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The automatic movement within the 5606 Lord-Matic - like the full serviced 1975 Seiko 5606-8031 "Sugimoto Tea" dress automatic here, on its original bracelet and unusual faceted crystal - was considered by Seiko to be such an excellent movement it would be subsequently re-worked and placed within Seiko's legendary (and quite accurate) Grand Seiko’s.


Why do we call this the Seiko, "Sugimoto Tea?"  The Kanji Japanese inscriptions on the case back indicate this Seiko Lord Matic was awarded by the family-run Japanese company, Sugimoto Tea, to a loyal employee as a reward for 25 years of service.


In 1946, Zenichi Sugimoto (hence the “Z. Sugimoto” on the caseback) founded Sugimoto Tea Company in Shizuoka, Japan.  That year, just at the start of a long path to post-war recovery (which Seiko helped Japan celebrate in 1964, when Japan made its triumphant return to the world stage when it hosted the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo), Zenichi began hand-making tea and delivered it to his customers by bicycle.  His different variety of teas rapidly gained in popularity, and he built a factory to meet the high demand.


In 1967, Zenichi’s son, Hiroyuki Sugimoto, started preparing to take over the family business and moved to Tokyo, apprenticing at a legendary Japanese tea shop near the Tsukiji Fish Market.  1978 marked a return to Shizuoka, and Hiroyuki took over the family factory to become the second-generation head of Sugimoto Tea.  Then, in 1986, Hiroyuki Sugimoto’s skill was recognized when he won two awards, the Shizuoka Prefectural Tea Competition as well as the National Blind Tea Tasting Championship.  This resulted in him receiving the Agricultural Ministry Award twice in the same year.


In recent years, Hiroyuki’s sons - Masaaki and Kyohei - have apprenticed to continue the family tea making tradition.  In the early 2000s, Kyohei Sugimoto discovered on a visit to the U.S. that the green tea he took for granted in Japan was nowhere to be found.  Kyohei became a Certified Tea Adviser in Japan and moved to the U.S. in 2004, founding the U.S. branch of Sugimoto Tea in Washington state to bring high-quality Japanese tea to the American public.


In the contemporary era, Sugimoto Tea produces a wide range of Japanese green teas including matcha; its retail line of teas is available at grocery stores throughout the U.S., and the company supplies a wide range of Japanese teas throughout the world.  The company has continued to win prestigious awards for its teas.


Seiko's Lord Matic finds its genesis in the Lord Marvel (first made in 1956), with the LM series eventually positioned beneath the King Seiko, but with a very sophisticated new automatic movement and high quality case design and finishing.  By 1968 , the LM line had greatly increased in popularity and its movement, the 5606, became one of the most ubiquitous Seiko mechanical movements of the time - the 5606 also formed the basis of higher beat variants fitted to many of the automatic King Seiko and Grand Seiko models of the early to mid 1970’s.


Seiko’s Lord Matic’s were produced at the middle of their lineup, price wise, between 1968 and produced through the 1970’s.  Of unique note, not only does the Lord Matic 5606 have a hacking feature, it can be wound via both its automatic movement and by hand. 


This Seiko 5606 comes on its original stainless-steel Seiko LM-signed bracelet, and with nylon strap, springbar tool, and rugged travel case.

1975 Seiko 5606-8031 Lord Matic "Sugimoto Tea" Watch, w/Original Bracelet

  • DIAL: Gorgeous Seiko LM-signed light brown starburst dial, while the day/date at 3 o’clock position works nicely, as does the quickset; Kanji Japanese and English day variants.  Matching hour, minute, and second hands.


    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 38mm x 41mm; caselines are sharp, with no evidence of machine polish.


    CRYSTAL: Raised faceted crystal with sharp edges, no scratches or edge chips on crystal.


    BAND: This LM comes on its original Seiko LM-signed stainless-steel bracelet, which will fit up to an approx. seven inch wrist w/o included clasp extender (and 7.5 inches with); it also comes on a black, yellow and red nylon strap.


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 23-jewel automatic movement, manufactured in January 1975.  We have performed a full service on the Lord Matic.


    CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel crown.


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