Finds Vintage

J14066 ‘Left Crown’ Seiko Crown

J14066-Seiko-Crown

James May, an intelligent man, once stated that ‘No one truly understands electricity.’ He’s right. I have a degree in physics. I can describe its effects, predict and calculate ohms, probably wire a house with some effort, but at a certain level we all have to have faith that there are electrons in this wire flowing. And then if you ask someone to show you an electron, well that’s a different kettle of fish equally as requiring of faith. Similarly, when you pull the thread on any Seiko or Grand Seiko, more just keeps pouring in your direction. It’s one of the many joys of this project, when the depth of a manufacture just continually surprises. There’s so much to learn in vintage Seiko it’s near bewildering. You just have to maintain faith and keep learning. For example, the 3180 was the first-ever Grand Seiko. But the 3180 didn’t just appear from thin air. It’s influence comes from a line first called the Marvel, and then this: the ‘Crown’.

J14066-Seiko-Crown

The 1956 Marvel was the first ever fully in-house Suwa Seiko movement. The line optimized for ‘beauty, durability, and accuracy’. When I first started learning about Seiko, I’d incorrectly assumed that Lord (of Marvel and Matic) 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 1958 to showcase understated, elegant, upmarket dress pieces.

J14066-Seiko-Crown

Marvels were replaced 1959 with the Crown series. It was a popular playground of understated elegance, many variants remain undiscovered still today. This is perhaps one of the most niche I’ve ever seen: an ice blue ‘graph-paper’ dial with a left handed crown. I’ve never seen either element before, on any Crown, and here’s a 35mm calibre 560 with both. Like I said, you just keep digging with Seiko and you will never run out of edification. This rarity was recently found in an old watch store and still has its protective blue film on the original caseback. Time capsule is perhaps not a strong enough analogy.

J14066-Seiko-Crown

As this is basically found-NOS condition, there’s surprisingly little to note. The dial is perfect. The case as well. Even the movement, which hasn’t been running, is clear of corrosion or any visible old oil spots. If you’re going for a Crown or Marvel, this is a cool one and about as good as it gets. And oh yea, these are still massive value. It comes from a well-regarded Japanese retailer.

Find this ‘Left Crown’ here from The Tokei Club for ~2000 USD.

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