A Seiko Watch for HOW MUCH?

It was the determination to excel that brought about the birth of Grand Seiko in 1960.

Image Credit: : aBlogtoWatch

During its development and ever since, the idea that drove the designers and engineers was that Grand Seiko should be the ‘ideal’ watch with standards of precision, durability and beauty that would lead the world.

The release of the first Grand Seiko in 1960

From the start the idea was simple, but its realization was fraught with challenges. The idea was to build a watch that would be as precise, durable, easy to wear and beautiful as humanly possible. While Seiko’s Crown and other mechanical watches of the 1950’s were constantly improving and increasingly popular, the team assembled to create Grand Seiko knew that, given time and resource, they needed, and could, go further.

The first Grand Seiko was a major advance. The new caliber 3180 was accurate to within +12 to -3 seconds a day and offered a power reserve of 45 hours. It was the first watch in Japan to be compliant with the standard of excellence of the Bureaux Officiels de Contrôle de la Marche des Montres.

The Grand Seiko Self-dater, 1964

Image credit: grand-seiko.com

The 1960 Grand Seiko was a great success, but the design team was determined to scale new heights in pursuit of their goal of creating the ‘ideal’ watch. Just four years from the creation of the first Grand Seiko, the Grand Seiko Self-Dater was introduced. The emphasis was on practicality. It had a calendar function and improved water resistance up to 50 meters, and was designed to be as practical in the office as it was beautiful in the evening.

The 1960’s. A decade of change.

The establishment of the Grand Seiko design philosophy

Released in 1967, 44GS had the highest level of accuracy of any manually wound 5 beat watch in the world. In just a few short years, Grand Seiko had made extraordinary strides towards its goal. The design of 44GS included many aspects that have been passed on to today’s Grand Seiko watches.

44GS established the look that Grand Seiko has continued to this day. It was a complex design idea, with rules about proportion, finish, angles and every other design aspect. Indeed, there were three basic principles and no fewer than nine elements required to achieve them. No other watch has had such an influence on the character of Grand Seiko and all subsequent Grand Seiko models have share the same unique brilliance and charm as 44GS because they have all expressed the Grand Seiko Style.

The rapid development of Grand Seiko’s mechanical watches

Throughout the decade, the Grand Seiko collection grew and new calibers were continually introduced with a rapidity. In 1967, Grand Seiko unveiled the 62GS, the first automatic Grand Seiko, followed in 1968, by the automatic 10 beat 61GS and the manual 10 beat 45GS.

Driven by the demands of the age and the new possibilities that technology presented, watch accuracy became a global obsession and competition at chronometer trials intensified.

image credit: aBlogtoWatch

Having won every Chronometer competition in Japan, Grand Seiko’s team looked overseas for new challenges and the Swiss observatory chronometry trials graciously admitted our entries in 1964. In the years that followed, the rankings steadily improved, at both the Neuchâtel and Geneva ‘concours’. In 1968, our movement were awarded the overall prize as the best mechanical watches in the Geneva observatory competition and the world saw that the movements that would find their way into Grand Seiko were among the very best in the world.

These results were no accident. Thanks to ever improving watchmaking skills, the invention of new alloys and components and a passion to create the ‘ideal’ watch, Seiko and, more specifically, the Grand Seiko team made a definitive and lasting contribution to the raising of global standards of mechanical watchmaking. Thanks to its unique Spron alloys, the torque and durability of its mainsprings were enhanced and made possible the increase of the balance wheel oscillation rate to 10 beats per second to significantly increase the accuracy of its watches. The challenge of a viable hi-beat watch was met. A series of specially adjusted watches further raised the bar and set new standards of precision over time by being less susceptible to changes in position and other external influences.

The level of accuracy was astonishing, with a variation of less than ±2 seconds per day or ±1 minute per month. Having pursued the goal of accuracy to the very limit of what was possible at the time, the Grand Seiko team gave its ultra-high-precision models the “Grand Seiko Very Fine Adjusted” name. The 61GS V.F.A. and the 45GS V.F.A became legends.

