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…)

Grand Seiko calibre 3180

This lovely Grand Seiko arrived in a non running state, the power couldn’t be wound on so there was obviously a problem with the mainspring or barrel. The Grand Seiko line was introduced in 1960 with the introduction of the calibre 3180 and continued in various guises until 1975 when it took a 13 year sabbatical. The brand was revived with introduction of the Grand Seiko 95SG quartz in 1988. The subject of this article is the original Grand Seiko, a calibre 3180 beauty, a manual wind, 18,000bph, 25 jewel, self certified chronometer grade movement. It was certified internally rather than by the Swiss COSC body, but to standards even more stringent than the Swiss organisation’s. The original Grand Seiko went through a few subtle changes during it’s 4 year life span, notably the distinctive Grand Seiko script on the dial started out being printed directly onto the dial in black, it then went to being carved into the dial and finally applied in gold as in the one featured. The cases were all 14K gold filled (as in rolled gold, a thicker version of gold plating) but a few were produced in platinum. I’ve yet to see a platinum cased example but I do know the owner of the one featured here has one complete with it’s original box and all it’s chronometer certificates. I’m not envious at all 🙂

Grand Seiko calibre 3180 (more…)

Queen Seiko

As mentioned in my previous post I’ve been spoilt with regards to interesting vintage Seikos recently and the subject of this article is no exception. I’ve never seen one of these Queen Seikos in the metal before and was quite unaware that Seiko offered them in platinum as an option! It’s powered by the calibre 1020c movement which was based on the calibre 10. These 1020 movements are manual wind, 23 jewel, 19,800bph beauties and come in a, b or c designations. This watch has the 1020c at it’s heart which is the top end movement capable of full adjustment of the curb pins and micro adjustment of the regulation.

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Happy Christmas!

It’s that time of year again, I’m starting my break for the festivities at the end of today and I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy new year! I won’t be entirely idle as I hope to publish a few articles about some interesting jobs I’ve had on the bench recently but let’s get past the roast turkey and mince pies first 🙂

Today I’ve been reflecting on the past year and all the different jobs I’ve taken on, some great, some incredibly frustrating but ultimately all satisfying in one way or another. I then glanced at my final test windmill as it slowly rotated and thought I have the best job in the world. I’ve pulled the watches off the windmill to take a few pictures for you but where else would I get to work on a selection of beautiful watches like these! From left to right, the first ever Grand Seiko the calbre 3180 J14070GS, next is the manual wind Grand Seiko calibre 430 43999, next door to that is Seikos first ever 300m diver the 6215-7000, bottom row far left is Seikos first ever professional 300m diver the high beat 6159-7001, next is a platinum cased Queen Seiko and finally a 1940’s Zias triple register chronograph powered by a Landeron calibre42 movement. For a vintage Seiko nut like me it’s pure heaven!

windmill contents (more…)

Seiko Silverwave Seikomatic 50m J12082

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.

Seiko Silverwave Seikomatic 50m  J12082 (more…)

Seiko 6105-8009

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.

Seiko 6105-8009 (more…)