|There probably should be a tick mark to the right of the|
date window, but there wasn't, indicating that this watch
lives in a Twilight Zone of uncertainty: It might be the
real deal, or it might not be.
I didn't notice those problems before buying the watch. In fact, I didn’t notice the flaws even after I got the watch home. But two Grand Seiko experts from the Grand Seiko Owner’s Club instantly spotted these two issues, kindly and gently alerting me to the fact that my watch wasn’t whole.
The watch came with a calibration certification from Grand Seiko that I thought also guaranteed it was the real deal. But I was wrong. The calibration paperwork was just like a test for blood sugar, revealing nothing more than it’s narrow mission.
I've posted a photo of the watch I bought. If you Google "Grand Seiko 6185-8020" you'll see what this VFA should look like.* The lack of an indice to the right of the date window, a (probable) staple of all 6185-8020’s, will immediately jump out at you once you know what you’re looking for.
As soon as my friends pointed out my Grand Seiko’s defects, I boarded the Toyoko Line, the express, back to Shibuya.
The pawn shop wasn't happy to see me again. They argued and said I should have noticed these problems from the photos on the website. The sales clerk consulted with an unseen manager in some hidden room behind closed doors. After the clerk returned with the word, “no” on her lips, I pointed out that the description had noted some problems with the watch, including a scratched crystal and scratches on the case, both of which were acceptable for a vintage watch. But the online description didn't say anything about the crown being replaced or the dial being changed. Eventually, the shop gave me a full refund. (The shop also has a four day return window, so ultimately whatever their argument, they had to take it back.)