£5,000 to spend. Early Seiko Watches by James Lowe Watch & Jewellery Specialist
In 1969 Seiko introduced the world’s first quartz watch – the Seiko Quartz Astron. It was accurate to about 5 seconds per month, which was a sensational improvement on even the likes of Rolex.
Yes, Seiko produced millions of watches in hundreds of designs and styles, but I would always recommend going for their early sports chronograph watches – especially the divers’ watches in ceramic and titanium.
Avoid the LCD watches, clever though they may be. If they go wrong, you are sunk. Quartz watch movements are seldom repaired to cure a malfunction – it is far easier and cheaper to fit a compatible new movement. However, thousands were thrown away due to malfunction, so a few models are becoming rare. Original paperwork and boxes are a big plus, but again, rare.
The price range is enormous; dependent on model and type but with auction purchases beginning at about £150 and going up to several thousand, you could start a sound collection for £5000. But patience and diligence in research into the thousands of Seikos out there will pay dividends.