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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Vintage Seiko's!

Several years ago (let's say up to about 3) it was possible to find clean original divers, chrono's etc at very cheap prices - I picked up a virtually new 6309-7049 at an estate sale for $75-00 - the same watch now goes for 400-500 easy sometimes more.

My old haunts (several pawn shop's, some Ebay sellers, some flea markets) are still coming up with the goods but the days of the 'steal' seem to be/are gone, the watches that were going for under $100 are all selling for $300 and up, does anyone still find cheap buys nowaday's or are the good old days just a memory?

Has our collecting, forum posting and fandom made a sellers market and killed the buyers market or are today's prices just indicative of the actual value of some of these watches?
 
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Anything discontinued and once faded into obscurity can come back big, the fact that someone out there is willing to pay those high prices means they are worth that much to someone.
 
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I tend to agree with you. I have lived in Japan for 13 years and believe I experienced the 'golden' years of Seiko buying/selling. This was around 2006. I was into Gs, and every used store had the cool models I had seen and memorized from a G Shock magazine. The hunt was on! My wife had the patience of Job hahaha! Then I cruised the Japan Yahoo auctions and culled great models for less than $100. 6309s were around $150 and I had ended up with 5 over a few years. Modding was crazy! Times were fun and exciting . I found ladies divers, midsized divers 6458, tons of quartz 7548s and 7C43s.
But recently the prices went through the roof! I seldom found cool models anymore from my local used stores in Japan. It was a fun ride while it lasted! Guys like 'akable' and mike mounce are the few and far between committed Seikoholics - and I applaud them.
 

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Undoubtedly the resurgence of automatics and watch collecting as a hobby has fueled the increased value of vintage seikos. This is not limited just to forum favorites like the 6309...a brief look at eBay will tell you many old quartz seiko's worth almost nothing a few years ago can command an exorbitant price in the right condition. Take the RAF seiko's and pulsars, original giugiaro's, and really any seiko with a 7a38 or 7a28 movement as an example.

It's annoying as a collector, but with Seiko reissuing older models it looks like they're seeing what we're seeing. Overall I think it's a good thing because it's evidence that our hobby is expanding.
 

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The flip side to this Seiko vintage furore is that fake parts are all the more prevalent.

I came to collecting vintage Seiko from collecting vintages from a well-known Swiss brand, after the number and quality of fakes became unbearable and a silly mistake could cost you thousands.

Now things are spilling over to vintage Seiko..... Which until now was reasonably clean of fakes and snakes peddling fake watches and parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I agree with much of what has been written and despite recent price increases, I think that Seiko still represents an affordable way to become a collector, and enjoy an array of pieces.
If you became a Rolex collector for example then spending a $100,000 to put together a modest collection of vintage pieces would be fairly easy to do, with a similar sized vintage Seiko collection you could spend less than a 10th of that.
Quaility wise the cases, crowns, bezels, movements are all up there with the best of them, accuracy wise they can be finely regulated and are very stable once set.
My 6105 seems to run at about +4 or 5 seconds a day and my 6306 runs basically dead on to +1. (both of these watches are more accurate than either of my most recent Rolex's)
I also tend to find myself using my Seikos as every day watches where as the Swiss pieces that I own or have owned tend to get babied and stored away, mainly due to their cost.
I find that watches that are worth north of 5k tend to produce a certain amount of paranoia in the owner and actually detract from participating in lots of things spontaneously.
That problem doesn't occur with Seiko's.

Analog watch Watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Material property
Front: 1964 Weekdater, Back Lto R: Rolex 5513, 6105, 6306.

On a recent overseas trip these were my Roadies, the Seiko's got 90% of the wrist time.
The Question still remains, does anyone find places that vintage Seikos can be found for cheap?
 

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I am relatively new to this forum but have been a long time watch collector/trader. I miss the good old days of high quality and cheap prices. Part of it seems to be the more mainstream and "hip" attitude towards vintage pieces as well as all the information available these days. For an example check any good book store. 10 years+ ago there was a very small handful of watch related magazines. Now there can easily be a dozen or more. Couple that with cheap and easy internet access and that is a ton of educational material.

This wealth of information leads to more knowledgeable sellers, both the people selling to the pawn shop/antique shops and in turn the shops themselves when they have to resell. Which means the prices are more of a true market value then the steal they once were.

I really think a lot of great Seikos are still undervalued on the market. 6105's, 6309's and other comparable models represent great value for money even at today's prices. But sadly the secret is long out driving the prices ever higher and making good unmolested all original models rare and desirable.

Good deals are still out there for sure but instead of stumbling on one a week or one a month you are lucky to find a handful a year. We just have to keep looking and not give up.
 

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I've always found i've been "lucky" with finding rarities of anything i hunted for.. be it vintage watches, hot rod parts.. more modern car parts that are hard to get.. anything i've wanted i've been able to get with a little work.

In saying that, i wonder whether luck is infact more just a knack for knowing where to look, what keywords to use on the usual internet sites, and having a keen eye for small details that can end up finding you great stuff.

