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Not that it changes your point very much, but do you have some numbers to back that statement up? It doesn’t track in my mind.
Not off hand but I recall reading it in the past.
It wouldn't surprise me to be honest as Seiko has a worldwide market even in third world countries and when you just think of the amount of Seiko 5's....

You bemoan the move downmarket in the early 80s, but I think there were some outside (global) extenuating circumstances (like a too strong yen) that hurt Seiko’s ability to keep making the level of quality they were capable of, to have a place in the global market they had firmly established themselves in. That is how I’ve come to peace with their shift in focus around that time.
I actually don't bemoan it.

I'm not interested in hybrid technology like spring drive and for the price of a modern GS there are so many other options.

I like Seiko to produce good quality inexpensive watches like they always have although they don't really have a monopoly on that market nowadays as they did in the past.
 

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This was a fascinating discussion. My tuppence worth is this: I am now very selective in what modern Seikos I buy, and am more attracted to the Vintage market, which are much better built. Seiko is getting more expensive, and will continue to. The Apple watch discussion is correct, and I shudder every time I see an Apple watch which will be obsolete in a few years and end up in landfill. And yes, I never reveal what I pay for my purchases, unless it is to someone who appreciates watches. In my profession, luckily I have a number of colleagues who are watch nerds as well, and appreciate nice watches. This is the way. I have spoken.
 

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This was a fascinating discussion. My tuppence worth is this: I am now very selective in what modern Seikos I buy, and am more attracted to the Vintage market, which are much better built. Seiko is getting more expensive, and will continue to. The Apple watch discussion is correct, and I shudder every time I see an Apple watch which will be obsolete in a few years and end up in landfill. And yes, I never reveal what I pay for my purchases, unless it is to someone who appreciates watches. In my profession, luckily I have a number of colleagues who are watch nerds as well, and appreciate nice watches. This is the way. I have spoken.
Agreed, I believe Seiko's push towards the upmarket is justified, but they gotta back it up with quality and regulated movements. The new 6R35s at US$750-mark are still unregulated and sometimes have wonky performance. But of course, an average consumer doesn't care about COSC specifications for their watches.

That's great that you have people around you who appreciate watches.
 

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I've come into the hobby only recently so perhaps can give a different perspective. Seiko is an icon for me. My first and second watches purchased on my own were Seikos; the second, a 7a28, is still in the watch box. As my knowledge and interests have developed I've looked at many new Seiko watches, yet in the end did not choose one. AT multiple price points the relative lack of features eg no sapphire, flimsy bracelets, often overly thick cases, continued reliance on the no hacking/ hand-winding 7s movement, and the stories of poor QC all steered me away. I now have six Seikos in my box, all but one being vintage chronos. The sixth is a beautiful little Sieko 5 SNK793 that comes out once or twice a month for my infrequent formal needs. At it's price point of about 100 USD it offers great value.

I mention this because my experience was before the recent price increases. I don't see how these price increases will address the limitations I have observed. Seiko made an art and a science of creating value-based watches, and part of this strategy was to throw out multiple models, something for everyone, but with high levels of quality for the price. I don't think their current approach will work in the mid-level watch market. One thing that would help is to move the technology of their flagship movements in less decorated, less well regulated versions downward, and of course address the QC woes. Time will tell.
 

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I've come into the hobby only recently so perhaps can give a different perspective. Seiko is an icon for me. My first and second watches purchased on my own were Seikos; the second, a 7a28, is still in the watch box. As my knowledge and interests have developed I've looked at many new Seiko watches, yet in the end did not choose one. AT multiple price points the relative lack of features eg no sapphire, flimsy bracelets, often overly thick cases, continued reliance on the no hacking/ hand-winding 7s movement, and the stories of poor QC all steered me away. I now have six Seikos in my box, all but one being vintage chronos. The sixth is a beautiful little Sieko 5 SNK793 that comes out once or twice a month for my infrequent formal needs. At it's price point of about 100 USD it offers great value.

I mention this because my experience was before the recent price increases. I don't see how these price increases will address the limitations I have observed. Seiko made an art and a science of creating value-based watches, and part of this strategy was to throw out multiple models, something for everyone, but with high levels of quality for the price. I don't think their current approach will work in the mid-level watch market. One thing that would help is to move the technology of their flagship movements in less decorated, less well regulated versions downward, and of course address the QC woes. Time will tell.
When you can post some pictures would love to see your vintage chronographs.


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I've come into the hobby only recently so perhaps can give a different perspective. Seiko is an icon for me. My first and second watches purchased on my own were Seikos; the second, a 7a28, is still in the watch box. As my knowledge and interests have developed I've looked at many new Seiko watches, yet in the end did not choose one. AT multiple price points the relative lack of features eg no sapphire, flimsy bracelets, often overly thick cases, continued reliance on the no hacking/ hand-winding 7s movement, and the stories of poor QC all steered me away. I now have six Seikos in my box, all but one being vintage chronos. The sixth is a beautiful little Sieko 5 SNK793 that comes out once or twice a month for my infrequent formal needs. At it's price point of about 100 USD it offers great value.

