8 Rarest and Most Expensive Seiko Watches Ever Made

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“Always one step ahead of the rest.” This is Seiko’s motto for their show-stoppingly huge catalog of signature watches. They have consumer models that you can buy at normal stores, and they have five-figure luxury models that can only be obtained by the most avid collectors.

From mechanical throwback classics to solar-powered modern masterpieces, Seiko offers limited edition watches for exorbitant prices. For the most incredible in-house watch construction, these are the 8 rarest Seiko watches that collectors can buy.

  1. Grand Seiko Heritage Collection SGBA211
  2. Case: Titanium
    Movement: Spring Drive
    Dial Color: Snowflake
    Year: 2016-present
    Price: $5,800+
    Grand Seiko Heritage Collection SGBA211
    photo source: Grand Seiko

    Grand Seiko debuted the Heritage collection to celebrate the brand’s history. One of the most coveted models is the one with the Snowflake dial, the SGBA211, which sells for $5,800 or more.

    This watch displays its power reserve (up to 72 hours) and has spring drive movement for the accuracy that Seiko collectors expect. The Heritage watches are water-resistant up to 100 meters. The coveted Snowflake dials glisten like powdery grey snow against the Zaratsu polished stainless-steel hands.

    Did you know?

    This entry on the list is just for the retail watches in the Heritage collection. Grand Seiko is going to show up again on this list (and again) because this is where Seiko typically debuts their most outstandingly rare, limited editions.


  3. Grand Seiko SLGA001
  4. Case: Titanium
    Movement: Mechanical (Automatic)
    Dial Color: Blue
    Year: 2010
    Price: $11,100
    Grand Seiko SLGA001
    photo source: Grand Seiko

    This rare Seiko watch was made in the Grand Seiko brand as a collectible, limited edition piece intended to celebrate Seiko’s 60th anniversary.

    This watch has a blue dial in a titanium silver case. This makes it not only lighter than steel but also more resistant to being scratched. Its movement is mechanical and accurate within 0.5 seconds. The glass is made from gorgeous sapphire crystal and resistant to water up to 600 meters (or 2,000 feet). The clasp is a solid three-fold design, though the watch came with a blue silicone strap that could be swapped out.

    Did you know?

    Only 700 of these watches were manufactured, making them coveted collector’s items. The serial number is engraved on the back of the titanium case.


  5. Grand Seiko Elegance SBGW260
  6. Case: Stainless steel
    Movement: Hand-wound mechanical
    Dial Color: Enamel
    Year: 2016-present
    Price: $29,000
    Grand Seiko Elegance SBGW260
    photo source: Grand Seiko

    The Grand Seiko Elegance watches can be customized for different appearances and materials. The basic modern model retails for $4,300, making it an expensive consumer-grade watch already. However, the most luxurious Grand Seiko Elegance sells for upwards of $29,000.

    The trick is in the limited editions available as well as the variety in terms of material construction. These watches come in platinum, titanium, gold, or stainless-steel cases. They can be made with engravings, flecking, or enamel coating to create the perfect luxury look. The watch movement is hand-wound mechanical and has a 72-hour power reserve.

    Did you know?

    The Grand Seiko Elegance watches are crafted in-house from MEMS, or Microelectromechanical Systems. They give the watches’ mechanical movement tolerances measured down to the micron.


  7. Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer
  8. Case: 18ct gold
    Movement: Mechanical
    Dial Color: Gold
    Year: 1968
    Price: $40,000+
    Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer
    photo source: Worn and Wound

    In 1968, Seiko only made 73 Astronomical Observatory Chronometers. Not only the case but the dials and even the hands were made from 18ct gold. This made the watch sure to be discontinued and even surer to skyrocket in price in the future.

    This watch rarely appears on the market and it’s unknown how many are still in existence. In the mid-2010s, one was sold for $40,000, though it didn’t come with the box or original strap. If an Astronomical Observatory Chronometer went to auction in mint condition, we believe it would be one of the most expensive Seiko watches of all time.

    Did you know?

    Seiko was having trouble in the 60s competing with Swiss luxury wristwatch manufacturers, particularly in the accuracy department. Designer Daini Seikosha discovered that the Seiko watch’s problem was the magnetized hairspring. To make sure the watches were as accurate as possible when shipped to Switzerland for competition, Seiko created a special shipping route that would minimize the earth’s magnetic effect on the watches in transit. They even created special shipping cases out of an alloy that repelled magnetic fields!


