Since its founding in 1881, Seiko’s watchmakers have dedicated their efforts to producing some of the most durable, highly precise, and expertly finished watches in the world. An important milestone in that pursuit was realized in 1960 with the introduction of Grand Seiko and its first watch. The Grand Seiko “First”, as it’s aptly named, featured a 35mm gold-plated case with beveled lugs, diamond polished indices, and flat dauphine hands. Most notably, the hand-wound caliber 3180 inside was the very first chronometer-rated movement made in Japan, boasting an impressive accuracy of +12/-3 seconds per day. Seiko made certain to highlight this accomplishment by proudly displaying “Chronometer” below the Grand Seiko branding on the dial.
In 2011, to celebrate its 130th anniversary, Seiko re-issued the Grand Seiko “First” in stainless steel with a limited production run of 1300 pieces. The new SBGW033 was a near copy of the original, sharing the same 35mm case, “S” marked crown, engraved lion medallion case back, and Grand Seiko branding at 12. The dial was also given a lovely cream color, presumably to add to the vintage aesthetic. Grand Seiko would go on to release subsequent versions, including one in 2017 with an upsized 38mm case and a stark white dial. However, the SBGW033 remains the most faithful re-issue of the original and in recent years has seen a tremendous spike in collectibility thanks to its modest proportions and relative scarcity.
'First' 130th Anniversary LE
Grand Seiko 9S64
Grand Seiko black alligator strap with tang buckle
Max Wrist Size:
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The stainless steel case shows light signs of wear with a couple hairlines, tiny scuffs, and micro dings present. The overall presentation is very clean. The lugs are nice and thick and the bevels retain excellent definition. The case side opposite the crown has several light scratches and a notable ding near the bottom of the case that has left a small dent. However, this is not noticeable while on the wrist. The caseback shows faints scuffs and hairlines throughout, which is common for this reference. The model and serial number engravings remain legible.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The cream dial and polished hands are in pristine condition with no notable imperfections. The sapphire crystal is squeaky clean and scratch free.
Bracelet/Strap: The Grand Seiko alligator strap shows moderate signs of wear with some creasing near the buckles and darkening of the leather on the back side. There is no chipping or fraying though and the strap has plenty of life left to give. The stainless steel buckle is in nice condition, showing light wear that's consistent with the rest of the watch.
Functions: All functions including the crown winding and time setting are working as expected.
Service History: The watch recently underwent a full service by Grand Seiko Service Studio that was completed on 09/28/2023.