The 5722-9990 is the first of the vintage Grand Seikos to be categorized by the newly introduced [movement code-case code] product number system that we are now so familiar with.
Whilst several updates to various aspects of the reference were made when it replaced the 43999 in the range, the movement, – save for the inscription on the main bridge – is identical.
Indeed, when we look at the movement parts guides dating from the 1960’s, the 430 movement as found in the 43999, and 5722A movement found in this reference, are detailed on the same sheet.
Further, one can see from the movement part guides that the movement used by these early 57GS watches shares many similarities and parts with the movement found in the Grand Seiko “First”, the 3180 (also identified as the 5720 movement) – all the way down to the balance wheel, escape wheel, and pallet fork.
As with all variants of the 57GS series, we find many different combinations of dial, movement, crown, and caseback for this reference. Based on the photographs from the time though, we believe that “correct” examples of this reference should have the “Chronometer” dial, course crown, 5722A movement, and 5722-9990 caseback.
We currently have an extremely rare example of this reference available for sale, complete with box, papers, and swing tags.
Catalogues and other official Seiko publications
The 5722-9990 makes its debut in the first volume of a new format of Seiko catalogues, which launched in 1966. Called simply “No. 1”, an identical photo is used to represent both this watch, and the solid 18K gold cased 5722-9000. We will discuss the appropriateness of the same photo being used for both models in a later article on the 18K gold watch.
The watch is also pictured in 1967’s “No. 2” catalogue, although by this time it is clear that the 5722-9990 had been replaced in the range by the 5722-9991, with its “non-Chronometer” dial. Given the 5722-9991 debuts in the supplement to the “No. 1” catalogue, it is clear that for the “No. 2” catalogue, the incorrect stock photo was used. For the sake of completeness however, we will link to our article on this later catalogue –
Note that this catalogue introduces the gold cap variant of the 57GS, although it must be stressed that no examples of the cap gold cased references exist with “Chronometer” dials.
In addition to its catalogue appearances, the 5722-9990 also features on the back cover of the January 1966 issue of Seiko Sales, a publication that includes a detailed article on the manufacture and testing of the 57GS.