1965 JDM King Seiko 4420-9990 Chronometer 27j (Hand Wind)

1965 JDM King Seiko 4420-9990 Chronometer 27j (Hand Wind)


If your initial thought is, “Isn’t this a Grand Seiko reference number?,” you’d be absolutely correct. However, when it was first introduced in 1964, Seiko’s Daini Division released the 44 as a King Seiko model. It remained such until 1966 when due to its immense appeal and accuracy, it was rebranded and released as the 44GS. It was only available domestically and production of these Grand King Seikos lasted less than two years. To say they are rare is an understatement and condition of these pieces varies widely. The movement is identical to the 44GS in every way except for the hack (seconds stopping) lever. With the case back off, the hacking lever is easily the prominent feature. A dog-legged switch controlled by a channel in the stem, it has a hooked end that makes contact with a flattened disk that is pressed onto the Morse tapered post of the seconds wheel through the train bridge. It’s an incredibly delicate design, and in many cases these levers were broken during service and are no longer present. I’m glad to say that this example from April of 1965 is complete. The case is sculpted to meet the requirements of Taro Tanaka’s “Grammar of Design” with polished planes and crisp angles. It’s unpolished and each corner, still sharply defined. Beneath the polished bezel is a silvery white sunburst dial in near perfect condition with a rich lacquer finish, and polished applied markers with subtle, understated detailing. The hands are bold and broad Dauphines with beveled edges, tapered to a fine point. The second hand is worth noting as its the original tapered “spear” style that is practically irreplaceable. A polished applied logo sits at top center, and just beneath it, its chronometer designation.  On the lower side is the pad printed King Seiko logo and jewel count. The 4420 within is a work of art. A beautifully finished hand wound movement that perfectly sums up the Daini approach to precision. Post service, it is still performing within current chronometer standards. The screw down case back shows some wear through its original etched markings, but they are still quite visible. At center, the gold “Lion” medallion is in nice condition with noticeable wear only along a third of its border. It is completely original aside from a replacement crystal, and a replacement crown. We’ve paired it with a black distressed leather that beautifully contrasts the dial, and offers a clean and comfortable finish. This is truly a rare opportunity to own an historic King Seiko timepiece we wont likely be able to offer again.

Clockwork Synergy Black Distressed Leather with Reverse Stitch (clockworksynergy.com)

Serviced 8/1/18

Diameter- 36mm

Lugs- 18mm

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