One of the key aims of this site is to be a source of information for those who collect vintage Grand Seiko. We don’t just list the watches that we have for sale in the anticipation that customers will add them to their collections – we also list watches that we have never had in stock, along with as much data about those watches as we can glean. The intent is to be a reliable source of information about exactly which references were created by Grand Seiko, and to provide data on those references.
We are confident that currently this site contains the most complete, accurate and detailed information on the historical Grand Seiko references that you will find anywhere.
The Seiko 1972 Luxury Watch Catalogue
From the late 1960’s onwards, Seiko would publish two main catalogues each year that were distributed to retailers. These catalogues detailed the full range of product on offer, providing a photo of every watch, along with a brief description and salient details including the price, case material, and other basic information.
In addition to the half-yearly catalogues (originally titled “No.1” and “No. 2”, but later changed to “Volume 1” and “Volume 2”), towards the end of the year a supplement to the second catalogue would be published.
Until we managed to acquire the catalogue featured in this article, we were under the impression that from 1969, Seiko also started to publish one additional catalogue – the “Special Luxury Catalogue” that showcased the top of the range models from the collection.
This new discovery – we do not believe this catalogue has ever been shown before in recent times – shows that there was another “level” of catalogue in the hierarchy. Not “Special Luxury”, merely “Luxury”.
Whether this was something that only existed in 1972 (the catalogue is not directly dated, but its year can be inferred from the watches featured in it – more on this later), or whether there are “Luxury” catalogues for other years remains to be seen.
It is interesting to note that the size of this catalogue is the same as that of the first three Special Luxury Catalogues from 1969 through to 1971.
The full title of the catalogue is “Seiko Watches – Luxury watches for men and women”. As with many publications of the period, it is designed with a double cover, and can be read (from a western perspective) either front to back, or back to front.
Reading with the spine on the left, the first seven inside pages feature men’s watches, with the final three pages featuring women’s watches.
Obviously the focus of this site is on vintage Grand Seiko, so for the purpose of discussion, we will be detailing those watches in this article. At the foot of this article are scans of the entire catalogue, where you can also see the four pages that feature King Seiko men’s watches, and the three pages of women’s watches.
As can be seen from the lead photo in this article, the front cover features one reference each from the Grand and King Seiko ranges.
On turning the cover page, we are presented with two pages featuring seven Grand Seikos.
The introductory text at the top of the page provides an overview of the Grand Seiko ethos, highlighting the 360 hours (15 days) of testing that each watch undergoes to ensure its accuracy.
The first three watches to be shown are from the “Special” range that debuted in the first 1971 catalogue. Shown, from top to bottom, are the 6156-8010, with its HSS case and faceted crystal; the 6155-8000 (which holds the distinction of being the only example of a vintage men’s Grand Seiko whose movement was only ever used in a single reference); and the cap-gold 6156-8020.
The inclusion of the 6156-8020, which made its first appearance in the January 1972 issue of Seiko Sales, and its first full catalogue appearance in the 1972 catalogue, allows us to date this publication to no earlier than 1972.
The right hand page shows four references from the 56GS series. Again from top to bottom, they are – the 5646-7010 in cap gold; the 5646-7010 in steel, with sunburst finished silver dial; the blue dialed 5646-8000 on a bracelet; and finally the blue dialed 5646-7010.
Whilst the cap gold 5646-7010 first debuted in the first volume of the 1971 catalogue, the other three watches all make their first main catalogue appearance in 1972. Once again, this provides more evidence for this luxury catalogue being dated no earlier than 1972, but crucially, two of the watches featured on this page – the silver dialed 5646-7010 and the blue dialed 5646-8000 make their sole appearance in a main Seiko catalogue in 1972’s edition.
It is also interesting to note that the dial colour of the two blue-dialed watches is very different. Today, we find examples of the 5646-8000 typically fading to a grey colour, whilst the original blue hue of the dial of the 5646-7010 is still retained.
Turning the page once more, we are presented on the left-hand page with the final four Grand Seikos to be featured in the catalogue.
Here we see three more references from the 56GS series, and one ladies watch from the 19GS series.
From top to bottom, they are – 5645-8000 with silver dial; 5641-7000; 5645-7010 white dial; and the 1964-0010 with PMP (platinum plated steel) case.
Interestingly, there are actually two references that share both the catalogue code of 19GS-R100 and the movement-case serial code of 1964-0010. One is the PMP cased version seen here, and the other has a regular stainless steel case. We can identify that the watch featured here is the former in two ways. Firstly, the price listed is 40,000 Yen (the steel cased watch was priced at 36,000 Yen), and secondly, the platinum plated cased reference dropped the “36000” text from the dial.
As with example on the previous page, additional support is provided for the dating of this publication to 1972 by the fact that the 5645-8000 pictured on this page only made a single appearance in the regular catalogues, in 1972.
Below we present a gallery featuring scans from all pages from the 1972’s Seiko Luxury Watch Catalogue.
Note that we believe this to be the first time this catalogue has ever been scanned and shared. We invest a considerable amount of money, time, and effort into acquiring Seiko catalogues from the vintage era and making them available online for the benefit of the community.
Sadly, there are people out there who think that it is perfectly OK to rip off that investment for their own benefit in an attempt to attract people to their sites. Whilst we of course do not own the copyright to these scans, we will be keeping a close eye on where they end up, and will mercilessly name and shame anyone who takes the files provided in good faith here, and rehosts them.
The only site with permission to rehost the scans of this catalogue is Anthony Kable’s Plus9Time.