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The Keepers

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  • The Keepers

    This is an ongoing thread for members to showcase the one or few watches that they consider "Keepers" in their collection.

    I currently have a small collection of 14 pieces and only been collecting for a few years, but I'm confident saying that my 7548 7000 Seiko Quartz Diver is currently my only keeper.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	seiko.jpg Views:	0 Size:	186.1 KB ID:	58904

    I have other pieces that I love a great deal, sure, but the 7548's wear-ability, functionality and of course, condition are what draw me to it so often. In my short time of purchasing vintage pieces one thing I’m certain of is: it’s an absolute minefield out there. So when I come across that vintage piece that ticks all the boxes, it’s a home run.

    Having it with me at the Grand Canyon earlier this year associates it with some life long memories AND because it doesn't have an ungodly amount of funds tied up in it, its great to travel with and if my finances were to take a downward turn, it wouldn't have to go

    Click image for larger version  Name:	grand canyon seiko.jpg Views:	5 Size:	166.4 KB ID:	58907

    Please share which watches you consider Keepers and tell us why!
    Last edited by retlaw4; 01-06-20, 21:01.

  • #2
    Great post and awesome topic Retlaw4!!!


    • #3
      I agree, this a great idea for a topic.

      I’ll start with what is probably my most treasured watch. There’s nothing special or remarkable about the watch itself, but it used to be my Dad’s. There’s a bit of a funny story about it and why it’s so beat up. Mum actually bought him this one as his dress watch and he had a basic Pulsar for work. However as this was an auto it obviously needed to be wound and set each time he wore it. This was a bit of a chore, but he treasured the watch and the fact that it was a gift from Mum so it turned into his daily watch and he’d been wearing it pretty much every day for at least a couple of years before he died.


      • #4
        This one sat in my drawer for a few years, until i got it back out to look at, 4-5 years earlier my watchmaker told me that it was in the to hard to handle basket, for a start he could not get the crown off as all rusted, so with watch in hand and pliers in other took to the crown, took a while and alot of force it popped out with out breaking anything including stem. so began a venture that i loved, tracking down the parts needed and most i got from Portugal, dial was very dirty, so all cleaned up and movement fully serviced and $380 later, my favourite and a Keeper. Valjoux 7733 17 jewel manual wind,,Bucherer from 1969 Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_9901.JPG Views:	0 Size:	111.8 KB ID:	58949
        Last edited by cyma; 02-06-20, 21:20.
        'Man Invented time, Cyma Perfected it.'


        • retlaw4
          retlaw4 commented
          Editing a comment
          Fantastic piece! With it's original case finishing..the panda cool. What sort of movement is inside?

        • cyma
          cyma commented
          Editing a comment
          Have added.

      • #5
        They are all keepers until they go on the block. I do find it interesting how a strap / bracelet change can often turn a watch around, or even the same case but different dial colour. Probably got a dozen keepers... Certainly my GS Divers, My antimagnetic watches, shogun and ??? will have to think on it more...


        • retlaw4
          retlaw4 commented
          Editing a comment
          I kinda mean which are the ones that will NEVER go on the block. No matter your circumstances

      • #6
        Click image for larger version

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ID:	59082 I have a few that I currently see as keepers. This 6105 8000 is from June 1968. Therefore birth year and month. It is in lovely condition, light groom from Blair on receipt 4 or so years back. All original (replacement hands currently fitted, originals are safely tucked away). Would be very hard to ever replace, hence it is a keeper. A couple of others are keepers for more personal reasons, those to follow.

        'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' - but lets face it some people have better eyesight than others!


        • retlaw4
          retlaw4 commented
          Editing a comment
          Two gorgeous pieces and that's a great hat!
          I'd absolutely love a birth year watch but I've never come across any (Aug 1990). Hopefully one day,..

      • #7
        My habits in watches may not be normal in that I have rougly half a dozen pieces that I would consider permanent to some degree. Perhaps unusual also, in that more than half of the watches currently in my box are models that I’ve owned in the past, either of the exact variant or another similar one. Nonetheless, I’ll add to this topic, as it’s a great idea on part of the OP ...I have only one watch that I would never sell, but more because of sentimental value, one that came to me through circumstances rather than of conscious choice ( ).

        For this thread, I’ll pick one, a vintage Japanese manual-wind from 1968, and again, I have owned two specimens prior, though both were the Date version.

