The background to the solid 18K gold cased 57GS references is quite confusing, with the only catalogue appearance coming in the very first “proper” Seiko catalogue of the vintage Grand Seiko era, 1966’s “No. 1”.
Pictured here is the page from that catalogue that features Grand Seikos, and as can be seen, just two references are shown – the 18K gold cased one listed at 130,000 Yen, and the stainless steel cased example listed at 27,000 Yen.
However, we do not believe that the image used for the 18K reference is of the watch, and is actually the same image as used for the stainless steel 5722-9990.
Despite not appearing in any publication except for this catalogue, the watch was actually introduced much earlier.
From looking at the examples of the 5722-9000 that we have been able to track down, it would appear that the entire production run dates from September 1964, which leads us to believe that these watches were created with the Tokyo Olympics in mind.
Given the production date, it should not be surprising to discover that almost all examples that have turned up in the last few years have the 430 movement. There is one exception to this, a watch that has a 5722B movement. Since it is impossible for a watch from 1964 to have a 5722B movement, we can only assume that either the watch has been serviced and had its movement replaced, or alternatively, the case for the watch was not used for several years.
There is one other “outlier” watch amongst those that we have seen, and that is a 5722-9000 whose dial code is marked “Japan [marker at 6] 5722-9990T AD”. All other examples of this reference have dials marked “Made in Japan [marker at 6] 5722-9000T”.
This dial code is a particular puzzle as it is the dial code for the steel watch. The gold cap 5722-9010 has a dial code “Japan [marker at six] 5722-9010T AD”.
All examples of the 5722-9000 have lion medallion casebacks, and “Chronometer” dials.