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Author Safi_CZ


I have posted review of this marvellous GS model on my blog:

http://watchpassion.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!30D403FE07E97F98!168.entry

Hope you will enjoy it!

Review of Grand Seiko 6146-8000

Few days ago I have finally received my vintage Grand Seiko 6146-8000 from my watchmaker. It is time to write article about this ultimate vintage grand Seiko model. All pictures have been shot under artificial light, I will try take better shots soon.


Here are some basic information from www.roachman.com:

"Grand Seiko Automatic Caliber 6146-8000: This watch has one of the best hi-beat movement ever produced by Seiko. Beating at 36,000 bph, it maintains superb accuracy and reliability despite its age. With 25 jewels, it was produced in Dec 1967. There are two variants - caliber 6145 with date only, while caliber 6146 with both date and day functions. A total of 36,000 pieces of this model was produced. At a later date, a modification of this movement became Caliber 6185A which was used in Grand Seiko V.F.A. (very fine adjusted) - My Ultimate Grand Seiko."

My experiences with this particular GS model:

I have bought GS three months ago. Delivery took three weeks from USA because of customs in Prague. In spite of age, GS was in a very good condition:

  • Only minor scratches on gold plated case
    Superb condition of GS medallion
    Dial in perfect condition except small mark
    Scratches on acrylic crystal
    Movement working perfectly including hacking and date speed set up
Restoration took more than one month because watchmaker was very busy, but result is marvelous! During restoration, movement has been cleaned and regulated and crystal has been re-polished.

In spite of age, design looks fresh today. No one will believe that you have 40 years old watch model. You can find similar case design concept in IWC Ingenier model - significant round bezel and minimalist lugs. My version of GS is gold capped. Gold capping is done by pressing gold slice to base steel metal. Gold capping is around 200 microns (0,2mm) thick what gives you feeling that you wear full-gold watches. I have two deep scratches or dots in gold capped case and I still do not see base steel metal. Gold capping is much more thicker than gold plating which is normally thick 3-30 microns. It makes no sense to describe every line of GS case. As it is said: one picture is better than thousand of words. Here are some pictures:




Crown is a masterpiece, with embossed “GS” logo. Also gold capped. On screw back side you will find "GS" gold(?) medallion, case and movement number and case serial number.


Watch is equipped with cylindrical acrylic crystal. It seems that dial is silver plated. There are gold plated plastic indexes, date-day frame, Seiko logo and “GS” logo. All other marks are black printed. Plastic indexes have polished gold sides and black front side. When sun or other source of light is shining, depending on position of you watch, you can see shining Seiko and GS logo or you can see shining indexes.


Hands are also gold plated, very thick. There are thin black lines on hour and minute hand. Second hands runs very fluently because of high-beat movement.

As it has been said, watch is equipped with 6146 movement. According to article “History of Grand Seiko” by Mr. Seiya Kobayashi , this movement has been the result of technology from astronomical observatory Concours from the base 61SeikoMatic 5. There have been following variants of 61XX movement in Grand Seiko line:

  • 6145 A -- GS standard official approval. 36,000bph, 25j, DATE
    6146 A -- GS standard official approval. 36,000bph, 25j, DAY/DATE
    6155 A -- GS Special standard official approval. 36,000bph, 25j, DATE
    6156 A -- GS Special standard official approval. 36,000bph, 25j, DAY/DATE
    6185 B -- VFA 36,000bph, 25j, DATE
    6186 B -- VFA 36,000bph, 25j, DAY/DATE
"The Best 61GS was the VFA (Very Fine Adjusted) model. It guaranteed that Mean Monthly Rate 60 Sec for two years. The VFA was specially made GS that was manufactured and adjusted by superior engineers with selected parts. It expanded the ability of 61GS to the limit. Those engineers seem to include participants of the astronomical observatory Concours . Ordinary 61GS is -3+6 and 61GS special is +-3." (article “History of Grand Seiko” by Mr. Seiya Kobayashi)
Before renovation movement had daily error +10 sec. Movement has been diss-assembled, cleaned, assembled and regulated. After renovation, it gains +6 second per day, what is more than I expected. I will wait one month and then I will ask my watchmaker to regulate movement to fit GS standard of that era. Regulation of movement beating 10 beats per second is quite complicated.

Here are some notes from my watchmaker related to 6146 movement (your comments are well appreciated):

  • Movement is higher level than current log term Swiss standard ETA 2824-2
    Construction of auto-winding mechanism is much more reliable than ETA 2824-2
    Parts of date wheel and mechanism are made from steel. For example King Seiko chronometer 5626 has some date wheels plastic what cause problems after 30 years of waring watches
    Some construction issues are probably inspired by Patek Philippe. (I will try to clarify this issue)
    Movement is comparable to Rolex movements in term of precision and reliability, but Rolex has better finished surface
And here are my comments related to 6146 movement (your comments are well appreciated):

  • Movement is quite loud during automatic-winding, sometimes you can feel vibration from rotation of weight
    Automatic date change starts around 23:30 and is not instant
    Set-up of date is done by crown, set-up of day is done by turning hours “8”-“12”-“6” and back to “8”
    It is joy to wear watch with this movement inside
I wear my Grand Seiko on German hand-made Di-Modell strap Teju chrono. Strap has dark brown color, shiny surface and expressive padding.
Yesterday I met one my friend who is also watch enthusiast. He told me that this GS is perfect watch for a new era of my life - middle age and marriage. Maybe it is also your situation. If not, there is no reason why you should not buy this marvellous Grand Seiko. On Ebay you can find 6146-8000 between 600-1200USD (depends on condition and exchange rate of USD)
Links and sources:
 
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