Seiko’s Lord Matic’s - like this all original mid-1976 Seiko 5216-8020 here - were produced at the middle of their lineup, price wise, between the late 1960’s the 1976. Seiko introduced the 52xx automatic movement series in 1970. At the time, movement designers believed this to possibly be – given the transition at the time slowly to quartz –the last Seiko automatic movement of the period.
The 52xx series was designed and produced by Daini Seikosha, one of two different watch companies (Daini and Suwa) under the Seiko Group umbrella – both companies engaged in fierce competition to increase the quality of their watch movements, which led to aggressive engineering. Daini’s finished product, the 52xx line, was thoroughly modern with up to date features like hacking, hand winding, integrated automatic winding, and a micro regulator.
The 52xx was the follow on to Suwa's 56xx series , introduced a few years earlier. The first member of the family was the 5206, introduced in 1970, the Lord Matic. A modest upgrade came a year later with the 5216 here, which added a spring-loaded pawl to eliminate the risk of breakage if the date was changed around midnight. The line continued in use through the 1973 introduction of the 5256, but an industry shift to electronic watches meant the end of the line came in 1976.
This Seiko 5606 comes with a leather strap, second NATO strap, springbar tool, and Pelican travel case.
1976 Seiko 5216-8020 Automatic Lord Matic
DIAL: Original silver linen dial, with day/date at 3 o’clock position works nicely, with Kanji Japanese and English day variants. Original hour, minute, and second hands.
CASE: Original 37mm (38.5 w/crown) x 42mm stainless steel case in pre-loved condition. Case lines are quite sharp, with full "Grammar of Design" in effect! Caseback is inscribed in kanji Japanese and states "Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. President, Prize in 1976," indicating this watch was awarded by the president of Nippon Telegraph to an employee - pretty cool!
CRYSTAL: Original acrylic crystal, no scratches or blemishes.
BAND: Dark brown leather strap, with cream-colored stitching; this 5216 also comes with a dark blue and red nylon NATO strap.
MOVEMENT: Original Seiko 23-jewel 5216 automatic movement, which Seiko classified as a "Hi-Beat" movement - and beating at 28,800 bph - was manufactured in July 1976.
CROWN: Original unsigned stainless steel crown.