Saturday, February 27, 2010

Collection Update March 2009

Continuing the previous concept with a large picture post with the new watches and some brief comments and a full collection post with thumbnails later on, here is the full picture version with watches and things acquired since the end of November. Most of these watches have been posted in separate posts over the last few months.

Radios

This is a slight sidetrack from the watch collecting but perfectly allowed as both of these transisitor radios from the early 60s contain Seiko watches. The watches are standard watch movements probably based on the Champion but downjewelled to 7j. They have also been fitted with an electrical alarm function so that the radio could be set to turn on at a specific time. The radios were purchased from fellow SCWF-er Hamish and Harry Bishop did a very good article on these actual radios here;http://www.harrybishop.ca/?p=1758.

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38 Quartz

Another of my favourite collecting themes are the early 70s high-end quartz watches. The 38 series, introduced in 1971, was the first broadly marketed Seiko quartz watch after a few experimental versions in 1969 and 1970. These watches are of very high quality and finish as they had to compete at GS level with their prices. The QT was comparable to the KS range.

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Early quartz watches were usually conservative in styling but this one is a bit more daring with larger hour markers and a faceted dial.

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This repair kit contains all parts (or it did when it was new from the factory) to make a 38 series watch including transistors, quartz crystal and assorted buts and pieces.

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The real vintage stuff

This is the Golf version of the Seiko Cronos, made in the early 60s in order to cash in on the golf craze in Japan during this period. I did a separate post with more pictures on this watch here;http://www.network54.com/Forum/78440/message/1228999928/The+Seiko+Cronos+Golf+version

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Another themed watch is the Motorist, which was meant to be worn on the side of the wrist. Separate post on this watch here;http://www.network54.com/Forum/78440/message/1235723661/The+elusive+Motorist

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In my quest to get all dial versions of the 603 caliber Seikomatic, another two watches have been added. The crosshatched blue stripy one is rather fun. I think there are another eight versions remaing for the complete set.

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A slightly uninteresting Sportsman watch but it has the cool dolphin caseback. Again, separate post is herehttp://www.network54.com/Forum/78440/thread/1235246822/Porpoise+-

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The final vintage watch is a 10B caliber from 1947 with a 14K Gold Plated bezel. As noted in the separate post, http://www.network54.com/Forum/78440/message/1229198689/One+old+-+one+new), this watch must have been the inspiration for the 1990s reissue Laurel.

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The expensive but really great stuff

With the Swedish krona plummeting against the USD and the JPY, expensive watches are getting more and more out of reach. Before getting too expensive, I managed to get two watches that I could not really afford.

The first one is the 5M65 Kinetic Flightmaster. I think this is an excellent watch which is extremely wearable with its medium size (about 40mm) and titanium casing. It also has the excellent quality and attention to detail of the Seiko Masters. I particulairly like the jet black dial and the two tone bezel with its sculpted effect in the silver part.

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The other expensive watch is a NOS 0853 caliber King Quartz from 1976. The separate post has a picture that better shows of the fantastic dial;http://www.network54.com/Forum/78440/message/1235721950/New+King+Quartz

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Pocket watches

Until the second world war, Seiko was producing more pocket watches than wrist watches but this is a relatively overlooked part of Seiko watchmaking. After finding a few articles on the web and additional information in the new Tokunaga book, I thought I should beef up my Seiko pocketwatch collection. These three form interesting counterpoints in Seiko pocketwatch history.

The first one is the Excellent, Seikos first luxury watch from 1899. This watch was used as gifts from the emperor and these examples fetch upwards of half a million yen in the auctions today. The Excellent was a great improvement in quality on Seikos first watch, the Time Keeper and cost three-four times as much. This separate post http://www.network54.com/Forum/78440/message/1236343649/Passed+the+100+year+mark) has a few more links and pictures. The movement decorations on the Excellent is really amazing.

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The next one is another classic, the Seiko Railroad Watch. Produced from the late 20s, it has been a mainstay of the Seiko lineup being produced until the 70s (and the replaced by a quartz version). Even from the early watches accuracy was specified at 30s per month compared to normal wristwatches which seldom exceeds 5s per day. My Railroad watch below is from 1961 but it has a design that was almost unchanged from the first watches. It also has a very interesting hacking function where the second hand continues to the full minute and then stops.

