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Poet Laureate
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What do you all think is the best vintage Seiko that can be bought for less than $200? Something inexpensive that can still hold the interest of a big budget Seiko collector, or that would make a great first watch for someone getting into vintage?

My vote goes for..... The M159. I love this watch because it's the last of what I consider to be the golden era of early LCD Seikos. When it came out in 1977, LCD watches were still expensive luxury items. You can see that in the high quality, well machined case and sturdy bracelet. The M159 is the last model made in the golden era style, with the buttons on the front, the funky case shapes and - most endearingly - the pull-out crown for setting the time (like an analog!). In 1978, with models like the A133 and A159, making them cheaper become more important than making them better, and they starting adding plastic parts to the cases and abandoning the classic chunky profiles of the mid-seventies. The M159, though, is firmly in the early style. It looks like the coveted 0634, only it's thinner, overlooked and considerably cheaper!
They came in a few variations. There are steel and gold-plated models. The ones with the arrow on the LCD are the coolest IMO. The lemon face arrow LCD version is undoubtedly the coolest, though those often break the $200 ceiling. If you're in the market, be patient. Wait for one in good condition with the original bracelet. Make sure all the buttons function properly and the light works. Make sure you get good photos of the LCD and that it hasn't changed color or taken on too much rainbow staining.

BONUS: Steve Jobs wore one!

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What do you think the best <$200 vintage Seiko is?
 

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I think there are a few candidates. Certainly on the Citizen side, there are plenty of interesting models. On the Seiko front, I’ve recently been interested in the Presmatics, which are generally found at quite reasonable prices. They are interesting designs, good movements, and not so common as to make it too easy to make up a collection.


Many of the Elnix models are quite accessible as well. This is just scratching the surface. There is no shortage of reasonably priced vintage watches away from the divers and chronographs.
 

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I think these late 60s Seiko three- handers are a good deal. Of course most will need service. This one cost me around $120 several years ago from a seller in Japan.



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