The development of Grand Seiko quartz

Grand Seiko’s first quartz watch

Image credit : Grand Seiko

In 1988, the first Grand Seiko quartz watch, the 95GS was born. It far exceeded the performance of all regular quartz watches with its accuracy of ±10 seconds per year. The secret, as ever with Grand Seiko, was the ability to manufacture every component in-house. Using quartz crystals grown in its own facilities and in its own way, the Grand Seiko team was able to select only those oscillators that exhibited superior performance in temperature resistance, humidity resistance and shock resistance, to produce movements with the highest possible accuracy.

The pursuit of the ideal quartz watch.

Grand Seiko creates the ultimate quartz watch

While the first Grand Seiko quartz watch was exceptional, it did not quench the enthusiasm of the Grand Seiko team to go further and create the ‘ideal’ quartz watch. In 1993, Just five years after the arrival of the first Grand Seiko quartz watch, Caliber 9F83 was completed. This quartz watch incorporated four key innovations, the Backlash Auto-Adjust Mechanism, the Twin Pulse Control System, the Instant Date Change Mechanism, and the Super Sealed Cabin. It sought to embody what Grand Seiko considered to be the essential qualities of a wrist watch, namely: accuracy, beauty, legibility, durability and ease of use. Grand Seiko spared no efforts in the details, making this the pinnacle of quartz watchmaking.

The development continued. In 1997 Seiko unveiled the 9F6 series, with a superior level of case design that made Grand Seiko quartz watches even more comfortable to wear.

2003 saw the creation of new quartz watch series whose resistance to magnetism was a remarkable 40,000 A/m. This series utilized an advanced exterior design and new casing techniques that allowed its ±10 seconds per year precision to be unaffected by proximity to computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

Source: grand-seiko.com

So how much will one set you back?

Prices range quite a bit for used, older, and new pieces. But the range is somewhere between $2000 and $47,000 at the time of this post.

The Value Proposition The Seiko SKX013 Dive Watch

A smaller take on one of the best budget watches of all time.

lmost three years ago to the day, Jack wrote a Value Proposition story about what might be the value watch to end all value watches: the Seiko SKX007 diver. For well under $200, you get a tough-as-nails dive watch with classic styling and some real history. There’s nothing to argue with, really. Unless you’re me, of course. 

I’ve always loved the SKX007, I really have. But, I’ve never been able to wear one. At 42mm across, it’s just too damn big for my Lilliputian wrist, both looking and feeling out of place. Until recently, I thought it was a lost cause, assuming that I would have to wander the Earth without a bang-for-your-buck Seiko diver at my side. Luckily, thanks to a tip from my colleague James Stacey, my prayers were answered and a solution was found: Meet the Seiko SKX013, the mini badass Seiko diver.

At first glance, without a wrist for scale, you might not even realize that you’re not looking at the SKX007. The SKX013 really is a dead-ringer for its big brother, in most respects. However, the watch has a smaller case that measures 37mm across and 13mm top to bottom. This makes it a full 5mm smaller in diameter (although thickness is the same). That’s a serious difference right there. 

As you look closer, you will notice a few difference between the watches. The proportions aren’t exactly the same, since the same movement is used in both (the automatic caliber 7S26). If I’m being honest with myself, the SKX007’s proportions are better than those of the SKX013. The smaller size means that it reads as thicker and you also lose some of the negative space on the dial. The day/date displays even cut into the rehaut a little – if this were a $5,000 watch that would drive me crazy, but here I’m willing to accept it as a compromise.

What is exactly the same between the two watches is the build quality. The SKX013 is water resistant to 200 meters, the screw-down crown at four o’clock has the hefty crown guards on either side, the crystal is Seiko’s proprietary Hardlex material, and the bezel has deep, even clicks. I threw this model on a NATO during the last weekends of summer and it held up without a single mark through trips to the beach and the park, exactly as you’d expect.

