I thought I’d feature this 1962 Grand Seiko that came in recently for a service because I’ve never seen another in stainless steel. As far as I’m aware these were never offered for sale to the public in stainless steel so it’s a bit of a mystery as to why they were manufactured, if you wanted one you had the choice of Gold or if you were lucky and had deep pockets Platinum. There are various theories about whether they were display pieces, working salesman samples or for purchase by Seiko employees. I guess we’ll never know for sure now but what a joy to actually work on one of these! It’s powered by the same calibre 3180, chronometer grade, low beat, 25 jewel movement as it’s precious metal cousins.
This has a stainless steel back with the lion rampant which signifies a chronometer grade movement. It still has it’s protective blue plastic covering intact so I don’t suppose this has seen much wrist time!
The caseback has the old Seiko stork symbol along with a production date of January 1962 and the case reference. The black ink signifies the watch has been cared for in the past as it was serviced on 10th December 2007, the H19 signifies the 19th year of the Heisei period.
As ever with chronometer grade Seikos the movement carries a serial number.
The movement is withdrawn through the front so the bezel and crystal have to come off.
Under the dial is the simple but sturdy motion and keyless work.
The movement needs turning over at this point and the stripdown continues.
Soon it was ready for the cleaner then inspection.
The rebuild started with the barrel and mainspring.
After I do the barrel I always lubricate and put the jewel caps in place, you’ll find if you don’t you’ll have a hell of a job getting the train bridge on as the wheels bottom pivots will drop down onto their shoulders and the top pivots won’t reach their holes 🙂
It’s ready for the dial in this shot.
And what a beautiful dial, almost porcelain like. Here’s a close up of the code.
The handset goes on next….
….the movement is replaced….
….and this very rare bird is finished, still keeping time to chronometer standards after all these years which for a low beat movement is remarkable. The chap who’s watch this is also has the Gold and Platinum versions, a collection that few in the world can claim to have.