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The third pocket watch is a WWII watch made in 1945. It is interesting mainly because of the 30s design and the center second. This caliber (or a slightly earlier predecessor with the same construction) was Seikos first center second watches.

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This box came with the Excellent but I have not been able to determine if it is original to the watch. This type of box was used by the Seiko Group retail outlet, the Hattori store in Ginza in Tokyo all the way until the 30s.

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Early LCDs

The final frontier of my Seiko collection principles were LCD watches. I had no real interest in these watches until a few months ago when I started reading about these watches. Disregarding the boring and often very similar styling, these watches were as technically advanced as the the analog quartz watches and often matches them in both pricing and popularity during the 70s. Seiko spend lots of money in developing LCD panels and were really very far ahead of the competition in both legibility and longevity of LCDs. In order to manage collection size, I decided to stick to the 70s and in particular the front button 06LC series, which was Seikos second LCD series after the 05LC (which are very rare and far too expensive for me) supplemented by a few of the later watches with interesting design or features.

The first three watches are early 06LC from the first half of the 70s, the first one with an unusual blue front panel.

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An M series watch from 1977. M supposedly stands for Multifunction.

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A mid 70s alarm watch from the A series.

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This was Seikos first calculator watch in 1977.

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Other Quartz

This version of the 7A28 has been on my watch list for quite some time as I think the design is one of the best of the 7A28/38s. After a few blurry photos on ebay, this turned out to be in great shape with an original bracelet.

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I got this 7T34 flight slide rule watch from Italian ebay. I thought they had made a mistake when the watch was listed as new with guarantee and manufactured in July 2006. I could not imagine that Seiko was still making the 7T34 after almost 20 years, but that turned out the be the case. The watch came on a very cool Seiko original waterproof leather strap.

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This is a 7223 caliber, commonly known as a Quartz Bellmatic, Seikos first quartz analog watch.

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This Fieldmaster was purchased as I did not have a watch with a lanyard hold.

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An fun dual alarm Spirit that came off Yahoo Japan for almost no money at all. A practical travel watch when you need something that is useful but does not look expensive.

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Divers

A bought the cheapest Tuna I could find. For USD 200 and an extra USD 30 paid to a helpful Dutchman to replace a few lost shroud screws, I am quite satisfied with this one.

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A not very original 7002 but still in nice condition. You wonder why someone would want to spend at least USD 75 on aftermarket parts and service and then sell the watch for half that amount.

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This was a SCTP pick-up. An early Kinetic diver with the auto-quartz logo and designation. A must for any serious kinetic collection.

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This must be one of the most solid watches in the collection. Lots of steel in both case and bracelet and a very well made watch. I am not that fond of the design but these watches are out of fashion in Japan so prices are rock bottom.

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A stealth version of the SCWF watch.

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The rest

A very mixed bag in this section. The LM Special was bought as it is one of the few Tonneau-cased Seiko vintage watches (and as ity has the very good 5206 caliber).

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I find myself drawn to the early 70s watches with the slightly avant-garde designs and the colourful dials. The Actus SS have a lot of good designs from this period. A very good hacking 6106 caliber with a very cool ruby red dial. Seiko put a lot of effort into the coloured Actus dials and they are one of the bargains of the early 70s watches. If you look closely you can see that the dial is not uniform but has a slight brushed wave pattern.

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Very similar to the previous Actus SS is this 6106 caliber Advan with the green dial and the faceted crystal. This is a bot more fashion forward with the psychedelic pattern and the unusual case but still a very nice example of Seiko 1970s styling at its best.

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Any fan of Japanese industrial design should have a Riki Watanabe watch. The GMT+9 article tells the full story;http://www.gmtplusnine.com/2007/03/25/alba-riki-watanabe-collection-a-step-above/

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And a wall clock

A 30s wall clock that works well. Cost almost nothing to buy but a fortune to ship from Japan. Keeps very good time.

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/ martin

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