Now, the watch Jack showed you years ago was mounted on one of Seiko’s famous Jubilee-style bracelets. They’re a bit chintzy, but that’s actually why many people love them. I probably would have gotten my SKX013 on a similar bracelet, but, to be honest, the 013 is a little harder to find in stock in the U.S. than is the 007, so I had the choice of getting the watch without the bracelet or waiting a month. My impatience got the best of me and I purchased the watch on a rubber dive strap instead. I of course ordered it via Amazon, which is a veritable treasure trove of inexpensive Seiko watches that can be on your doorstep in under 48 hours. The SKX013 is also a tad more expensive than the SKX007, though that’s relative. I paid $256 for mine, and they seem to trade for anywhere between $225 and $275.

The dive strap was, shall we say, not for me. It was stiff, kind of bulky, and just didn’t feel great on the wrist. I’ve been alternating wearing the watch on a simple grey NATO, which is probably the way to go 99% of the time, and a black stitched calfskin strap from the HODINKEE Shop that cost more than the watch itself. It probably negates the value proposition here a bit, but it looks damn good. 

At 13mm, the SKX013 isn’t necessarily what I’d describe as a thick watch, but it’s not slim either. It sits nice and low to the wrist, and there are no comfort issues, but as the weather has started to cool off, I do find it snags on sweater and jacket sleeves a bit more than I wish it did. This isn’t a deal-breaker for me, but rather just something to be aware of if you’re going to make this a part of your collection.

I bought the SKX013 mostly as an experiment, to see if I would actually enjoy wearing one of those Seiko diver’s I’d so long admired from afar. I’m happy to report that I do, and I have been – this thing has gotten way more wrist time than expected and is now a regular part of my warm-weather watch rotation. As Jack originally remarked of this watch’s big brother, the SKX013 “ultimately manages to be so appealing on its own merits that the almost incredulity-inducing price is the least important aspect of the watch.” Well said, Jack. Well said.

Source: hodinkee.com ; STEPHEN PULVIRENT

Which Watch Would You Wear?

We take a look at some incredibly complicated time pieces. Which one suits you?


This stunning piece debuted in
2015 from Jacob & Co. The sheer complexity is jaw-dropping (as is the price). Known as the Astronomia Tourbillon
Baguette, this watch dazzles as the Earth and Moon rotate and spin accurately in time. It’s an extraordinary work of art and engineering. It can be yours for a shade over $1M.


In keeping with the baguette theme, we offer the heavily embellished Hublot Big Bang Tourbillion. It certainly is eye-catching. While we tend to favor the less obvious Big Bang Iterations


The ultimate in complications is the Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon Ref. 5002.  
The Sky Moon Tourbillon Watch is one of the most famous names in the modern Patek catalog. The over $1 million watch is rare, beautiful, and exotic, even by Patek Philippe standards. One of the watches just set a record of $1.2M at auction, by far the highest any watch has gone for at auction in this economy. Some are now listed over $2M.

World’s Best

Bringing back the baguettes is the Ulysse Nardin Royal Blue Tourbillon Haute Joaillerie.
Limited to 30 pieces and features a flying tourbillon, manual winding movement, a Platinum 950 case, crown set with 8 diamonds / 1 sapphire 43mm case, and bezel set with 48 baguette diamonds and 137 baguette sapphires. It is water-resistant up to 30 m with a platinum bracelet set with diamonds. Wow!


Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial

Rumor has it that Oris is performing well this year in terms of sales. It is not that strange, as they hit home run last year with the Oris Divers Sixty-Five in 40mm. Another important aspect is of course the price segment in which Oris operates. Where a lot of Swatch Group and Richemont Group brands left the < 2000 Euro market, Oris does offer a lot of bang for the buck still. This year, they not only showed us the new 42mm versions of the Divers Sixty-Five, they now also introduced the Divers Sixty-Five green dial version, in 42mm.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial

Oris Divers Sixty-Five – Milking It?

