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1968 Grand Seiko watch sold for over $90,000 on Yahoo online auction

21:34, May 2

A 1968 Grand Seiko watch sold for approximately $90,321, or exactly 13,501,000 yen, on Yahoo online auction. It's hard to believe that anyone would be willing to pay that much for a dirty, old Japanese watch from an unknown seller offering poor quality photographs, and not a single shot of the movement. However, a collector who knows the history of Grand Seiko is willing to pay more than $90,000 for this watch.

We are talking about the Grand Seiko VFA 6185-8000 watch. VFA stands for "Very Fine Adjustment." It was the most accurate watch released by Grand Seiko in the late 1960s and early 1970s, with an accuracy of -2 to +2 seconds per day—which became a Rolex standard in 2015. Even modern Grand Seiko mechanical models cannot match the low error rates of vintage VFA models. Thus, VFA models are highly respected among vintage collectors and have a corresponding value, writes RobbReport.

The birth of Grand Seiko in 1960 began a decade-long battle over precision standards between the Japanese manufacturer and the Swiss watch industry. From the beginning, Grand Seiko aimed for the same standards of precision as Swiss watches. Each watch was measured over a period of time at different temperatures, and the watch's error rate had to remain between -3 and +12 seconds per day to be called a chronometer.

Always on the defensive, the Swiss have also legislated that only Swiss watches must be certified, have the right to test the chronometer, which in turn led to the removal of the word "chronometer" from the name of Grand Seiko watches in the first half of the 1960s.

Since Grand Seiko watches are no longer subject to Swiss chronometer testing, Grand Seiko has implemented its own alternative, higher standard of accuracy. In 1966, the "Grand Seiko Standard" was announced with a maximum error rate of -3 to +5 seconds per day, much less than the Swiss standard of the time. Eventually, Grand Seiko tightened its conditions even further until it reached the VFA standard of -2 to +2 seconds per day. Then, in 1975, Grand Seiko closed its doors.

The aforesaid watch, which sold for more than $90,000, was manufactured in 1968, so it meets the VFA standard of -2 to +2 seconds per day. Surprisingly, once sold, this watch is guaranteed to perform to this standard for the first two years of ownership. Consider this: Rolex today does not offer such a guarantee, nor does Omega, nor the current Grand Seiko, nor any other brand we can think of.

Grand Seiko VFA watches are now 55 years old, and their standards are still superior to those of today.


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