I mention this because my experience was before the recent price increases. I don't see how these price increases will address the limitations I have observed. Seiko made an art and a science of creating value-based watches, and part of this strategy was to throw out multiple models, something for everyone, but with high levels of quality for the price. I don't think their current approach will work in the mid-level watch market. One thing that would help is to move the technology of their flagship movements in less decorated, less well regulated versions downward, and of course address the QC woes. Time will tell.
I agree, and the QC issues are big tbh. A case in point is the new range of Alpinists. Even in the new models, they haven't fixed the rotating compass that rotates by itself. When you're paying $750+ for these, you would expect better. And brands like Tissot and Hamilton are offering very competitive watches much below that price point.
 

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We're having this discussion as (mostly) mechanical watch collectors, so we have a particular point-of-view on their decisions. How is Seiko approaching the lower end of their range - particularly their quartz and solar lines? Is the upmarket push just for mechanical watches or for their whole range?
 

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Discussion Starter #28
We're having this discussion as (mostly) mechanical watch collectors, so we have a particular point-of-view on their decisions. How is Seiko approaching the lower end of their range - particularly their quartz and solar lines? Is the upmarket push just for mechanical watches or for their whole range?
I definitely think so. Seiko has been revamping a lot of their old mechanical/automatic movements to have longer power reserves and higher accuracy, but along with it comes a steeper price. I believe this is to directly compete with the Swiss luxury market, which tends to value analog movements over quartz and solar. Therefore, the solar and quartz prices has not risen by a significant portion, even as improvements such as sapphire glass and ceramic bezels are introduced.
 

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An Audi is just an upmarket Volkswagen with a hot engine yet it has a different name and sells like hot cakes. I agree, Seiko should have used a different name for their upmarket brand. But then, Seiko has never really gone into the kind of marketing the Swiss brands have employed. Might be the inherent cultural shyness of the Japanese and unwillingness to "blow your own horn" that prohibits this. I'd like to see Grand Seiko sponsor a Grand Prix Formula one racing team or another high end European sporting event. Fight the Swiss on their own ground.
 

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An Audi is just an upmarket Volkswagen with a hot engine yet it has a different name and sells like hot cakes. I agree, Seiko should have used a different name for their upmarket brand. But then, Seiko has never really gone into the kind of marketing the Swiss brands have employed. Might be the inherent cultural shyness of the Japanese and unwillingness to "blow your own horn" that prohibits this. I'd like to see Grand Seiko sponsor a Grand Prix Formula one racing team or another high end European sporting event. Fight the Swiss on their own ground.
You're right about GS needing some serious marketing. I would say it's worth it, the extra money they spend on it. They need a lot of brand placements in major sporting events, and F1 is the best ground to start. They can try Red Bull, which has a Japanese Honda engine, so it should match.
 

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There is a lot of cogent insight in this thread.

Rolex spent the 70s and early 80s developing their high quality, durable, reliable reputation into a luxury reputation and has been very successful.

Seiko took until the mid 1970s to have a real screw down basic diver model, and the 300m 6215 and 6159s were virtually unknown and by my understanding sold at a loss to prove they could best the same era Submariners and SM300s. They swapped and switched fonts, indices, hands, etc. while a Rolex stuck with the original DNA pattern.

Finally in the mid 1970s they settled on a pattern with the 6306/6309 For about $150. This coincided with a Submariner price of about $600. By the mid 1980s a Submariner was ten times the price of a 6309. The 6309 had supplanted the Submariner as the watch in American special operations forces because of this. It was as robust as the Sub, offered day in addition to date, and was functionally accurate enough as to be no Rolex advantage. While HK and some other companies were banking and advertising based on such associations, Seiko discontinued it, made another change in style, and started the inferior 7002 series.

Omega and other Swiss auto divers were a mess during this period and Seiko snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Around 2002 or so on the original version of this forum other companies such as Surefire, Pelican, etc. we’re basing in increased popularity and fame after the initiation of GWOT. I took Seiko to task for not getting in on this. While Rolex was even more luxury priced out of this, and other rejuvenated Swiss such as Omega and Breitling and TAG were as well, Marathon literally swept in from nowhere and got massive military sales. Both officially and off the shelf for those not interested in the hockey puck digitals.

During an era of renewed appreciation of mechanical watches, growing interest and popularity, Seiko messed around with dozens of designs and lost focus and desirability and kind of killed brand recognition and key identity traits. While they have been messing around with expensive limited editions and a fantasy of becoming a serious luxury competitor, Swiss companies have swept in with amazing values and features in entry and mid level autos and other Asian companies have out valued Seiko on entry level ones. QC has become a mockery of misaligned markers decreased average accuracy and durability and reliability.

There is a huge retro/homage market. People would drop $500 all day long on 6217, 1st Model 6105s, 2nd model 6105s, and more true 6309s than the turtles. $1500 6159 300m homages with a less expensive production screw back case and higher end moment would have a waiting list.

I think it was about 15 years ago when the 300m quartz tuna went from a $400 to $1000 watch is a good indicator of when the madness began.
 

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All the more reason to buy vintage Seiko now. Throw in a service and you have a watch that will last you a life time and be seriously cool as well.
 

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All the more reason to buy vintage Seiko now. Throw in a service and you have a watch that will last you a life time and be seriously cool as well.
Yep - my only two new Seikos are 5's that combined cost about the same as a service for one of my vintage ones.
 

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This thread is one of the best reasons to be a member of this site, Intelligent & logical discussion thats offering different but interesting points of view
well done & thank you OP
 
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