|Brand:||Daini Seikosha, Grand Seiko, Seiko|
|© Seiko The V.F.A. Cal. 4580 achieved accuracy of one minute per month||Complications:|
|Hands:||Central Hour Hand, Central Minute Hand, Central Seconds Hand|
|Distinguishing Technical Characteristics|
|Production: 1969 – 1973|
Cal. 4580 VFA was a hand-winding Hi-Beat movement produced by Daini Seikosha in the 1960s and 1970s for their Grand Seiko V.F.A. watches. It was an upgrade over Cal. 4420 thanks to the 10 Hz (36,000 A/h) speed and over the standard Cal. 4520A thanks to special tuning.
The rear of Cal. 4580 is engraved with “VERY FINE ADJ SIX 6 POS & TEMP” along with both “TWENTYFIVE” and “25JEWELS”, “SEIKO”, and “JAPAN”.
Just two models were produced with the 4580 VFA movement and neither was offered to the general retail public. Today, these are considered to be the ultimate expression of the classic Grand Seiko era and are highly prized collectibles. It is believed that fewer than 100 examples of each were produced, and some reports say just 153 Cal. 4580 watches were made.
- 4580-7000 (4580 014) – Initial model with rounded case
- 4580-7010 (4580 020) – Production model in 44GS case, ¥85,000 in 1971
Seiko 45 Stream Overview
Throughout the 1960s, Seiko had two internal operations competing for watchmaking supremacy. Suwa Seikosha, formed in 1959, focused on high-end men’s watches and originated the Grand Seiko line. Daini Seikosha, the historic watchmaking operation for Hattori Seikosha, developed the alternate King Seiko line before creating the famous Grand Seiko Style with the 44GS of 1967.
In 1968, both Suwa and Daini produced a Hi-Beat movement fit for a Grand Seiko watch. The Suwa 6100 stream was an automatic while the Daini 4500 was hand-wound. Both were used in Grand Seiko models until the decline of mechanical watches in that line around 1975.
The Daini Seikosha 4500 stream replaced the respected but slow-beating 4400 stream in King Seiko and Grand Seiko models. The move from 5 Hz to 10 Hz had been a singular technical challenge for Daini, both from a design and metallurgical standpoint. But the movement featured other technical advances as well, including an “instant” date change mechanism.
Compared to the Suwa automatic movement, Daini’s 4500 stream was more elegant in design, with a classic hand-winding look and full balance bridge. It was also notably thinner, giving Daini’s watches a desirable design differentiator.
|Cal. 4500||1968-1972||King Seiko||No|
|Cal. 4502||1968-1973||King Seiko||Yes|
|Cal. 4520A||1968-1974||Grand Seiko||No||Some tuned for Observatory Chronometer use|
|Cal. 4522A||1968-1972||Grand Seiko||Yes|
|Cal. 4580 VFA||1969-1973||Grand Seiko||No||Very Fine Adjustment, limited production|