An extremely rare watch manufactured by Seiko to celebrate Tokyo hosting the 1964 Olympic Games has been sold at auction for HKD$138,125 (£13,580/$17,821/€15,060).
There was a flurry of bidding in the final moments as the online auction organised by Bonhams in Hong Kong closed today for the stainless-steel Seiko chronograph bracelet watch with lap-counter and date display.
The timepiece was the main attraction of an auction titled “Making Waves: Seiko – A Private Collection of Japanese Wristwatches", offering watches from a single owner who spent the past 15 years collecting Seiko's major vintage and modern watches.
Considered as the "holy grail" of Seiko timepieces, the legendary and exceedingly-rare Ref. 5718-8000 was produced in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics as an effective sports counter.
The two iconic push buttons on the left of the watch allow wearers to easily adjust the 1's and 10's positions of the count graph - a function designed to count laps; while the single sub-dial located at six o'clock has both a continuous second and a 60-minute register.
It had originally been marketed at a price of JPY35,000 (£250/$330/€280).
The 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo was the event that helped launch Seiko as a global brand after they were given the opportunity to fulfil the role as official timekeeper instead of Omega, who had done it since Los Angeles 1932.
The system used at the 1964 Olympic Games linked the starting pistol with a quartz timer and a photo finish apparatus was used to record finishing times.
This technology was not only useful for recording ultra-accurate finishing times at the Olympics, but the technology used in the Seiko Astron, the world's first "quartz clock" wristwatch, was based on it and the company's sales grew internationally.
Last month a rare 18K Patek Philippe Calatrava series quartz movement watch, made in 1994 and presented to an unnamed member of the International Olympic Committee, was sold by Boston-based RR Auction for $14,948.75 (£11,431.28/€12,712.26).
Patek very rarely integrate logos to their dial, with this example produced in limited quantity in commemoration of the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer.