This model quartz is the direct ancestor of the 3862-7020 QT - both top of the line early quartzes of the seventies. Actually.. only later were these Quartz movements divided in the SQ, QT, QR and QZ quartzes.
To be historically precise, at the start of the decade quartzes were finding there place, and quartz was just that.. quartz. And on the dial it said so - even the Superior 3883 had Quartz mentioned. Seiko apparently decided to diversify and differentiate calibers and quality from the orginal 3800 series. Of course, even at an early point in time there already was the usual differentiation between daydate and calendar only. Caliber 3803 would signify daydate, 3802 calendar only.
All of these early quartzes were JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) watches made around 1971-75, while the export models were mostly labelled SQ 3003 (QT), SQ 2002 (QR) and SQ 4004 (QZ).
The highest quality and the most expensive of these 38's - apart from the early 380X series - were the SQ & QT with tighter specifications - 15s as compared to QR's 20. Only then came the QR and finally (much later in time as well) the QZ. But remember, at this time there were no cheap quartzes so even the QZ was more expensive than the average mechanical watch.
After 1975 the 38QR did not turn up again in any other series and died out as such; it is depicted lastly in the catalogue of 1975 - right next to the identically priced 08QZW/08QZC - that would be calibers such as 0842/0843. It is evident then that these 08's are the descendants of the 38QR.
What a conclusion to see these presumably simple quartzes elevated.. Of course they already looked the part.
We are not done here however, and it does not get any easier with the 38QT; this caliber is depicted right next to the 48GQW (and more expenive), it evolves after 1975 into the other 08 caliber - the 08KQW King Quartz series - and, for a year or so, into the elusive 08QTC (C for Calender)! That would be respectively the King Quartz 0852/0853 and the Quartz QT 0823.
The 38QZ finally is introduced in 1975 in the 09 series with a 15/20s specification.
In hindsight, there never was a model year where all these designations existed at the same time, but it is evident that some SQ's are better and more expensive than both the QT and QR. The cheapest QR of course was more expensive than the QZ at introduction but this compares 1971 against 1975 where there probably has been significant price erosion for quartz watches. However, with more or less the same specifications and a four year difference, the QR would have had the higher market positioning - just below QT of course.
Some stats are printed below, between brackets the seconds per month:
1974, 08 series, 0822 (15), 0823 (15), 0841 (15), 0842 (15), 0843 (10), 0852 (10) and 0853 King Quartz (10)