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kevkojak

Collections within collections... Seiko Great Blue

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We all have a favourite brand, and I know that a good many of us focus on specific names with our buying.

Personally, I'll try anything once (twice on Sundays) but I always have been and probably always will be drawn to Seiko watches.
Over the last 15-odd years of buying Seiko watches there isn't much I haven't seen, but there are maybe half a dozen ranges which frankly are a collection all by themselves, a collector could quite happily spend years trying to track them all down.

The Great Blue.
One of my favourites.  Not a lot is known about this series to tell the truth but it's a very short lived range from the early 2000's which flew right under the radar for years before  recently gaining traction with the quartz collectors.  I have had examples from 2001 and 2002 and nothing either side, so it appears to have been a 12 month run then axed.

The USP of this range was the holographic dial which looked like you were looking into water. it has a shimmery texture and a "depth" to it which is absolutely beautiful, I don't know how they did it or why it has never been copied because it is completely captivating.
What throws many people though is the fact they aren't all blue...  The vast majority do seem to be blue, but maybe a quarter of the ones I have seen have had an opalescent white dial instead.   The white have the same holographic texture but I really don't see the connection. 

Given the timing of this range they cross over quite a few movements. The chronograph models for example caught the very end of the 7T32 "5 button chrono" production so there is one of those in the range, then as the 7t32 was phased out, the 7t62 took its place and there is one of those in the range too.  I'm happy to report it's not a dial out of the parts-bin squashed onto the new movement as so often is the case, but a total redesign.   
While producing both of those, Seiko also launched a 7t92 calibre version (no alarm) in a couple of different case designs, including a snazzy TV case model.

Of course as the Auto Relay technology was brand new and exciting, they produced a Kinetic Auto Relay model (both colours) plus a couple of classic three-hand analogue versions (a 7N42 which is the simplest movement but maybe the best looking watch, and a Perpetual Calendar model with the 8F32 calibre).  To cap it all, the Great Blue became the release model for the 8F56 calibre, a Perpetual Calendar quartz with GMT function!  Seiko were getting carried away with themselves... 

 

I am assuming that prices for The Great Blue back in 2001 must have been pretty steep, partly because the range appears to have sold very badly (or else they would have been rolled out for longer than a year) and partly because, looking at the movements these were all released with the cutting edge technology of the time.

These days you're lucky to find one at all, but given how scarce they are they are not phenomenally priced. They are creeping though - they make up a very rare, very interesting collection which fit into a collection of any value.  

I don't have images of all the ones I've owned as Photobucked chewed them all up, but here are some from various places around the web. No copyright infringement intended here, these are some of the best images I could find from the public domain of Google Images.

If you do find any of these they are well worth picking up. Apart from the dial they are no different to the basic quartz watches of the time but as a set these are just going to climb and climb in value. 

 

aasgb1.jpg

 

aasgb2.jpg

 

aasgb3.jpg

 

aasgb4.jpg

 

aasgb5.jpg

 

aasgb7.jpg

Edited by kevkojak
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Here is my Seiko 7T32-6N40, model No. SDWG11P . I found this one from a seller in France and bought it as I was captivated by the dial. It was advertised as virtually NOS, and when I recieved it, found this to be true. The only downside was that the integrated bracelet was two links short for my 7.5" wrist, and with no chance of swapping it for a different one, I eventually had to fit a clasp extender to the already short clasp in order to wear it. Luckily, another member @russelk also sourced and bought one with the full sized bracelet, and seeing my problem, very generously donated the two links I needed to make mine fit...once again, thank you, Russel.

The 7T32s are characterised by the 3 pushers and two crowns, but this model has an extra crown at 9 that rotates the inner bezel. Both the crown at 3 and 9 are anodised a beautiful dark blue colour. Sadly, like some other Seiko models with an internal bezel (Landshark, especially) there is no way to lock/screw the crown into position once set, and the slightest contact of the crown on the wrist while wearing will move the bezel. I'm sure it would have been an easy mod to add some extra friction to the crown such as a tighter stem seal to prevent this.

 

Seiko 'The Great Blue'

The short clasp on the integrated bracelet...

Seiko 'The Great Blue'

The clasp extender that I used to make up the 2 link deficiency with the two spare links kindly supplied by Russel.

Seiko 'The Great Blue'

In keeping with the 7T32s, because of the position of the sub dials and the date window, the 12,3,6,and 9 plots aren't lumed.

Seiko 'The Great Blue'

Caseback with serial no. dating the watch to Feb. 2002.

Seiko 'The Great Blue'

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Thanks Kev, very interesting read! I've only just seen it after rog mentioned it in the wruw. Lovely watches too.

Thanks rog. 

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21 hours ago, JacobMoogberg said:

I like the indices, very reminiscent of the Seiko Alpinist line. Is the fourth one from the top quartz or automatic?
aasgb4.jpg

All quartz - that one is the bog standard 7n42 calibre. Great movements, but just a three hand analogue, no bells or whistles.

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3 hours ago, kevkojak said:

All quartz - that one is the bog standard 7n42 calibre. Great movements, but just a three hand analogue, no bells or whistles.

Quartz is just right for a model like that, perfect as a daily wearer or complement to a more expensive and fragile automatic watch. 

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On 15/05/2019 at 21:09, kevkojak said:

I am assuming that prices for The Great Blue back in 2001 must have been pretty steep

Great write up kev, the 2002 T62 ive just bought (which is the non branded standard model identical to the Deep Blue branded one in calibre T62 0BC0) has a receipt with it which i think was an insurance claim for a replacement watch? Its a mandate receipt customer copy and gives the 'insurance company authorised replacement amount as £535. This is dated 22/4/03 which is the same date as on the warranty card for my T62 standard. On this receipt also is entered the sum of £369.99. Which I presume is what my T62 cost new in 2003, from Ernest Jones in Hull. So that was I would think quiet a lot for a T62 in 2003, I would tend to agree with you that prices would therefore be even higher for the model in your opening. It seems to me that the Deep Blue branding was applied to models that were already quiet expensive in standard form and indeed rare also in standard form from what I can gather. Hope that helps shed some perspective on pricing at the time in 2001, 2002. Mine is a 2002 manufactured watch sold in 2003. 

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Very nice 7t62-0AF0 (SND003P) 'Great Blue' on the bay. Looks unmarked and with what looks like a full bracelet (7 links one side, 6 on the other). £150 BIN or best offer. If it was the square one, I'd be putting in an offer of around the hundred pound mark, but this might suit someone else.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Seiko-The-Great-Blue-SND003P-chronograph-watch-Rare/163732124443?hash=item261f31f31b:g:aX4AAOSwfWJdAVPH

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looks a bargain that one rog! Why do they always come up when im skint? Best get saving then...i'll probably add one later in the year if my old car gets through its mot, without needing tyres. 

Cheers for the link though!

i never realised the did a 1/20th 'stopwatch feature' on the t62? I thought that came in with the t92? Thats when the hand whizzes round at a rate of knots for 10 minutes isnt it???

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