What's on your wrist

Watches Past and Present

Vintage Seiko 6159-7001 300m Professional Diver

Posted by Derek on January 18, 2013 at 5:55 PM

If you have been collecting vintage Seiko divers I am sure you would have come across Seiko's 6159 vintage hi-beat diver. Having collected nearly all vintage Seiko divers over the years this one has always had me drooling.


Never thinking I would own one because of the scarcity and owners of good ones, hold on to them. Also I didn't want one that required work or replacement parts as 'there aren't any left', I had seen a few on eBay over the years but they just didn't cut the mustard in terms of condition.


So, having purchased a Rolex GMTC late last year I decided it was time to put some feelers out for an excellent 6159. A few weeks went past without a nibble, I had realistically thought it would be a long shot anyway. Then a couple of weeks ago I got a PM on SCWF................now those in the know will understand the following.


Who would you want to email you with reference to purchasing Seiko 6159? Well, apart from Seiko themselves, it has to be Mike Mounce. I have known Mike for many years, not as a great friend but someone who I have corresponded with, and importantly has had the most amazing vintage Seiko pieces, some of which I have purchased before, and his knowledge of vintage Seiko divers is second to none. He is also the most trusted of sellers and I hold him in highest of regards on any forum.


So now I have a PM from Mike, what else would make this a perfect deal, well, the example he has for sale has been through the hands of Jack at IWW, another iconic name in the vintage Seiko world. It has as Mike explained, a full movement service, all gaskets replaced, a re-lume and a replacement NOS crystal, a few photo's were passed my way and shortly after a deal was done.


I picked the watch up yesterday evening from parcelforce once the lady behind the counter gave me a smile and I handed her the shirt off my back. I resisted the temptation to open it in the car and drove home and off I went to my garage (my place, no kids or women allowed) with cup of coffee and a pair of scissors.


It is strange seeing a watch that has been in your life for over 10 years, but never handled, finally nestled on your wrist - did it live up to expectation.........of course it did.


Why is this is such an iconic watch (for me), firstly I have read about it on the old SCWF since I started collecting watches and secondly the history of the watch:


First produced in 1968 until 1969 making it pretty rare, it was very expensive for the time, you could have bought a Sub for the price. Also it houses Seiko's 6159 36,000 hi-beat movement, and the second sweeps beautifully. It wasn't the first 300m professional Seiko produced, that was the 6215, same case but not a hi-beat movement. I have no idea why Seiko changed from the 6215 to the 6159, but I am glad they did.


Mike also kindly sent me information on the history of the watch I now have on my wrist. It would be a shame to paraphrase so here it is in full;


"I bought the watch brand new in St Helier, Jersey C.I. in 1976. Jersey is a little Island between France and the UK (it is closer to France). It is a tax haven. When I was diving in the North Sea during that time I used to bank in Jersey. I used to make frequent trips to Jersey to collect money (cash) and bring it by hand into the UK, and when I was over there collecting some cash I bought a Rolex submariner. I thought it too nice to use every day, especially for diving, so I bought the Seiko to use at work. I used it for about 4 years until I stopped diving due to Bone Necrosis and went Dive Supervising. I found it a little heavy to wear daily and began using my Rolex on a daily basis and the Seiko went into my desk drawer and has stayed there ever since"


Now I get a bit of a buzz from knowing the history of the watch, also I wonder how it had got to Jersey in the first place, as it is not known as a Mecca for Seiko and where was it for the 6 years from its manufacture, I guess I will never know.


Seiko has replicated the 6159-7001 watch in its Historical collection of watches brought out in 2000, but it didn't have a hi-beat movement but the one currently in the Marine Master the 8L35, also the case I believe to be the same as the Marine Master.


Size:

43.6mm diameter

50mm Lug to lug

14mm thick

19mm lug width


I am genuinely over the moon with this piece, it is a great size and very comfortable, I would like to source another strap but not sure what to go for at the moment.


A big thanks to Mike for another great trading experience. I think I am done now.


If you have stuck with me for this long well done, here are some photo's






 



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7 Comments

Reply Greg
3:51 AM on June 1, 2014 
Interesting blog. I have had a 6159 in a timber box for 30 years after leaving the navy. Didn't know it's value till now.
Reply Pipwatch
5:21 AM on July 2, 2014 
This is a great blog, Derek. I am so sorry that someone else now wears your 6159-7001! Your blog inspired me a few weeks ago to contact Mike Mounce, but regrettably he no longer has the 'grails' I am looking for. All the best..
Reply Adrian
3:45 AM on September 4, 2014 
Hi Greg, I'd be interested in acquiring it if you are willing to sell yours? Can we get in touch? adleelor yahoo co uk
Reply gad
9:04 PM on July 24, 2015 
[Hi Adrian
are you still interested in a 6159-7001, year 1969, very good condition ?
brgds
Reply Greg
5:18 AM on July 25, 2015 
Hope you didn't pay too much. Mine is still in the wooden box.
Reply Josh
2:28 AM on August 30, 2015 
Greg says...
Hope you didn't pay too much. Mine is still in the wooden box.

Greg, I've been looking for a 6159-7001 for a few months, wondering if your ready to part with yours yet?
Reply TimmyFuh
7:17 AM on September 27, 2017 
Hi HI