1968 Seiko Lord Marvel 5740-8020
You may have noticed, but Seiko/GS and hi-beat movements are kind of a thing. The pairing goes together like whisky and chocolate. I say that because the combination is both frequently enjoyed and quite subjectively enjoyed. Many collectors prefer Spring Drive or the uncomplicated SKX/Five flavour. Marmite is the word. But if you do happen to lust over a hi-beat Seiko, today I can bring you one that represents an exceptional value.
Remember that famous story of Seiko HQ splitting Grand Seiko from King Seiko and pitting them against eachother? This Lord Marvel is neither of those. When I first started learning about Seiko, I’d incorrectly assumed that Lord was a separate Seiko sub-brand. I’m a bit of an idiot if you haven’t already noticed. That is not the case. Lord Marvel was a model line under Seiko created in 1959 to showcase understated, elegant dress pieces. When, in 1967, Seiko pioneered its own hi-beat, they slotted it into a 35mm Lord Marvel case to create this: the 5740. The dial is as uncomplicated as the concept was. The result is certainly elegant and certainly dressy. Not only that, but it is quite technically impressive for a non King/Grand Seiko of its period. Because the dial does not wear a KS/GS stamp, values remain relatively very affordable even today.
This example shows a light even wear across its case and crystal, leading me to believe it has not been replaced. The lugs have a sharp bevel still today, but have possibly seen light polish. Its dial is spectacular with a fully unmarked silvery sheen. It’s also worth noting that although the thin crown looks like a generic replacement, that is the design these came with and is likely original. It does not come with box or papers, though I wouldn’t care.
Find this 5740-8020 Lord Marvel here from Stephen at Long Beach Watch Club for 500 USD.