scanned in its entirety (see below for link).
The earliest production month we have seen for the 43999 AD dial variant is January 1964, thus both AD and SD dial examples of this reference were in production in that month.
Like the earlier SD dial, the text at the bottom of the dial can be used to identify this watch even in very low resolution photographs such as the one seen here. To the left of the 6 o’clock index is printed “Made In Japan”, and to the right, the dial code – 43999TO.
Since the dial code is much shorter than that found on the SD dial (which is GS514H380-SD), it is possible to identify which dial variant of the 43999 is pictured, even without being able to read the characters.
As mentioned in the article on the 43999 SD dial, whilst there are many examples of 57GS watches with all manner of combinations of dials, movements, crowns, and casebacks, we take the view that a 43999 AD should only be considered when powered by the 430 movement, with a caseback indicating production in January 1964 or later, and a coarse knurled crown.
Catalogues and other official Seiko publications
Whilst still too early to be included in any of the Seiko catalogues (the first comprehensive catalogue – as opposed to the pamphlets and flyers that came earlier – was “Number 1” that was published in 1966), the 43999 with AD dial can be found featured in three issues of Seiko Sales from 1966.
Links to articles including scans of those issues of Seiko Sales are provided below.
Note – it is interesting to observe that in this issue, whilst the 43999 with AD dial is shown pictured at the top of the first page of the article, the back cover of the publication actually shows the 5722-9990.
Although we haven’t done an extensive survey of 57GS series watches that have been shared publicly, we believe that production of the 43999 AD dial would not have extended too far into 1965 (if at all) before being replaced by the 5722-9990. Given that the first Seiko Catalogue that was published at the beginning of 1966 also pictures the 5722-9990, the fact that we continue to see the 43999 AD dial pictured in Seiko Sales through 1966 should not be read as proof that it was still being manufactured at that time – most likely, Seiko were simply using old stock photos.
Very rarely we are able to pick up an original advert for a vintage Grand Seiko. Typically these adverts are discovered cut from newspapers or magazines from the time.
We present scans of two adverts that feature the 43999 AD dial below.