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grand of chronometers the birth seiko

History Seiko Chronometers - the birth of Grand Seiko
#1
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Better response on post Seiko Chronometers - the birth of Grand SeikoGrand Seiko, the model shown below, was originally called the Seikomatic Chronometer and (for the first time) housed an automatic movement running at 19.800bph, the caliber 6200. It was introduced in 1966 but produced already in late 1965. There is some confusion with the other Seikomatics of the sixties, but let’s not forget that Seikomatic merely indicated a contraction of Seiko and Automatic. More on this just below.

       

Seikomatic
The Seikomatic, a contraction of Seiko and Automatic- was Seiko’s first broadly marketed automatic watch line – of course there had been a limited and very expensive Seiko automatic already in the mid 50s and the Gyro Marvel in the late 50s. They were introduced by Suwa in 1960, with the 603 caliber in 17, 20 and 30 jewel versions. The 603 Seikomatic eventually became the general brand for most of Seiko’s mid-range automatic watches, below the King Seiko and Grand Seiko/Seikomatic Chronometerand was even sold under the same moniker in many variants with many different calibers until the mid/late 60s.
 
These 1960s (selfdater) watches were using a variety of movements often used in combination with other product line names. For example, a 8305B Seikomatic Slimdate or the higher grade 8346 Seikomatic-R, a 5106 Seikomatic-P, 6619, 6206 or a 6218-8971 Seikomatic weekdater (pictures below) from 1965 running at 18.000bph.

       

For its 6245 Seikomatic Seiko was forced however to drop the word Chronometer as a result of the Swiss COSC's appeal to the watch manufacturer’s self-certification of chronometer ratings. To avoid any potential confusion with the existing aforementioned Seikomatic calibers the dial text was changed to Grand Seiko. Even so, the inherent luxury aspect of these early Grand Seikos/Seikomatics was very apparent. And for the watch nerd – the third digit tells the tale... (the higher the number, the higher the quality/accuracy).

       

The only Seikomatic Chronometer models ever made were the 6245-9000 with a day complication and the 6246-9000 model with day/date. They had Chronometer and Seikomatic Diashock 35 Jewels on the dial and Chronometer 35 Jewels engraved on the movement rotor. 
Both of the Seikomatic chronometers had a case back reading Seiko within a gold lion medallion; these models are commonly referred to as Lion Medallion-models to distinguish them from the 62GS.

6245-9001
The rebranded Seikomatic Chronometers were then launched in July 1966 as the 62GS and came in two models: the 6245-9001 and the 6246-9001. The 6245-9001 had a 35-jewel automatic movement and featured a date complication while the 6246-9001 had 39 jewels with both date and day complications. Both models oscillated at 19,800 bph. In terms of design, these new models were considered to be on the high-end side with its bezel-free case construction, a mirrored, multi-faceted case, and of course Grand Seiko’s highly-regarded Zaratsu polishing. It is distinguished by a flush-mounted crown at 4 and a contoured case.  The crown position was at 4 and “hidden” to emphasize that the watch was automatic and did not need a winding crown. 

   
This is the 6245-9001 model with a faceted case 

This 62 line-up then had four variations: 6245-9000, 6245-9001, 6246-9000, and 6246-9001. As stated, the models 6245-9000 and 6246-9000 are not Grand Seiko models, but their direct ancestors known as the Lion Medallion-models. 
 
The 6245-9001 dispenses with Chronometer and Seikomatic and has GS and Grand Seiko badging. It has the GS case back but some lion case backs may exist as part of the transition from the 9000 model.

       
The engraving Chronometer has been removed from the rotor.

6246-9000

The 6246-9000 model is again branded Chronometer and for this model Seikomatic was written in script. Also, the word Chronometer is inscribed on its rotor. The model has the lion medallion case back. 
Adminishing the #$@ out of it
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  • jpfwatch, SeikoMan
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#2
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Excellent article - a hidden gem this Seikomatic!
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#3
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Much cheaper than modern day GS. Get them while you can I say...
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#4
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Yeah, quite a line-up.. Seikomatic-R, Seikomatic-P. What do they all mean?
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