Grand Seiko Hi-Beat
Why We Love it
Why We Love it–
After the devastation of World War II, Japan underwent an economic renaissance that was nothing short of miraculous.
The Allies occupied Japan until 1952. For several years prior to that, the U.S. had instituted a policy, the “reverse course,” which did much to lay the groundwork for this economic rebirth. The Reverse Course was intended to strengthen, not punish, Japan, and bring them under the influence of the United States—particularly as the Cold War made tensions rise between the Soviet Union and the other Allied powers.
By strengthening the Japanese economy, the U.S. saw to it that they would have an ally in the Pacific. A constitution was drafted along Rooseveltian “New Deal” principles, and the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry initiated policies that nurtured the recovering economy. Manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers formed groups called keiretsu that insulated each company from the fluctuation of the stock market and other outside influences.
The 1960s were without a doubt the most prosperous decade in this economic miracle. Prime Minister Ikeda, the former minister of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, launched an “income-doubling plan” in which he lowered interest rates and taxes and liberalized trade imports. By the time he left office in 1964, the Gross National Product grew to 13.9%.
Seiko’s history during this time was also marked by a renewal of sorts, as the manufacture released a watch that in many ways would become its crowning jewel: the Grand Seiko.
The company had two competing divisions at the time: Daini and Suwa. Though Suwa was chosen to develop the Grand Seiko, the Marvel produced by the Daini division would blaze the path for the Grand Seiko. Seiko’s first wholly in-house watch, the Marvels—with their Hi-Beat movements—were the most accurate watches Seiko produced.
The Grand Seiko was created by Taro Tanaka, a young designer whom Seiko had hired right out of school. Inspired by the way Swiss watches “sparkled brilliantly,” Tanaka set out to design a watch with sharp edges, brushed surfaces, and a mirror finish that would rival anything created by the Swiss. In 1960, the first Grand Seiko—Reference 3180—debuted.
Though the Reference 3180 was a time-only model, Seiko would follow it in 1963 with models that featured a date.
In 1968 Seiko would release the Reference 61GS, powered by the 6100 series of movements. This line was inaugurated by the Reference 6145A. Due to Seiko’s stringent standards, the 6145 rivaled even the best-quality Swiss movements.
The Reference 6145 would be the flagship Grand Seiko model until 1975, when Seiko would phase out automatic movements in favor of their groundbreaking quartz calibres.
This particular Grand Seiko is a Reference 6146, which differs from the Reference 6145 with the inclusion of a day wheel.
With a mouth-watering dial and edges as sharp as the blade of a katana, this Reference 6146 captures the essence of Tanaka’s “grammar of design” in a package that is as handsome as it is timeless.
Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.
Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.
We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.
Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Shipping & Returns
Shipping & Returns+
All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.
Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.
We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.
Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.
We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.
Grand Seiko Hi-Beat