Oris has a couple of Divers Sixty-Five models in their collection today, only within 1.5 years after the initial introduction. In total 25 versions, including the Carl Brashear watch in bronze. Is that a bad thing? Well, you have to understand that there aren’t really 25 different versions. The differences are in size (40mm or 42mm), dial color (several) and strap variations. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five green dial is available on this leather strap as we have it here, but also on NATO, tropic strap and (rivet) stainless steel bracelet. That makes four versions of the Oris Divers Sixty-Five green dial alone. During purchase, you have to chose one of the strap option for the green model. That is, after you decided you want to go forward with the green dial and not a blue dial or silver dial. The black dial is only available in 40mm. Only blue dials come in both 40mm and 42mm, where the 40mm version has the ‘original’ dial design as the 1960s model.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial

The More The Merrier

So people want options. Or able to make a choice. If we compare that to premium car brands, that’s why BMW, Mercedes and Audi today for example, have a full range of cars from small cars to large sedans and a couple of SUVs in between in several sizes. Let’s also not forget the coupé models that are crossed with a SUV. Does it make sense for the purist? Probably not. But do purists dictate the market? Again, probably not.

Hands-On With the Green Dial Version

Although we had a look at the new 42mm range earlier this year, covered in this article, Oris presented this Divers Sixty-Five green dial version to us early October. Immediately after, Oris in The Netherlands gave us the watch to have a closer look.

The watch is identical to the other 42mm versions we discussed earlier, so I won’t go into details here. The Oris caliber 733 movement is based on the solid Sellita SW200-1 automatic, the date window on the dial has the same trapezoidal shape and basically the case is identical as well. That pretty much sums it up for everything except for the dial color.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial

Turns Almost Black

I always wonder for how long I like dials to be different from the usual black, silver, white or even gold color. Blue holds up longer than I thought to be honest (I remember I wasn’t too sure in 2000 when buying a blue dialed Omega Seamaster Professional 300M), I still like it. Green is perhaps a bit more difficult. On the other hands, under some conditions and from some angles, the green dial on this Oris Divers Sixty-Five almost turns black. It is this dark green tone, which is only ‘really’ green when in direct sunlight or under spot lights. During the day, when wearing in the office or in the house, with no direct light on it, it simply wears as a dark (or even black) dial.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial

Leather Strap

As written above, this Oris Divers Sixty-Five green dial watch, reference  01 733 7720 4057-07 5 21 02 comes with the brown leather strap. It looks a bit like one of those vintage straps that we see so often in our Watch Strap Review topics. It is a quality strap, suede leather and comes with the neat little stitching. To be honest, I actually prefer this configuration for this green dial Oris Divers Sixty-Five watch. It gives a nice contrast to the green dial. Another cool option is the bracelet (and getting a separate ‘spare’ strap), with its rivets.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial

Some Thoughts

The idea of being able to choose from a wide variety of Oris Divers Sixty-Five watches is nice. To be brutally honest, I would probably go for the original one myself, that is the original ‘re-edition’. Just because it comes closest to the original 1960s watch. Besides that 40mm watch, this green dial 42mm version and the bronze Carl Brashear models would be next in line. I think they are well done and nicely designed. I do think that Oris needs to be careful not to overdo it, there are limitations when producing several variants of a certain watch. Let’s just not hope they come with a DLC or PVD black version next year.


This watch has a list price of 1850 Euro, on leather strap. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five green dial on bracelet retails for 200 Euro more, 2050 Euro. To be honest, I would be doing that and get a nice vintage leather strap for it on the side. The bracelet is very comfortable, well-made and has the nice rivets (they are not riveted all the way down to the clasp, which is a bit of a pity). Let’s hope Oris will keep the prices sane next year as well, and that they come up with some original new angles for one of their heritage pieces. Oris has a good game going on with the Sixty-Five models!

For more detailed information, visit the official Oris website.

Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial

Source: fratellowatches.com ;