1969 was one of the most spectacular 12 months in Seiko’s legendary and storied history. That year, the Japanese company released the world’s first automatic chronograph, the Calibre 6139 and the V.F.A. (Very Fine Adjusted) movement – which delivered Seiko’s highest yet level of precision for a mechanical movement.
Seiko would also release another first upon the world, the first quartz wristwatch. The Quartz Astron went on to change the way the world told time, and severely tested the dominance of the Swiss, bringing high technology within the reach of all.
As the world got accustomed to the novel new Astron technology dominating the market in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Seiko was hard at work on its next innovation to challenge Swiss watch industry dominance, developing the Superior, Grand Quartz, and King Quartz lines – like this 1976 King Seiko 0852-8025, with its spectacular textured dial, bracelet, and Grammar of Design case design (and original instructions manual).
In 1975, Seiko introduced the King Quartz 48xx calibre, an improvement upon the first Seiko quartz movement to be produced in large quantities, the predecessor 38xx calibre series. The KQ’s high level of finishing easily remains several cuts above the disposable mass-produced quartz movements fitted to the vast majority of modern quartz watches up to the contemporary era (let alone those when the watch debuted in the mid-1970s).
Following Seiko’s 1975 introduction of its Grand and King Quartz lines, Seiko quite simply reigned supreme by any metric – the combination of innovative technology and Tanaka’s Grammar of Design lines overwhelmed anything the Swiss had on offer. And the Swiss quite literally paid the price for this in global market share loss. Subsequently, in 1978, Seiko introduced the Twin Quartz Calibre 9943, ending the 48xx line the same year; regardless, the latter 48xx remained a more robust movement in comparison.
Seiko’s newly developed quartz collections replaced its mechanical Grand Seiko and King Seiko collections were produced until the early 1980s. The Japanese company, thankfully, has never seen fit to let go of its famed Grammar of Design philosophy, and for the hard-core collector, there is ample evidence of Seiko’s dial design genius and finishing techniques here – this 0852 gleams like glass, despite nearly half a century of service.
Seiko would go on to produce a diverse line of Grand and King Quartz watches, characterized by a beauty that competes with the best of its 1970’s golden age. To wit, some of its quartz lines were identical in price point as Rolex at the time. Their accuracy was unmatched and live on today in Seiko’s newest generations of quartz movements, such as the classic 9F.
This King Quartz comes on its original signed bracelet, and with a nylon strap, rugged travel case, Seiko Quartz instructions manual, and springbar tool.
1976 Seiko King Quartz 0852-8025 Dress Watch, w/Instructions
DIAL: A fantasticly textured King Quartz-signed dial, with matching hour, minute, and second hands. Applied stick hour indices provide the dial with an intriguing depth.
CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 36mm (37.5mm w/crown) x 41.5mm, with sharp Grammar of Design case edges. The case is quite atypically a mix of textured and smooth surfaces; matching battery caseback hatch fits tight.
CRYSTAL: Hardlex crystal in great condition, with no deep scratches or edge chips.
BAND: This King Quartz comes on its original textured stainless-steel bracelet, which will fit up to an approx. nine inch wrist; it also comes with a blue and white polka dot nylon strap.
MOVEMENT: Seiko intriduced hacking Seiko 08 quartz series towards the end of 1974, and used it in QT, QZ and King Quartz branded watches. The highest-end King Quartz - the one here - utilized the 0852/53. The 0852 here was manufactured in October 1976.
Note this King Quartz comes with an original Seiko Quartz instructions manual.