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1969 was easily the most spectacular year in Seiko’s 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.   It released another first upon the world, the first quartz wristwatch; the Quartz Astron changed the way the world told time, brought high technology within the reach of all, and severely tested the dominance of the Swiss watch industry.


As the world got accustomed to the novel new Astron technology dominating the market in the early 1970s, Seiko was hard at work improving its unprecedented quartz technology, developing the Superior, Grand Quartz, and King Quartz lines – like this 1976 King Seiko 0852-8025, with its spectacular textured dial, atypical textured stainless-steel bracelet, and Grammar of Design case design (and its 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 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 literally paid the price for it in global market share loss.  


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 KQ-signed bracelet, and with a nylon strap, rugged travel case, Seiko Quartz 08QT instructions manual, and springbar tool.

1976 Seiko King Quartz 0852-8025 Dress Watch, w/Instructions

  • DIAL: 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 atypically a mix of textured and smooth surfaces; matching battery caseback hatch fits tight. 


    CRYSTAL: Hardlex crystal in good condition, with no deep scratches or edge chips.


    BAND: This King Quartz comes on its original KQ-signed textured stainless-steel bracelet, which will fit up to an approx. nine inch wrist; it also comes with a black, red, and grey 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 example here - utilized the 0852/53; this example manufactured in October 1976.


    This King Quartz comes with an original Seiko Quartz 08QT instructions manual.

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