This Seiko is a Seiko Lord-Matic, Suwa division edition. It is a self-winding 23 jewels 7000 model from July 1968. It has the King Seiko 56 base movement (a high end automatic that was thinner then all other auto’s of the time). This Lord-Matic made by the Suwa division was large for its day at 36-41-09mm and has a 21600 beat rate, offers quick set day and date, hand winding and the ability to precisely set the seconds though a hacking lever.
The 56 stream seems to have been developed between two other caliber streams, the 51 (starting in 1967), and the 52 (starting in 1970). When the 51 was developed, it had a thickness of 4.9mm. The 56 had a reduced thickness of 4.3mm, and the 52 (used in the Lord-matic Special) further reduced the movements thickness to 3.9mm.
In this continuing effort to reduce the thickness of its mid to high grade movements, many novel design elements were incorporated into the 5606. At the beginning of their roughly ten year production run, during the late 1960's till 1970's, the Lordmatics (like this one) were a one piece design in that you could only remove the movement from the front, thereby increasing the water-proofing. For maintenance of the watch, it is opened through and by removing the acrylic glass.
Although the 56 series was later upgraded and used in some chronometer grade King Seiko's, I find it sad that it was not chosen for the task when Seiko made the decision to resurrect the 52 series as the 4s15, with all of its siblings. I really think Seiko was approaching the epitome of automatic movement design in this caliber, and the 4s series is a compromise of some excellent ideas
This JDM edition then, English and Kanji (Japanese) day, has been serviced in Japan and still moving flawlessly after a Seiko shake with a day difference well within COSC! On the inside this watch is no less impressive in this day and age. The calendar changes accurately (and immediately) on the 24 hour mark and the crown works fine adjusting the day of the week or time. Of course, this Lordmatic has the quickset day-date (QS) and can be hand-wound, and is with hacking function. However, all 56 LM calibres apart from the 5601 do have the plastic component prone to wear in the QS mechanism, which is often inoperable. Here no problems naturally, just make sure to always adjust the day at the end of the day at around 7 PM.
BRACELET - The bracelet is original (5606-700E), as can be seen in the catalog shot, but has been fitted with a replacement clasp. One adjustment link is firmly stuck so a watchmaker might drill the push pin out, however in this "reverse clasp" configuration it fits perfectly. If your wrist is 185mm or larger you may safely reverse the bracelet to the traditional position again.
QUICKSET -The Lord-Matic has the quickset day-date (QS) and can be hand-wound, and is with hacking function. However, all LM calibres have the plastic component prone to wear in the QS mechanism, which is however serviceable at vintageseiko.nl (!) when it breaks because of inexpert usage.
This watch has no problems, naturally, just make sure to always adjust the day-date at the end of the day at around 18:15 PM because for all Lord-Matics careful treatment is required to spare the plastic quickset parts inside. So, only use the quickset at 18:15u and be sure that the watch is at that time by turning it once past the date switch and then again to 18:15u.
The day quickset is very smooth, the date quickset has more firm resistance because of the inner mechanics*. Increase pressure carefully to switch and then pause slightly before going on to the next date (if at all necessary).
* The reverse winding gear remains engaged when the date quickset is used, causing extra drag and causing concern for some users.