Note: This is a reposting of my original blog on the topic.
Believe it or not, at one point in my watch collecting journey I had extreme tunnel vision, and in all honesty it took me the better part of a year to even fathom the idea of owning anything that was not a Rolex, Omega, Audemars, or Blancpain; the real conundrum with that mentality was that I honestly had not a clue why I was a “watch snob”. At that point in time anything that wasn’t a big, expensive brand; was total junk, and not worth owning in my eyes.
Now this little blog should not be perceived as me recanting my love and appreciation for a fine Swiss timepiece – it’s intention is to show you that there should be room in your heart to love more than the finest; then again Seiko could be perceived as one of the finest watch manufacturers in the world, but that is an argument for another day.
Small conversations about watches usually always touched on the Seiko topic; though admittedly I always said — “Seiko, meh….not for me” or “oh…its another Seiko”.
Eventually I ate those words.
It was an acquisition I made from a friend I was totally unsure of how I would feel; but I was willing to give it a whirl.
Any of you Seikophines out there are probably thinking “WTF, this guy started with a Marine Master” – yes in all honestly; I did start my walk down Seiko lane with one of their most iconic and coveted pieces….so what, stone me. But that is what it took, experiencing one of their very best, and beating the total hell out of it.
The Marine Master ticked a lot of boxes for me. It was heavy, it was inherently different that any other diver I’d previously worn; specifically speaking to the monobloc case. The MM300 sat proud on my wrist, but didn’t scream “I’m rich bitch” like so many of my other pieces. I found a certain aura of comfort when someone complimented it; a simple reply “ oh this old seiko, yeah it’s great isn’t it?” Regardless of whether it is a $200 Seiko or a $5,000 Seiko, the same line can be used…nobody thinks twice about it.
My interest in the brand was piqued, and I was coming off a vintage Rolex bender; which I promise I’ll chronicle for you one day! I quickly became obsessed with vintage Seiko divers, particularly the turtle and its variants; I quickly acquired pretty much every reference of the turtle and another Marine Master.
I’m a strange collector, and hopefully within time I’ll become a bit more calculated; but my methods of rapid acquisition aren’t hurting me, so to hell with it. I could have other addiction problems.
After I acquired all these old Seiko divers, I was speaking with a Properly Wound Facebook group member; and his knowledge of the Lord Marvel and King Seiko line from the late 60’s and early 70’s turned my interest from the old divers to one of the finer Seiko lines.
There is something indescribable about wearing a Seiko Lord Marvel from the late 60’s, maybe its the insanely smooth sweep, or its history. The Lord Marvel line was quite a feat, Seiko was the second manufacturer at the time to develop a movement capable of 36,000 beat per hour. The Lord Marvel line paved the way for the Grand Seiko line today.
King Seiko is the other line I’ve become obsessed with, likely because of its classic grammar of design by Taro Tanaka. I find the case design of these to be absolutely superb. The owner gets that fantastic hi-beat sweep and accuracy, in an automatic, with an absolutely sick case design. If you can swing the vintage sized case; they are phenomenal buys and something that truly stands out in the crowd as unique.
My path to Seiko has been enlightening; I’ve found that I can enjoy a watch that may not necessarily carry an impressive monetary value just as much as one that is ten times as expensive. To me, it is nice to wear and enjoy am inexpensive watch that carries a level of horological significance. I find the simplicity refreshing, and the underrated status comforting.
I am, and always will be a collector of finer watches. My perspective has just been altered a bit, my horizons widened, and my respect for Japanese watches solidified.