  9. Eichi II (Credor)
  10. Case: Rose gold
    Movement: Spring-Drive
    Dial Color: Rose gold and white
    Year: 2018
    Price: $41,000
    Eichi II
    photo source: Hodinkee

    Since 1974, the Credor sub-brand has represented coveted Seiko royalty. They have their own luxury aesthetic designed to look and feel expensive. They have enamel dials and a posh, decorative appearance that makes them coveted and stylish.

    The Eichi II in Rose Gold is a 2018 watch made from cold-forged rose gold alloy. It operates by a spring drive that has a 60-hour power reserve. This luxurious, rare watch retails for $41,000. Collectible Credors are the watches to beat when it comes to rare alloyed watches from Seiko.

    Did you know?

    The Credor Rose Gold watches are made with Zaratsu polishing. This polishing method allows for incredible uniformity in the polish since workmen can use the front of the polishing disc and not just the side. With the right skill, the watch cases can be polished into incredibly crisp, precise flat surfaces worthy of only the highest-end watch designs.


  11. Grand Seiko Heritage Collection SBGA385
  12. Case: Platinum
    Movement: Spring Drive
    Dial Color:
    Year: 2018
    Price: $53,000
    Grand Seiko Heritage Collection SBGA385
    photo source: Grand Seiko

    This Grand Seiko Heritage Collection watch, the best of its bunch, is part of a limited series of 20 watches. This is why it retails for $53,000 and commands the room with its incredible design.

    The watch contains 30 jewels inside its spring drive construction. The case is platinum with dual-curved sapphire crystal glass and an anti-reflective coating. This watch is the first of many Seiko models to be designed and manufactured with the intent of being sold exclusively in the United States. The Shinshu Watch Studio, which designed the spring drive model used here, outdid themselves with this watch.

    Did you know?

    The dial of this watch uses a design technique inspired by the Kira-Zuri method, an artistic technique famous for classic Japanese painting. This painting, called Ukiyo-e, typically depicts classical Japanese figures, including mythology, the rural countryside, and Kabuki performances. The most famous example of this technique is a painting by Katsushika Hokusai called The Great Wave off Kanagawa. Chances are, you’ve seen this famous work – when you think “old Japanese tidal wave painting,” you’re probably thinking of the right thing.


  13. Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGW263
  14. Case: Platinum/yellow gold
    Movement: Manual winding
    Dial Color:
    Year: 2020
    Price: $97,000
    Grand Seiko Elegance Collection SBGW263
    photo source: Grand Seiko

    This is another watch in the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection and easily the most valuable. Its case is platinum with 18k yellow gold on the back. The glass is a dual-curved sapphire crystal. In total, the watch contains 24 jewels. Even the clasp is platinum.

    The watch features an engraving of a lion on the backside. The face is stylish, pure platinum with a sapphire-colored second hand that stands out beautifully. The watch is part of a limited-edition series of only 20 units and retails for $97,000.

    Did you know?

    Grand Seiko’s home is the beautiful Shizukuishi, which the Grand Seiko Elegance Collection was designed to capture. The master engraver Terui created all 20 dials by hand, including the decorative engraving on the yellow gold on the back.


  15. Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection SBGD207
  16. Case: Platinum
    Movement: Spring Drive
    Dial Color: Sapphire Crystal
    Year: 2021
    Price: $185,000
    Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection SBGD207
    photo source: Grand Seiko

    The rarest Seiko watch is the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection SBG207. The Masterpiece Collection, reserved for the rarest Seiko watches in existence, climaxes with this watch, which sells for $185,000. It’s part of a limited edition set of 15 units, making it the rarest Seiko watch still manufactured.

    The dial is constructed of green mother-of-pearl with indexes of sparkling green garnet. The glass is a box-shaped sapphire crystal, and the case is made from immaculately polished platinum. In total, the watch contains 24 green garnets, 56 other jewels, and 97 diamonds (equal to about 2.58 carats).

    Did you know?

    Micro Artist Studio, the place where the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection was made, is located near Mishaka Pond, in the forest east of Lake Suwa. The clear waters of the region inspire the pristine designs of the watch’s reflective surfaces. The sapphire and garnet inlays recall the reflections of trees and sky on the lake near the place where the watch was born.


The Takeaway

The Seiko watches come in many sub-brands that collect the most luxurious designs in one place for collectors to grab these incredible limited-edition models. Some of these watches sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars because of how rare they are, with only 15 units produced in total. Acquiring these requires the most avid nostalgia for the Seiko design and the classic techniques of Japanese craftsmanship.

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