        Now, let’s see if I can make you appreciate this Date-less hand-winder beyond the photo above. For that, we’ll go back to mid-20th Century. Back then, being on time was as important as it is today, and men wore wrist watches, but with different priorities than we do now. One needed to be able to tell time, tell the correct time, and that in itself was a type of power that one man had over another.

        To be able to tell the precise time, one needed to be able to “keep” time previously set to a reference, and being able to maintain near-accurate time for longer duration—days and even weeks—gave a man greater power, to be on time, to be in time for opportunities. In the days prior to quartz technology, being in possession of horological precision denoted status, both among the wearer and the manufacturer capable of mechanical accuracy. Precision sells, and watch companies strive to deliver. For most of the 20th Century, the ability to keep time through mechanical means was a necessity in life, not a self-imposed limitation like it is today.

        During the 1960s, watch companies gained their status through Swiss observatory chronometer contests, made up of competitions in various category of clocks and watches. Seiko joined the challenge in 1963, and in the following year, both manufacturing subsidiaries of Seiko—Suwa Seikosha and Daini Seikosha—entered the Neuchâtel Observatory contest for mechanical wristwatch movement. Initially, the Japanese Manufactures had less than impressive outcomes, but their resilient effort over the next two years saw their best entry rise from 144th place to 9th place in the competition, with Daini Seikosha ranking improved from 6th in the manufacturer score to 3rd among all watch producers.

        The 1967 Neuchâtel Observatory Concour resulted in 1st Place: Omega, 2nd Place: Daini Seikosha, 3rd Place: Suwa Seikosha, 4th Place: Longines. The best movements submitted by Daini Seikosha that year was the Cal. 052 in two variants operating at 36000 A/hr and 72000 A/hr. Surprising, the 36000 bph version outperformed the 72000. Perhaps this was the reason that 36000 amplitude was the magic number chosen when Seiko set out to build their first high-frequency production movement, based on their existing Cal 5740B that equipped the Seiko Lord Marvel.

        In the same year that Seiko obtained victory over all but one Swiss watch manufacturer at Neuchâtel, they introduced the World’s First In-House High-Frequency Movement, the Cal 5740C 36’000 A/hrmanual-wind, powering the Lord Marvel 36000 of 1967.

        Unfortunately, Seiko was denied the opportunity to climb to the top spot on the podium. The Observatory Trial of Neuchatel was permanently canceled in 1968, without explanation. In that year, Seiko entered into the Concours de Genève organised by the Observatory of Geneva, where Suwa Seikosha mechanical Cal R45 took every places from 4th to 10th place, but only because 1st to 3rd places were won by Beta 21 quartz movements from the Swiss watch industry-backed Centre Electronique Horloger. This essentially meant that SEIKO mechanical movements defeated all Swiss mechanical movements, with none of the latter even making the top 10 places.

        1968 was the last year that any Swiss Observatory trials were held, the Geneva contest ended the following year, closing the curtain on a Swiss watch industry tradition. Many have since speculated that it was in fear of Seiko sweeping a clear victory, perhaps with their quartz calibres, should the Concours continued. Though the competition days ended, the Neuchâtel Observatory were still open for certifying the coveted “Observatory Chronometer” Certification. That year, Daini Seikosha was able to obtain 73 Observatory Chronometer Certifications for their ultra-high-beat Cal. 4520 36000 A/hr, all of which were later sold to the public.

        A production version, a pedestrian variant—if a Grand Seiko can be termed as such—was also manufactured and released towards the end of 1968. The near-identical architecture 25-jewel Cal. 4520A was a 10 beat/sec handwind, and became Daini’s first GS to run at 36000 A/hr, joining Suwa’s Grand Seiko Cal. 6145 (Date) and Cal. 6146 (Day-Date) 36’000, unveiled earlier in that same year.

        Image scan from 1968 Seiko Catalog (Japan Domestic Market) – Supplementary

        Now 52 years old, this timekeeper is the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 (4520-8000), also referenced on the GS website ( ).

        I’m now suppose to talk about “Grammar of Design” etc., but I will not engage in what has, in my view, become a tired yes-we’ve-all-read-that cliché among a lot of wannabe experts in stylish consumerism that passes for being a WIS these days. Instead, let’s think about how the 45GS embodies traditional Japanese aesthetic ideas through exploring a few tenets of the Zen aesthetic principle. One of the first thing you notice is the simplicity, uncluttered essence of the dial and case—very plain and devoid of anything non-essential. This is Kanso, and the external elements mimics the unadorned nature of the 4520A movement, décor omitted almost intentionally so.

