Manufactured only for a short span of time between 1960 and 1966, the Seiko Goldfeather utilized a movement that was and still is Seiko’s thinnest three-handed, manually-wound caliber—the 60M.
The Goldfeather was made at a time when movements were assembled and regulated largely by hand and still labelled under Seiko’s old name,“Seikosha.” The assembly of the caliber 60M was especially challenging for the brand given the thinness of the movement at 2.95mm. For comparison, Jaeger LeCoultre’s caliber 849 (first introduced in the ‘90s) is 1.85mm thick, while Seiko’s own thinnest caliber currently in production is the 6898 standing at 1.98 mm thick. However, do note that these two feature just the hour and minute hands and no center-seconds hand.
The 60M features a flower-shaped diashock absorber for its balance, which some have argued is a detail that indicates a higher-end movement when you compare it to the bar-shaped absorbers commonly seen in today’s 4R and 6R watches. (To give this idea more credence, the flower-shaped diashock absorbers are currently found inside modern Grand Seikos.)
Another clue to the movement’s pedigree are the individually serialized movement plates, something that is generally indicative of some form of testing or extra care being taken before being cased. Perhaps it allowed Seiko an easier way of tracking servicing history if and when the watch was ever returned for service.
As per the traditional style of construction, the large balance wheel comes seated on a balance bridge rather than a balance cock, promising additional stability to the balance wheel. This is similar to how Rolex constructs their bullet-proof movements.
The 60M came in two jewel variants—17 and 25—and it beat at a leisurely 18,000 bph, which is a typical beat-rate for its generation.
Despite its incredible thinness, the caliber had a diameter of approximately 27mm, which lent itself to watches that were relatively large for that era. My own model featured here clocks in at 35mm.
The hands are gold-plated. The second and minute hands are curved right at the end to match the dome of the dial–a detail, while not unique to this watch or to older watches, is quite desirable even today.
The dial of this particular model is also different from that of most other Goldfeather variants I have seen for sale. It is reminiscent of some pie-pan or sector dials one can find on vintage Omegas. There’s a middle portion of the dial that is raised above the outer ring where the hour markers are. To aid in time telling, each hour marker has a thin black line extending to the raised portion, with the black lines being longer at the cardinal points. In a watch as visually simple as this one, small details like this really count.
Being wide and flat, the watch is certainly very wearable today, and arguably it is far more wearable than other dress watches from its generation that came under 35mm. It also certainly helps that the bezel is exceedingly thin, which, when coupled together with the radiant silver dial, make the watch wear bigger.