The festive break has allowed me to get the blog updated a little and catch up with a few jobs, one of these jobs being my 6159-7001. I’ve owned this watch for a few years now and as I’ve sourced the parts I’ve installed a NOS bezel, crown, crystal and seals in that time . Although it’s always run acceptably at about +15spd I’ve always been meaning to service it just so I know it’s the best it can be. Well I found the time over the break and it’s finally done! As can be seen cosmetically it’s in outstanding condition with an unpolished case which is just how I like my watches.
Introduced in 1961, Seikos original Silverwave series of watches were the precursor to the now famous 6217-8001 divers watch. Whilst the Silverwaves weren’t true dive watches they were pitched squarely at the recreational diving industry as can be gleaned from the packaging, they came in a clamshell type presentation container inside a cardboard box adorned with underwater scenes and a diver. They came with two different depth ratings, the later Sportsmatic versions had a 30m rating with a snap on caseback whilst the Seikomatics were rated at 50m with a two piece screw down caseback. They came in a variety of designs, with silver and black dials and a black rotatable inner bezel for the Sportsmatics and silver dials with either a silver or a black inner bezel for the 50m Seikomatics. These also had a plain silver dial or a starburst type with a grained lines linking the opposing indicies. In total this means there are six to collect, good luck on finding them all! This particular one came in for a service and has the plain silver dial with the silver inner bezel.
This Rolex 16613 came in recently for attention to the obvious smashed crystal but also for a movement service. The watch wasn’t particularly in need of one, but if you just change the crystal without checking the rest of the movement it can cause expensive damage so it’s a very sensible precaution. It’s good to see the movement had been hacked, this stops any possibility of hands getting bent or wheels being damaged by loose pieces of sapphire crystal.
The other 6105-8110 I wanted to post about is this example. It’s not intrinsically any different to most of these asymmetric divers, but it did need a humungous amount of dial work which is the reason it’s featured here.
I’ve had a quite a number of 6105 divers on the bench in the last couple of weeks. I know I’ve posted about them on numerous occasions but there are a couple that I just have to show you. The first is this incredible 6105-8009 from the third month of production, May 1968. I’ve seen some biscuity lume on a couple of these before but I’ve never seen one with such an outstanding tobacco hue to it. The watch came in for a new crystal, a movement service and some conservation work on the minute hand.
Apologies for the gap since my last update, this is entirely due to the volume of work I’ve got in right now. I thought it prudent to focus my energies on trying to reduce the queue length a little but it doesn’t seem to get any less no matter how hard I work! Anyway, I couldn’t let this Sinn U1 pass by without comment as I think they are beautifully crafted watches. This came in for a movement service and 1,000m pressure test recently.
I’ve featured one of these Scubapro 450 branded 6306’s before but that won’t stop me featuring another! These are so scarce (if you discount the thousands of fake dialled 6309’s you see) that it’s always nice to have a look at the genuine article. This one came in for a movement service recently and as you can see it’s in cracking condition.
Seikos professional range of dive watches started in 1968 with the introduction of the 6159-7001, this was a traditional type of divers watch albeit with a monocoque case and was water resistant to 300m. Now the Japanese at this point were excellent at taking design cues from other manufacturers and incorporating them in their own watches, but in 1975 they released the 6159-7010 which was a truly unique and original design of their own. It included several industry firsts, the first titanium case, the L-shaped single crystal gasket and of course the ceramic-coated titanium shroud. With a 600m depth rating, the 6159 dispenses with a helium release valve in part due to very consistent and tight manufacturing tolerances, but also due to the one piece case and screw down crystal retaining system. This means that the crystal cant blow out as atmospheric pressure drops in a decompression chamber as it’s physically restrained by a locking ring. It’s not hard to see how this watch earned the nickname ‘Tuna can’! The watch featured came in for a movement service.
The introduction of the Tudor Pelagos (and the Black Bay) at Baselworld in 2012 reinforced Tudors ability to get the styling of their watches spot on. Whilst the Black bay was undoubtably inspired by the vintage Tudor divers of the 50’s and 60’s the Pelagos was much more up to date with it’s titanium case, 500m depth rating with just a nod to the traditional with it’s snowflake hands. Both watches were instant successes with people clamouring for both models in equal measures. The original Pelagos is powered by a slightly breathed on and decorated ETA2824-2, the new Pelagos which was introduced at this years Baselworld has an in house movement, the MT5612. This is hardly surprising with Swatch Group controversially cutting off the supply of ETA movements to manufacturers and parts to independent repairers (me!) at the end of this year. This Pelagos came in with an interesting problem, when manually wound the spring made a loud slipping noise almost as though the spring was broken near the barrel wall.
Seiko’s Marine Master 300m diver is the direct descendant of the 300m 6159-7001, Seiko’s first professional dive watch released in 1968. The design has changed little over the years, it still utilises a monocoque case and a screw down crystal with a crown at the 4 o’clock position. The original was powered by the high beat 36,000bph calibre 6159a movement whilst it’s grandson uses Seiko’s fantastic calibre 8L35B, which is a 28,800bph, 26 jewel, hacking, handwindable, automatic movement with a date display. This example suffered from a clout against a door frame and the timing went a bit haywire so it was decided whilst the movement was out of the case it may as well have a thorough service.