Within the world of vintage Seiko, Grand Seiko – distinguished by the “GS” on dial, and often crown – inhabits the top of the food chain, simple as that. Grand Seiko was simply the most painstakingly designed and exquisite watches made by Seiko, produced by both the Dani and Suwa factories.
But all this ended with Grand Seiko when production ceased in 1976, a self-inflicted fatality of the Quartz Crisis. Make no mistake, GS marked, and still marks to this day, the very best Seiko has to offer, easily on par with the vast majority of what Switzerland has to offer by way of competition.
Or did Seiko really end Grand Seiko?
The term Quartz Crisis is capitalized for good reason – it had a significant and devastating impact on global mechanical watch making but took several years to build up momentum to obliterate mechanical Grand Seiko sales numbers, seemingly rendering it a foregone conclusion Seiko would end GS production.
By 1975, five years after the Seiko introduction of the game changing Astron, quartz was steadily gaining market share, with the cheapest reference in the catalogue priced at just 32,000 Yen (the legendary 6139 automatic chronograph was a little over half that at 19,000 Yen, with the 6105 divers at 20,000).
As Seiko transitioned steadily into a solid quartz line up – while atypically keeping some mechanical lines going – Seiko chose to continue mechanical name conventions of its dress watches, namely: Grand Quartz, King Quartz, Lord Quartz, all updated for the new quartz age. This 1976 Grand Quartz 4843-8050 Dress Watch, with its original GQ-signed bracelet, is a prime example of the new high quality quartz age.
Seiko made the strategic move to shift existing King and Grand Seiko brand loyalty away from mechanical and to the King and Grand Quartz lines. And the rest is history – until, that is, Seiko brought back their mechanical Grand Seiko line up in 1988.
But that's a story for another time…
This Grand Quartz comes with its original stainless-steel bracelet, nylon strap, hard plastic travel case, and springbar tool.
1976 Grand Quartz 4843-8050 Dress Watch, w/Original Bracelet
DIAL: A quite unique white/silver Grand Seiko-signed textured dial, with matching hour, minute, and second hands.
CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 36mm (37.5mm w/crown) x 42mm.
CRYSTAL: Hardlex crystal, with no scratches or blemishes.
MOVEMENT: Seiko 4843 quartz movement, manufactured by Seiko’s Suwa factory in April 1976; movement hacks.
CROWN: Grand Quartz-signed crown.
BRACELET: This Grand Quartz comes with its original GQ-signed stainless-steel bracelet, which will fit up to an approx. 8.5-inch wrist. Bracelet links remain tight. This GQ also comes with a grey nylon strap.