The intriguing tale of inter-corporate competition between Grand Seiko and King Seiko during the 1960s and '70s has captivated all who have come across it. During that era, Seiko operated two separate factories to manufacture their timepieces: Suwa factory for Grand Seiko and Daini factory for King Seiko. The purpose behind having these distinct facilities was to foster internal rivalry and strive for the creation of the finest watches imaginable. This particular 1970 King Seiko exemplifies the outcome of such competition.
The watch in question is a ref. 4502-7001, produced during the final five years of King Seiko's manufacturing. It houses the manually wound, high-beat caliber 4502A, as indicated on the dial. Belonging to the renowned 45~ series of King Seiko movements, the 4502A operates at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour, or 5 Hz, delivering enhanced accuracy to the wearer. Additionally, the caliber 4502A introduced an instantaneous date change feature for the framed date window positioned at three o'clock.
The off-white dial showcases applied hour markers with precise facets, mirroring the design of the handset. Both the markers and hands lack luminescent material, instead featuring clean black striping along their central portions. The case of this timepiece deserves special mention; it bears a striking resemblance to the renowned case designs of Grand Seiko, characterized by clean lines, sloping angles, and an overall high-polish finish. One delightful detail is the gold King Seiko medallion adorning the center of the case back, symbolizing the exceptional craftsmanship and design embodied by the watch.
Truly, this presents a rare opportunity to own a historic King Seiko timepiece, one that is unlikely to be available again in the future.
Shipped from Tokyo, Japan.
SOLD - King Seiko Hi-Beat 4502-7001
Overall, this piece is in nice vintage condition. The case has some light scratches and appears to be unpolished as it retains sharp edges with a beautiful Tanaka grammar of design profile. The original silver/white dial is very clean. A thin spotting line can be observed at 6'Oclock but barely visible by the naked eye. The handset and crown are all original and in good condition. The original caseback and gold medallion is in great condition.
BRAND: King Seiko
DIAL: Original silver/white dial
CASE MATERIAL: Stainless Steel
CASE DIMENSIONS: 37mm diameter; 11.7mm thickness, 18mm lug width
CRYSTAL: Mineral Crystal
CASE BACK: Screw-in Stainless Steel
Manufacturing date: July 1973
Service History: Serviced, +5s/day
Bracelet/Strap: Light Brown Japanese cowhide leather strap made by the Japanese strap maker Accurate Form