A May 1972 vintage King Seiko Hi-Beat 4502-7001 in beautiful original condition with new NOS crystal. This King Seiko 4502-7001 features the well-known manual winding King Seiko 45 movement or '45KS' that has a 36,000 bph rate. This Seiko Hi-Beat movement would have been chronometer grade back in the 1970s, competing with the best of Swiss mechanical watchmaking at the time. The vintage King Seiko is in great condition, with minimal wear and scratches from general use. The case measures 37 mm in diameter and is paired with a with a light brown leather strap. The King Seiko's dial also has some light marks in between 2 and 3 o'clock. The watch was not recently serviced, but serviced about 18 months ago and is still running well. We offer a flat rate for shipping on every order and 30-day free returns. We also offer a 2-month mechanical warranty for every purchase. All prices are in CAD.
King Seiko History
The first King Seiko was released in 1961, the year after the first Grand Seiko. The first King Seikos were manual winding, with 25-jewel movements, that were not internally tested chronometers. This was followed by the release of the 44KS in 1964. The 44KS was a remake of the 44GS with a manual winding movement - 18,000 bph, and a screwdown case back. In 1968, the 45KS was introduced, a hi-beat movement meant to compete with the 45GS but generally less accurate and with less finishing. The Grand Seiko was also chronometer grade, in general King Seiko was always slightly under King Seiko in terms of accuracy and finishing - made in the Daini factory. And while the first two were produced by Daini, one of the most impressive King Seikos, the 56KS, was actually made by Suwa! The 56KS, the one on sale (5626 movement), was introduced in 1968 and featured an automatic, 28,800 bph movement with 25 jewels and a 47-hour power reserve. It was also used in the Grand Seiko, Lord Matic, and Seiko chronometers. The 56KS watches were all marked ‘Hi-Beat’ on the dial despite being only 28,800 bph (instead of 36,000). The 56KS was made until 1975...
Seiko was founded as a watch store in 1881 by Kintaro Hattori in Tokyo. By the 1890s it was producing both clocks and pocket watches as Seikosha. And in 1913 Seiko produced Japan's first wristwatch, the Seiko Laurel. Seiko had beat out several other Japanese companies, including other Tokyo clock companies like Tokyo Clock Co. and Japan Pocket Watch Manufacturing Co. By the mid-20th century Seiko produced some of its most important wristwatches that set the stage for its future. In the early 1950s Seiko produced the Seiko Super which then became the Marvel. And in 1960 Seiko released the first Grand Seiko. This marked the beginning of not only the Grand Seiko but also the King Seiko and Lord Matic lines to follow.
Then, in 1969, Seiko released the Astron, the watch that would upend the Swiss watchmaking industry. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Seiko continues to produced extraordinary quartz watches, along with many legendary vintage Seiko dive watches. In modern times Seiko continues to innovate, especially through its Grand Seiko brand.