The captivating tale of competition between Grand Seiko and King Seiko during the 1960s and '70s has intrigued all who have encountered it. During that period, Seiko operated two factories for watch production: the Suwa factory for Grand Seiko and the Daini factory for King Seiko. The rationale behind having these separate facilities was to foster internal rivalry and strive for the creation of the finest watches imaginable. This 1970 King Seiko exemplifies this ethos beautifully.
The watch in question is a ref. 4502-7001, originating from the final five years of King Seiko's production. 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, ensuring superior accuracy for the wearer. Additionally, the caliber 4502A introduced an instantaneous date change feature for the framed aperture positioned at three o'clock.
The off-white dial features meticulously faceted applied hour markers, mirroring the design of the handset. Both the markers and hands lack luminescent material, instead displaying clean black striping along their central portions. The case of this timepiece is also noteworthy, bearing a striking resemblance to the renowned case designs of Grand Seiko. It exhibits clean lines, sloping angles, and an overall high-polish finish. One delightful detail is the gold King Seiko medallion placed in the center of the case back, serving as a testament to the exceptional construction and design quality of the watch.
Truly, this presents a rare opportunity to own a historic King Seiko timepiece, and it is unlikely that we will be able to offer a similar piece again in the future.
Shipped from Tokyo, Japan.
SOLD - King Seiko Hi-Beat 45-7001
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. 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: May 1971
Service History: Movement lubed, +5s/day
Bracelet/Strap: Dark Brown Japanese cowhide leather strap made by the Japanese strap maker Accurate Form