I thought in making the comparison, I’d assess the two watches in a two categories, inner and outer: the former requiring me to be as objective as I can but with the latter my subjectivity will hold sway.Let’s start out shallow and assess the looks first: Exterior The Rolex is without doubt a beautiful watch with real presence.
However, it does occupy a place of some significance in being the first automatic Grand Seiko and although it was only produced for three short years from 1965 to 1968, it was revived in 2015 as part of the Seiko 55 My Date Just 1603 dates from 1974 and so is 6 years younger than my GS 6245-9001 but its design and specification remained unchanged from those produced in the same year as the GS.
To all intents and purposes then, the two watches are contemporaries although they will only have fought it out in that capacity in the Japanese domestic market of the time.
I’ve occasionally allowed myself to be drawn into such debates but by and large stay out if it because the views on each side are so entrenched that to contribute serves no purpose other than to raise one’s blood pressure.
The reason for such conflicting opinion derives not so much from the perception of Seiko as a mainstream brand with its huge customer base, but from skepticism about the value proposition of the much more aspirational Grand Seiko sub-brand; a sub-brand that, in contrast to its parent, offers a level of exclusivity that Rolex owners can only dream of.
And of course, there’s the high-riding, sharp edge of the acrylic crystal emerging from the engine-turned bezel, lifting us above the iconic Rolex coronet sitting at the 12 marker.