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BIRTHDAY WATCH IS A WATCH THAT WAS PRODUCED THE SAME MONTH AND YEAR AS SOMEONE'S BIRTHDAY.
Year of Production: Circa 1940s
Number of Jewels: 9
Hand and Dial: 3D 15K Solid-Gold Arabic Numerals / Baton Indices with Alpha Hands
Lug to Lug Height: 37mm
Lug Width: 18mm
Bracelet: Brand-New Hi-Quality Genuine Leather Strap with Silver Buckle
Pouch / Box: Brand-New EVA Type Zipper Pouch
It was in 1956 that Seiko Seikosha debuted the Seiko Marvel (SUWA) which was Seiko's first ever built-in-house movement - Seiko used to build their watches using Swiss / English movements before this.
The Seiko SUWA Marvel is a mechanical movement and is also Seiko's first watch with the second hand incorporated into the main movement. Prior to that, all Seiko watches were equipped with a mini second hand that was separate from the main movement.
It was the same year (1956) that Seiko SUWA upgraded the Marvel and incorporated the automatic winding, Diashock (anti-shock system) and the MAGIC LEVER*, and called this timepiece the Gyro Marvel. The movement number given is the Cal 290. Thus, this watch has the ability of mechanical and automatic winding which in truth, is a joy for watch enthusiasts.
* The highly sensitive Magic lever utilises a "Claw Lever System" that allows bi-direction oscillation winding thus the watch is wound up faster and more efficiently. Most automatic watches have incorporated their version of the Magic Lever within their own movements soon after.
Seiko SUWA produced the Gyro Marvel from 1956 to 1959, and during those 3 odd years, the movement was upgraded from 17 to 19 to 21 jewels. The Seiko SUWA Crown (Cal 560) would replace the Gyro Marvel in 1959.
This gorgeous Seiko Gyro-Marvel, Model 290 is a 17 Jewel 14K Gold-Filled Automatic / Mechanical Watch, hence the world famous Spinner located below the 12H Index. This is a breathtaking timepiece in so many ways that brought Seiko into the limelight as a serious watchmaking company that can now contend with the Swiss, English, German and American "big boys."
For Seiko Collectors and Vintage fans, this is one of the first ever Seiko Gyro Marvels to be produced in 1956. It is in mint condition because it is a NOS (New Old Stock) model that was painstakingly kept as a collectible and not worn; thereby, THIS IS ONE OF THE WATCHES TO COLLECT BY FAR!
This seldom seen 1956 Vintage Seiko has a pearl white dial in immaculate condition after a good clean-up, so too the 14K solid gold indices, hands and gold-filled case. The crystal has been replaced due to age thus in excellent condition as well.
The classical designed gold-filled case was also given a good cleaning and buffing to remove age marks, and miniscule hairline scratches.
The crown is located at the traditional 3H positions and nicely tucked away to prevent damage or snags. The crown is original and was reduced in size compared to the previous Seiko mechanical movements that require mechanical winding (hence the oversized crown).
The movement was carefully stripped and meticulously cleaned via ultrasonic immersion, oiled, re-assembled and calibrated on 31 October 2023; hence, it underwent an overhaul and not a general servicing. It should be able to operate without hinderance for the next 5 to 10 years thereby giving the owner peace of mind.
Equipped with Seiko SUWA's first ever automatic 290 movement that is made from stainless steel, it has 17 Jewels and operate at 18,000 BPH. The time-grapher, after 60 hours of calibration, shows superb readings i.e. rate of 0 seconds every 24 hours and amplitude of 160 with a centered line! Such readings are truly exceptional even by brand new modern automatic watch standards whereby the accepted tolerance is -20 to +40 seconds a day! This is a testament to the quality, excellent power reserve and longevity for such a vintage timepiece, the meticulous care provided over the years, and of course, the painstaking expert calibration.
To the best of our knowledge and expertise when overhauling the timepiece, the watch is 100% original Seiko components from this particular watch. No parts were replaced with aftermarket parts or modified thereby it is considered in near MINT condition.
A brand new hi-quality saddle brown vintage leather strap with matching stitching and a gold buckle that marries well with the watch dial and gold-filled case is provided. The Buyer has the option to select a different design and / or colour strap from my array of straps should he / she wishes to do so.
The case width and height are approximately 35mm (without crown) and 43mm respectively. The lug width is 18mm, and the strap can accommodate wrists up to 20cm; hence, this watch is suitable for men and the women.
Due to its age, this timepiece has not been water-resistant tested.
The pictures provided show the watch’s case in pristine condition (no dents and major scratches), and the movement within squeaky clean and well maintained. It has also been demagnetised to improve parts reliability, minimise wear & tear, and improve accuracy. The only drawback is the lack of documentation and original box. A nice purposeful carrying case or box will be provided.
Seldom can one find a vintage watch that offers this and more. Yes, there are many other same / similar models in the market, BUT none are as well-kept and maintained as what you see here, and with an attractive price to boot. So, it is a no-brainer that this one-of-a-kind watch will make an extremely beautiful birthday present for that special someone born in 1956! Another no-brainer is the fact that the value of this watch will GREATLY appreciate over time.
Do also bear in mind that it will cost between S$ 180.00 to S$ 200.00 for an overhaul, an estimated S$ 80.00 to calibrate (depending on watch condition), and S$ 100.00 to clean and polish including tightening of bracelet links - these costs do not apply when purchasing this timepiece. So, if anyone was to sell such a timepiece at a low price yet claim that it has been serviced, one has to ask what kind of servicing was conducted, if any.
This is a stunning 1956 Seiko Gyro Marvel in MINT condition with a beautifully preserved vintage dial, movement, 14K gold-filled case, and immaculate 14K solid gold indices and hands; so, be unique and use something that is almost impossible to source.
This timepiece IS a collectible and should not be worn and is worth investing in because it will surely be worth a pretty penny as time goes by.
This is a must-have for the Seiko die-hard fan, or any vintage watch fan for that matter!