King Seiko 52KS
With Seiko leading the race to bring a quartz watch to market, it became clear to many inside the company that the days of mechanical watches were over. Daini Seikosha and Suwa Seikosha were in-house rivals, battling to produce ever-better King Seiko and Grand Seiko models for the company. But by the end of the 1960's, that race was at an end.
Suwa produced a final line of high-end watches, the King Seiko 56KS and Grand Seiko 56GS beginning in 1969, leaving Daini to develop perhaps the last high-end mechanical watch to be made by the company. This was the King Seiko 52KS, and Daini worked to make it special. In fact, some models left the factory with “Special” and “Very Fine Accuracy” (“V.F.A.”) adjustment, making them some of the most accurate mechanical watches ever produced.
The 52KS started with an exceptional movement, an automatic Seiko 5200 slowed to 28,000 A/h but still bearing the “Hi-Beat” name. Daini paired this with an exceptional case, the one-piece “6000”, which reflected the best of their styling abilities. Although conventional 52KS models with removable case backs were also produced, it was the one-piece 5245-6000 and 5246-6000 (date-only and day/date, respectively) that are best-remembered. Only a few of these were made, but they are highly prized today.