Seiko

Seiko 6138-0010 chronograph

This very early Seiko 6138-0010 “UFO” came in recently for some attention. The owner had bought it in 1971 when he was working as a race mechanic for the Tyrell formula one team when they were in Japan that season. He saw it on the wrist of a Japanese mechanic working for one of the other teams and fell in love with it so a deal was struck. It was worn continuously throughout his career and he eventually ended up running his own engineering firm that produced parts for race teams. The watch was regularly serviced until a number of years ago when he was told it wasn’t possible to get the parts anymore. He took it to a couple of watchmakers in the intervening years to try and get it resurrected but ultimately all that happened was it was returned not working with some parts missing! Having sold his company and taking life a little easier his thoughts came back to getting the watch repaired and this is where I come in.

The watch itself is a Japanese domestic market version of a model that has since been given the nickname “UFO”, the 0010 designation shows it was the Japanese “Speedtimer Sports” version. An early example like this is powered by the calibre 6138a, a hand windable automatic, 21 jewels, 21,600bph, twin register, column wheel with vertical clutch chronograph movement. The later models were powered by the calibre 6138b movement and there are a few subtle differences that I’ll point out later in the article.

Seiko 6138-0010 (more…)

Seiko 6105-8110

I thought I’d feature this 6105-8110 as it’s an example that actually worked for a living as opposed to being taken for an occasional swim or snorkel! It was bought in the 1970’s by the current owners father who was a professional deep sea diver back in those days. He wore it throughout his diving career and when he’d finished the watch dropped off the radar only to reappear in 2015 when his son was clearing out the garage. He contacted me to see if it could be resurrected as a reminder of his late dad. As you can see it’s had a hard life, the insert has faded to a lovely grey colour but that’s about the only positive I could see! The lume was grotty, the hands were ominously stained with rust and the seconds hand was floating about under the crystal. The movement couldn’t be turned by the crown, everything was locked up.

Seiko 6105-8110 (more…)

Seiko Alpinist 85899

An interesting job that came in recently was this Seiko Alpinist from July 1964. The Alpinist models were a Japanese domestic market range of watches which were introduced in 1961 and ran to 1964. The line was inspired by the Japanese concept of Yamaotoko, this term roughly translates as ‘Mountain man’, and describes the Japanese tradition of amateur mountaineering whereby people climbed Japan’s mountains during weekends and holidays. This example is powered by Seikos calibre 851, a 17 jewel, 18,000bph manual wind movement. It arrived needing an overhaul but interestingly the owner had a NOS case, dial and handset for it.

Seiko Alpinist 85899 (more…)

Seiko 6159-7001

This classic 6159-7001 came in recently for a movement service, a new crystal, a relume of the dial and hands and investigation of the non clicking bezel. I’ve written about these beautiful watches a few times before, they were actually Seikos first ‘Professional’ series divers watch (a line which continues to today) developed in conjunction with real divers who listed the features they’d find most useful in a dive watch. When released they were more expensive than many of the Swiss brands (including Rolex) and as such tended to be bought and used by professional divers for their intended purpose as a hard working tool watch. Remember these were the days before big chunky watches became fashionable, the average dress watches at the time were 35mm and a lot slimmer 🙂

As can be seen on this one the lume on the minute and seconds hand had dropped out and had been replaced with a non matching compound, the remaining original lume was quite grubby but the gilt frames had survived remarkably well.

Seiko 6159-7001 (more…)

Seiko 6215-7000

This 6215-7000 was tackled recently and arrived in lots of small packages as can be seen from the picture below 🙂 It came in for the movement to be serviced and the rest of the components to be assembled. The 6215-7000 was Seikos first attempt at a 300m diver, launched in 1967 it featured a monocoque case and was powered by the calibre 6215 movement. This is an automatic wind, 35 jewel, 19,800bph hackable movement based on the 62xx platform. The monocoque case featured a screw down crystal retaining ring and a split stem.

Seiko 6215-7000 (more…)

Seiko 6159-7001

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.

Seiko 6159-7001 (more…)

Grand Seiko 43999 calibre 430

It’s been bonanza time for vintage Grand Seikos here at watchbloke towers. This second generation GS calibre 430 had a problem with the hands only being able to be adjusted by rotating the crown clockwise, when turned anticlockwise it felt notchy and the hands didn’t move. The second generation GS’s such as the one featured had a more chunkier case than its predecessor, utilising sharp edges, mirror finishes, flat surfaces and contrasting brushed finishes that created a distinctive appearance. Seikos first designer Taro Tanaka developed this type of design to the classic style that Seiko used on its high end watch which became known as the “Grammar of Design”. This started with the next iteration of Grand Seikos, the 44GS of 1967 but it’s clear the DNA came from the 43999. The calibre 430 movement that powers the watch is a manual wind, 35 jewel, 18,000bph self certified chronometer grade movement featuring a date complication. This calibre was only used in the GS from 1963 to 1964 and was replaced by the calibre 5722 which had a higher beat rate of 19,800. The 430 heralded the last use of a low beat movement in a Grand Seiko.

Grand Seiko 43999 calibre 430 (more…)