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Special Dial

Grand Seiko First carved dial 1961 split 12 "special dial"

Grand Seiko First carved dial 1961 split 12 "special dial"

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Model: Grand Seiko
Reference: The first Grand Seiko, carved logo split 12
Year: 1961
Material: 14k gold filled
Dimensions: 36mm diameter; 11mm thickness
Crystal: Plexiglass
Lume: N/A
Caliber: 3180
Service History: March 2022, currently running at -6.5 sec/day
Bracelet/Strap: Epsom Calf leather strap (pictured) from Jones in Tokyo with vintage Grand Seiko buckle
Lug Width: 18mm
Box/Papers: None

The Grand Seiko “First” (GS1st) or “3180” as it is often referred to (due to its caliber reference) was introduced to the Japanese market in 1960. Produced by the Suwa Seikosha company based in Nagano, Japan, the Grand Seiko line was born out of a desire to create a watch that was “as precise, durable, easy to wear and as beautiful as possible”. 

There are three main dial variants to the GS1st – printed, carved, and raised. This example is the carved logo variant with the 12 o'clock index made of two seperate pieces of gold. The "Grand Seiko" text on the dial for these early GS1st's were manually hand carved using machinery. Due to its manual and laborious production process the Suwa factory abandoned this practice and switched to the raised logo from around the second half of 1961. In recent years, the watch community, especially in Japan, has finally caught up to both the rarity and beauty of the carved logo variant.

Overall, this GS first carved variant is in great condition. A carved dial with a split 12 index is very rare and this may be one of the best that we've come across. The watch looks to have all period correct parts. The caseback lion medallion is the correct early variant and so is the "S" signed crown. The movement and dial is consistent to the earlier carved GS1st variants as can be evidenced by the movement serial and dial code. The gold filled case has scratches as can be expected from a watch of this age and has most likely been polished in the past but retains some its bevelling and has thick lugs. The dial surfaces show aging and some blemishes but is in honest and attractive condition for its age. The hour markers (index) are made of 18k solid gold as indicated by the sun shaped “special dial” logo above the six o’clock. The hand set looks to be original with the period correct “mountain” hands (which was only used in the print and carved logo variants) in great condition. The movement was serviced by our watchmaker in March 2022 and is currently running at - 6.5 seconds/day. The watch also comes with a quality epsom brown grained calf leather strap from local watch strap craftsman, Jones in Tokyo along with a vintage Grand Seiko buckle. 

The watch will come with a 3 month movement warranty from us. 

Ships from Japan


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