For example.. i bet if you asked most Seiko diver guys how hard it is to find a 6309 cushion case right? I found a 6306, 6309 and a 6105 with my first watchmaker because i asked the right question. I then figured if he had some.. what about others? So i ended up getting onto a Seiko watchmaker who i was able to trade a slim 6309 case for an empty 6309 cushion case to put an orange 7548 into.

From there, i picked up an original 6105 for $700au serviced, found a gold 6139 pogue and an arnie. I'm yet to snag the arnie but that's the next one on my list and he knows it.

I also just picked this up last Sunday night off Gumtree (our version of Craigslist) for $100 aus bucks. The guy wanted $300, i got him to $100 because it had some small issues and he had no idea what it was. I swapped my pepsi bezel and yellow rotating ring onto it from my first pogue but.. look at that dial! That dial and bracelet alone are more than 100 bucks worth.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good points, I think our hobby has caught on, reto/vintage is Hip, and as you say with a few taps on the keypad a wealth of information is available so finding the value of a watch is a cinch for a seller.....it looks like it's back to being first in at estate sales.

I am relatively new to this forum but have been a long time watch collector/trader. I miss the good old days of high quality and cheap prices. Part of it seems to be the more mainstream and "hip" attitude towards vintage pieces as well as all the information available these days. For an example check any good book store. 10 years+ ago there was a very small handful of watch related magazines. Now there can easily be a dozen or more. Couple that with cheap and easy internet access and that is a ton of educational material.

This wealth of information leads to more knowledgeable sellers, both the people selling to the pawn shop/antique shops and in turn the shops themselves when they have to resell. Which means the prices are more of a true market value then the steal they once were.

I really think a lot of great Seikos are still undervalued on the market. 6105's, 6309's and other comparable models represent great value for money even at today's prices. But sadly the secret is long out driving the prices ever higher and making good unmolested all original models rare and desirable.

Good deals are still out there for sure but instead of stumbling on one a week or one a month you are lucky to find a handful a year. We just have to keep looking and not give up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes there are some real dodgy examples around - buyer beware!
The flip side to this Seiko vintage furore is that fake parts are all the more prevalent.

I came to collecting vintage Seiko from collecting vintages from a well-known Swiss brand, after the number and quality of fakes became unbearable and a silly mistake could cost you thousands.

Now things are spilling over to vintage Seiko..... Which until now was reasonably clean of fakes and snakes peddling fake watches and parts.
 

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It's a very simple matter of supply and demand. The extra demand can be attributed to any number of likely factors, but it comes down to more people wanting the same product and willing to pay escalating prices. If there aren't buyers at the higher prices, the price isn't supported and falls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Supply and demand indeed. Vintage Seiko's have also been woefully undervalued for the longest time, no doubt in part because of the quartz hangover when everything with Seiko on the dial was thought of as a 'mall' watch.
They were fantastic value at the time they were new when compared to Swiss offerings of the era...
Text Font Poster Graphic design Advertising
1968 Rolex Sub.

Watch Analog watch Watch accessory Fashion accessory Font
6105-8110 ad probably from circa 1970.

I think that the 6105-8001 from 1968 was listed at $75-00, as we can see the Rolex from 1968 was selling at $225-00, this disparity also added to the idea of Seiko's as being 'cheap' but that is not reflected in the quality of the fit, finish, movement etc.
Incidentally the current prices for Submariners from the late 60's with box and papers is somewhere in the 12-15k range and 6105-811x are running about $1500 to $2000 in great condition with box and papers (one did sell on Ebay recently for $2500-00 but I think thats a fluke).

Here's the PS:
Automotive wheel system Watch Vintage advertisement Wheel Vehicle
1968, 6105-8001 at $75-00.
 

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Sad to say the Submariner is now worth over $6k on the LOW end and the 6105 $1k on average. The spike in Seiko prices also correlates to the rise in Rolex and comparable Swiss makers. People with a little money can afford a $1k vintage but not a $10k+ vintage. That results in a trickle down effect to what were once much cheaper options. People who don't know any better spending more than they should and/or it becomes an "investment" strategy. Heck look at Ferrari prices over the last decade and see what that has done to the vintage Porsche market.
 

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I think it's just vintage watches in general...That and lousy IPhones.

When I first got into collecting watches it was fun see what you could find at Garage sales, as quite often you would make off like a bandit. But now days everyone including Grandma, can quickly look something up anywhere on their phone. And unfortunately usually they see a inflated price on ebay, and they think well "mines nicer, so it must be worth more"

The other problem is finding people who can "Fix" things, or finding parts yourself... For instance Accutrons. For a while people practically gave them away as no one "Fixed' them or could get the right battery. So I used to buy as many as I could, as I could fix them. Now I can't afford most of them.

But the same goes for Japanese watches. I had a Citizen bullhead yrs ago, and I took it to every watchmaker in town.(All it needed was a rotor) They all told me it was un-fixable or not worth fixing. Now days I'd simply find the part or a parts watch for cheap and fix it easily.
 

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I think a lot of it is a statement to how good things were. They were made by people, not CNC machines. They had soul. There's nothing cooler than going into case and finding a mistake that was skillfully repaired by the craftsman that F'ed it up in the first place and it's still doing the job it was supposed to do 30, 40, 50, years later. It's the antidote to our throw away society.
 
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