Grand Seiko 57GS

Grand Seiko First

Grand Seiko First

Introduced in Japan on December 18 of 1960, it was the first Japanese watch to pass the rating of the Bureaux Officiels de Contrôle de la Marche des Montres. Seiko’s goal was to create the ideal watch, according to the highest standards of precision, beauty, legibility and durability.

Manufactured by Suwa Seikosha, it housed the caliber 3180 (later renamed 5720), which combined some characteristics of the movements previously developed by Seiko for the Lord Marvel and the Crown. The claimed accuracy was +12/-3 seconds per day.

The choice of the Grand Seiko logo

After lengthy debates, the Gothic font was chosen to express Grand Seiko’s respect for the long history of mechanical watchmaking.

Grand-Seiko.com

Materials

Most of the examples produced feature a case coated with a layer of 14-karat gold that is 80 microns thick (considerably thicker than common gold plating). Some examples with platinum cases were also produced, much rarer and more expensive than the previous ones. The latter are not present in the catalogs of the time, but their existence is officially confirmed by Seiko.

According to the official version, the first Grand Seiko was never produced with a steel case, and the specimens of this type that are occasionally seen on the second-hand market are almost certainly assembled watches, containing non-original or modified parts.

Different versions of the dial

Both in the gold filled examples and in those in platinum, we find different variations of the dial. In some examples, particularly in the early ones, the Grand Seiko logo located at 12 o’clock is engraved or printed, while in others (most of them) the logo is raised.

Almost all of the specimens, both gold filled and platinum case, have dials of the SD type (Special Dial), as can be seen from the symbol at 6 o’clock, but there are rare examples of AD dials.

Grand Seiko Logo
From top to bottom: raised logo, engraved logo and printed logo.
SD dial with engraved logo, grand-seiko.com

Ref. J14070 – Gold Filled

Movement: 3180
Type: manual
Jewels: 25
Bph: 18.000
Case: gold filled (14k gold, 80 micron)

Dial variations: SD, AD
Logo variations: engraved, printed, raised

Ref. J14070 – Platinum

Movement: 3180
Type: manual
Jewels: 25
Bph: 18.000
Case: platinum

Dial variations: SD, AD
Logo variations: engraved, printed, raised

Grand Seiko Self Dater/Calendar

Introduced in 1963, it was the first Grand Seiko with a date complication, equipped with Seiko’s proprietary fast-forward mechanism. The watch guaranteed a water resistance of 50 meters (5 atm).

Caliber 5722A, initially called 430, runs at 18,000 bph, while the later 5722B version runs at 19,800 bph.

There are two variants of the first version, with caliber 430: one with SD dial (Special Dial), and another with AD dial (Applied Dial). The difference is that the indexes in the SD dial are in white gold.

SD (Special Dial) with white gold indexes
AD (Applied Dial)

Ref. 43999 (SD)

Movement: 430
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: stainless steel

First version of the Self Dater, with SD dial.

Ref. 43999 (AD)

Movement: 430
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: stainless steel

First version of the Self Dater, with AD quadrant.

Ref. 5722-9990

Movement: 5722
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: stainless steel

Model updated according to the new standards for Seiko case-movement references. “Chronometer” written on the dial.

Ref. 5722-9000

Movement: 5722
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: 18k gold

Self Dater with solid gold case. “Chronometer” written on the dial.

Ref. 5722-9970

Movement: 5722
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: stainless steel

Reference commissioned by Toshiba, for employees who had completed 25 years of work in the company. Recognizable by the writing on the back of the case, the 1965 and 1966 versions had the Chronometer writing under the Seiko logo, no longer present in the 1967 and 1968 versions.

Ref. 5722-9991

Movement: 5722
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: stainless steel

Chronometer writing no longer present.

Ref. 5722-9010

Movement: 5722
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: gold cap

Ref. 5722-9011

Movement: 5722
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: gold cap

Ref. 5722-9001

Movement: 5722
Type: manual
Jewels: 35
Case: 18k gold

Self Dater with soilid gold case, Chronometer writing no longer present.

MovementTypeJewelsBphComplicationsTechnical information
3180/5720Manual2518.000JapaneseEnglish
430/5722AManual3518.000DateJapanese
5722BManual3519.800DateJapaneseEnglish