Sunday, October 29, 2006

Collection Part 6 - A flock of Sealions - Dress watches from the mid 60s

This time, I have picked out a cross-section of my Sealions. This is one of the hardest line of Seikos to get a grip on so additional information and corrections are very welcome.

Sealions must be Seikos most commonly used trademark during the mid 60s. Sealions start 1964 (or perhaps late 1963) in the 394 caliber. Roughly, Sealions come in a L Series, an M series and a CR series. There is also a LD series of Sealion ladies watches. I have heard of a C series but never seen one.

The L series seems only to use the 6220/22 caliber named as the L33 Sealion and the CR series uses the 8306 caliber as the CR 220 (however, the 8306 also turns up in the M series as the M 110). The CR 220 seems to be identical to the Seikomatic-R.

The M series is the broadest series of the Sealions. It comes as the M55, the M77, the M88, the M99, the M110 and the M880. I have heard of a M44 but never seen one. There is no absolute corrolation between these designation and calibers, but I have only seen 8306 movements in M77, M99 and M110 and only 6106 movements in the M880. The M55 is the most common Sealion and turns up during the whole of its existence with a progression of calibers with the 394, the 6205 (which essentially is a relabelling of the 394) and the 6106.

Isthmus cites Mr Tokunaga as saying that Sealion was a designation for high grade chronometer watches during the 60s. This makes sense for watches like the 8306 but I would not say that about the 6106 or a 17j 6205 for example.

To confuse matters even more, Sealions are also designated Selfdaters, Weekdaters, DXs or nothing at all. I would also assume that Sealion casebacks have ended up on other watches as they would fit a lot of watches and there is nothing on the case or the dial to say that it is a Sealion.

First watch is a nice champagne dial bought from Ponycarp. Sealions are most common in silver or dark grey but champagne is a very nice variation. It has the little castle dial markers which are probably the most common type on Sealions.

A Sealion M55 6106-8040 from November 1967

The brother of the first one but with a dark grey dial.

A Sealion M55 6106-8040 from July 1969

Next one my only L series and the only handwind. Uses the "house" dial markers.

A Sealion L33 6220-8990 from August 1967

The nicest markers in my opinion is these ice cream cone markers. Unfortunately a re-dial with the text not that well executed. On its original bracelet, which is a pretty nice style common ca 1966-67.

A Sealion M77 8306-1000 from July 1967

Early Sealion with the 394 caliber.

A Sealion M55 394 caliber from October 1964

The crosshairs is the most common dial marking but this one is also quite common.

A Sealion M88 6205-8000 from October 1965

Parts watch with broken crystal. Luckily the crystals are all plastic and quite easy to get hold of.

A Sealion M55 6205-8960 from December 1966

Finally, two Sportsmatics 5s who were put in this chapter as they share the same design and same time period as the Sealions. Fitted with the 6619 workhorse caliber, they are very nice watches. I am extremely grateful that they did not spoil the dial with the "5" badge.

A Sportsmatic 5 6619-7001 from December 1965

Do not dare to wear the mint one so I had to get its silver twin brother.

A Sportsmatic 5 6619-7001 from September 1967

Prices for Sealions are extremely reasonable. As they are dress watches rather than sports watches, they are usually in good condition. Ebay price for a good condition ordinary Sealion would be USD 50-70. Unusual ones, like the 8306 touches USD 100 and at the other end, a DX could be yours for USD 30-40.

For those of you who were expecting the late 60s fancy watch chapter, this has been moved to next week.

/ mart

(should of course have added the Sealion from the beginning)

1 comment:

keenan said...

I just got a seiko dx 6106-8090T 25 jewels auto. It was my grandfathers. Im wondering where he got it. He was a Major in the Air Force in the 50's and 60's.