Focused on Japan’s Finest

Asian Made & Swiss Asian watches

Focused on Japan’s Finest

Postby koimaster » March 6th 2017, 12:23pm


There’s a pattern that emerges if you study the collecting habits of watch enthusiasts. After an initial period of collecting the big names in horology they tend to hone their collection around specific themes or brands. Gerald Donovan’s decision to focus his watch collection around vintage Grand Seiko was born out of an epiphany he had two years ago.
“I realized that I’m a completist,” says Donovan. The Cheltenham-born, London-raised, Dubai-based photographer says he pursued vintage Grand Seiko because he knew he could complete his collection. “There were only seven series or generations produced during the vintage Grand Seiko era (between 1960 and 1974). Within those seven generations, 20 different movements were used.

I decided that I would acquire a sample from each of these movements. Unlike the fantastic modern ones that Seiko unveil every year, there is a finite number to vintage examples because they were only produced until 1974,” he says. So between a period of nine months in 2016, the 49-year-old Donovan hunted down 45 of these vintage watches to ‘complete’ his set. Along the way he learned that the same movement was sometimes used in 10 or 15 different models produced in such variety that he ended up with more than he intended. “The great thing about vintage Grand Seikos is that they are still affordable, so it didn’t hurt duplicating some of the models,” he says.

Some of the highlights in his collection include the first Grand Seiko, the reference 3180 that was produced between 1960 and 1964 at the Suwa Seikosha factory. Featuring a filled gold (gold-plated) case and a 2.5 Hz movement, Donovan also has a version of the 3180 in stainless steel. Although there is no known reference in stainless steel, there are many who claim that Seiko produced stainless steel prototype watches or service watches during that era. Donovan says he is waiting to hear from Seiko about the authenticity of this watch. ... n-s-finest

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Re: Focused on Japan’s Finest

Postby Wasp » March 6th 2017, 2:52pm

Sound plan. I find his approach appealing. The strategy of finding a sensible niche and building the collection around that niche.
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Re: Focused on Japan’s Finest

Postby eddiea » March 6th 2017, 6:10pm

I'm always focused on Japan's finest.....
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