What is and is not affordable, especially in the realm of vintage watches, is clearly subjective and has been much debated, including in the comments of one of my prior articles. However, some watches can be solidly placed in the “affordable vintage” category, especially when viewed through the lens of bang-for-your-buck value. The Seiko Lord Marvel 5740-8000 (LM5740) Hi-Beat is certainly one of those watches.
Before the introduction of high-beat movements, the majority of watches operated at a frequency of 18,000 A/h, or 18,000 vibrations of the balance wheel per hour. In an attempt to improve accuracy, watch companies sought to create movements that beat at a higher frequency. Several Swiss brands set out to develop movements with a doubled rate of 36,000 A/h, and Girard Perregaux succeeded in bringing the first high-beat caliber to market in 1966.