        Shibui is understated beauty, direct, elegant simplicity, and minimalist approach.

        When the 45GS debut, Seiko joined an small exclusive club of 36000 bph movement manufacturers. The 45 Series was developed alongside competition calibers, and was state of the art. Hold the watch up to your ear, and you hear it run like a frantic freight train. Yet, the energetic activity of the movement is contained within tranquil stillness of the design. This energized calm is Seijaku.

        Among seasoned Seiko collectors, this GS 4520A is regarded simply as the “perfect movement”, and that could mean that the 45GS might have a shot at being the “perfect watch”. For over a decade that I’ve researched about vintage Grand Seiko, nothing bad has ever been said about these watches. Naturally, I won’t pass this opportunity to be the first.

        Like many rare classics of the automotive world, the 45GS was a sales flop for Daini in the late-60s. Even hand-wind aficionados—not many in that era I would imagine—opted to pay 3,000 Yen more to get the Date version 45GSC (4522-8000). Today, we watch enthusiasts enjoy our mechanical watches for nostalgic reasons, as well as being patrons who help to keep collective horological heritage alive. We, along with watch companies of today, are willing to bend reality slightly, adopt some self-imposed limitation on technology, and tolerate some inconvenience, in order to keep mechanical timekeeping for future generations. For folks of the 60s, all of this was their everyday reality.

        By mid-1960s, both automatic self-winding movement and Date complication had become mainstream. Seiko Sportsmatic and Seiko 5 were both widely available in Japan, and was within reach of the common salary man. These two mechanical features were advances that watch buyers had come to expect, and these were joined in the late-60s by the Day complication. Seiko model references often carried the letter “C” for Calendar, denoting Date, and “W” for Week, for Day-equipped movements.

        The 45GS had none of those, but sold at many times the cost of Seiko models that offered all. As an analogy, it would be like you looking to buy a new mobile phone, and faced with a choice between this Nokia 2G phone selling at $400, and a 4G smart phone running Android at a little over $40.

        It is little wonder that, on the vintage watch market today, one hardly comes across a no-Date 45GS. The 4520-8000 was devoid of add-on, a no-fries-with-that kind of GS that arrived just before the dawn of a new era. An era of chronometry that would make the Daini 45GS’ technical reason for existence irrelevant, drowned out by 8 kHz oscillation of the quartz crystal, its -3/+6 sec per day eclipsed by the Astron’s 0.2 sec/day. The 45GS was one very focused machine, but if it were a human being, I wonder whether it would prefer to be remembered by its technical achievement over any association with the sublime.

        Last edited by Don; 08-06-20, 19:23.
        On the instruments we entrust to pace our lives, to bear witness to our days, and to be the keepers of the most precious thing we have... time.


        • retlaw4
          retlaw4 commented
          Editing a comment
          Such an awesome piece, Don. The first time I saw you post a photo of this I was hoping that it would come up for sale one day - well clearly it won't and I do not blame you
          I've been lusting after the SBGW231 and feel like this is a much better vintage alternative and at a nicer price.

      • #8
        only 3 or 4 for me. i have been known to flip the odd watch or two so i don't really get too attached but a few have made it into the 'cant see a reason why' area.

        first up is the 6105-8110, its the best watch ever made. better than any rolex, patek, vacheron or casio
        i just love it, perfect shape for me, same age as me, better condition than me but it uses more oil than i do so its about even. love the way it looks, the subtle design details, the distortion and reflections from the crystal, lolly pop hand and most of all the perfect, go anywhere, do anything, suitable for all straps 19mm lugs
        Click image for larger version

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        second up is the A13a, not a classic or vintage must have but i have put some serious time into finding the right daily wear for me. i've gone through most styles, movements and brands looking for that 1 that i enjoy just grabbing and knowing it will be right and suitable for whatever im doing. the A13a has seen of some serious contenders such as the Alpina, Sinn's EZM 1,2 & 3, UX, 757, U1, Precista HAQ, a plethora of micro brand divers and 3hand field watches, seiko tunas of all sorts, seiko mm600 and 300. its basically my perfect daily and given the efforts the maker went too it could be in my collection it would be rude to sell it and the modifications make it a one off and exactly what i wanted.
        the omega TV dial has been with me, gone south, come back to me and gone south again only to return to me so im thinking that may be a sign from the universe and its now staying too, love the 70s retro, love that its a speedy but not like any other speedy, love the knackered dial, sorry tropical dial
        Click image for larger version

