I have started a collection of 1964 Seikos, in part due to the fact that I was born in 1964, in part due to the immediately recognizable characteristics of 1960s Seikos which I find so appealing. In my opinion the combination of elegance and simplicity of Seiko steel watches of this era are unsurpassed. Design, case quality, hands, indices and dials are of very high across the range of Seikos from Grand Seiko to the mid-level Seikomatics, Sportsmatics etc. Resources appear also to have been spent on movements across the board, where high-jewel, slim movements like the middle-tier 8305/6 series must have caused quite a stir at the time (sic!).
Searching for these pieces on eBay is easy, as Seiko began using 4 digit movement numbers in the 60s, with the 3rd digit representing the grade of movement (a 39j 8325 being a higher grade than a 30j 8305) while the 4th digit indicates the display: 1 = no date, 5 = date only, 6 = day/date).
In the mid 60s Seiko (Suwa) developed the 66xx series, which includes the Sportsmatic and Sportman in my collection shown below. I understand these may have been the precursors to the Seiko “5” series. The 66xx’s in my collection do not hack, are manual wind or automatic.
The 83xx Suwa series (represented in my collection by two ´64 Seikomatic Slimdates) are also a product of the mid 60s, and are characterised by their thinner movements. In addition to the 8305 30j Slimdate, I have my eye open for the 8306 30j Business/Weekdater. With respect to movement quality I have seen these refered to as upper-middle, and they do have a relatively high jewel count.
From LEFT to RIGHT (some of the information comes from Japanese translations):
SEIKOMATIC - Slimdate Calendar
Caliber 8305B 30 jewel Diashock Automatic
Caseback: Seikomatic Slimdate 841990 4D01279 (Snap caseback)
Landmark slimline self-winding watch, calendar. Seiko's own early-haul system (Patent No.3097512) So it is very easy to use. (I understand this caliber uses a more complicated and efficient roller clutch in the winding gear train, rather than the simpler "magic lever" system). Abbreviation: MAMD
Temp frequency: 18000 times / hour 5 bps. Released start (Seiko sales data): February 1964 Earliest check individual: March 1964 The latest confirmation individual: September 1964.
Comments: This watch is in pristine condition and is the watch I use at work, replaced by a 6309-7049 when I leave for home.
SEIKOMATIC - Slimdate Calendar
8305B 30 jewel Diashock movement
Caseback: Seikomatic Slimdate 841990 44902906 Engraved: Den Nakayama 1968
Snap caseback, perimeter scoring pattern (Laurette ring) "to emphasize the feeling of luxury". Landmark slimline self-winding watch, calendar. Seiko's own early-haul system (Patent No.3097512) So it is very easy to use. (I understand this caliber uses a more complicated and efficient roller clutch in the winding gear train, rather than the simpler "magic lever" system) Abbreviation: MAMD
Temp frequency: 18000 times / hour. Released start (Seiko sales data): February 1964 Earliest check individual: March 1964 The latest confirmation individual: September 1964.
Comments: This is my first 1964 watch, and keeps excellent time. The case has been quite badly scratched, and the dial has some gouges.
Sportsmatic 17 jewels no date
Caseback: Seiko waterproof diashock stainless steel unbreakable mainspring 69990
Seiko Sportsmatic 4401542
Seiko 6601B features automatic no manual wind sweep second Dm= 27.6mm, H= 5.45mm 17 jewels f = 18000 A/h power-reserve 38h Code SMAC intro 1961 5 beats per second (6309=6 beats per second).
Comments: this is a watch in reasonable condition with an even patina on the dial. I particularly like the simplicity of the no-date dial.
Sportsman 17 jewels diashock
Caseback: STP 6602-9981 Seiko Water Proof 5N01737
Comments: not a 1964, but I really wanted a hand-wind and saw this going for a very reasonable price so I snapped it up. Dial is rather weathered but still acceptable. No quick-change for the date. A nice, solid watch.