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ID:	59120 and lastly, i don't know what it looks like yet but H sent it to some bloke whos supposed to be pretty good with tunas so when the TST returns it will be staying too.
        and if a certain gent in CHCH ever figures out how to make my other TST accept a HAQ GMT movement and make the hands fit, i'll fill it with oil and it will stay too.
        “Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”

        Despite having the numbers, there is the crazy man in the mountains that none of the tribes will go near!
        Always aim to be that man.


        • Don
          Don commented
          Editing a comment
          Great post, DW. Wondering whether you gravitate towards black dial on sports watches and divers like I do? I do like, and try to have, other colours like blue, yellow, or even brown, but those tend not to stay long.

        • deerworrier
          deerworrier commented
          Editing a comment
          Hmm, if you asked me what my preferred dial colour was id say without hesitation "BLUE" but as above, none if the watches i see as keepers are blue but are all black dials?
          add to that i have just got myself an orange dial from a few years ago back! and my current honeymoon period is with the PAM089 and its anthracite dial which play between black, blue and grey depending on the angle.
          in short, feck knows but it looks that way

        • deerworrier
          deerworrier commented
          Editing a comment
          holy crap, im all over the place! another one that will not be going anywhere is my Guinand white dial lefty. still have the emails Herr Sinn sent me discussing my customising and the pics Horst sent before he sent it for final build.

      • #9
        Great thread idea retlaw.....guess I am that member at the moment that only pops up once a month or two....haven't lost the love but the fervor has died down a bit. Haven't bought or sold anything but have been loving this and my g-shock over the last month.

        This GS I would keep over my explorer II....

        Sent from my SM-N975F using Tapatalk

        I was a one watch guy until I got my first SEIKO


        • Don
          Don commented
          Editing a comment
          That is completely normal, Sarbie ...I too need to take a hiatus every now and then, sometimes for months. Eventually we come back.

      • #10
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        This was my Grandads, 62 years young. As the inscription says presented to him in 1958. Works perfectly and dial has a lovely patina. Click image for larger version

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        'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' - but lets face it some people have better eyesight than others!


        • Don
          Don commented
          Editing a comment
          This is actually the most beautifully done personalized engraving that I've seen on a wrist watch. Normally would only expect something of this grade from a manufacturer. Thanks for sharing.

      • #11
        These are cool to read, everyone keeping different watches for different reasons!

        Everything else that I have at the moment might at some point get moved on, but I think my Raketa World Time will probably always stay.

        Catalogues entries from Soviet period (1989, top) and post-Soviet period (1991-1992, bottom):

        It’s an ugly duckling with all its features (inner rotating city bezel, 24-hour dial, simple black stick hands) feeling like they are there for function over form. It arrived with me about a year ago in great cosmetic condition along with what I believe is an OEM expansion bracelet, but with a buggered post-Soviet production 2623.H movement. Along with being a dangerous and unpredictable time to live in Russia, the 1990s were also the nadir of Russian watchmaking.

        Although I would by no means at all consider myself an expert in fixing watches, getting this thing into acceptable working condition was a journey. Navigating a lot of eastern European Ebay auctions for a reasonably priced authentic movement that was running well took a long time, especially where almost every watch or movement listing is advertised as "RARE!, SERVICED!, NEW OLD STOCK!" which is often blatantly untrue. Eventually I found a good Soviet-era 2623 movement to install in the case, one made before the heavy cost-cutting started and what little quality control there was dropped even further across all Russian watch factories after the dissolution of the USSR. Once it arrived a month later I was dealing with minuscule dial screws without a loupe, home-made hand-setting tools and a misbehaving crown as an example of some of the challenges, but after slowly sorting all of this out this watch came through the other side with a working movement and no damage after a long time sitting on my desk.

        Perhaps it was more of a labour of love than a cheap old Russian watch deserved but I remember how pleased I was to snap the caseback cover back on and wind it up after finally sorting everything out. Didn’t leave my wrist for probably a week straight and don’t think it will ever leave the collection (unless certain watch websites decide they are the hot new vintage trend and make me a 4-figure profit )
        Last edited by Gauss; 09-06-20, 15:57.