|Posted by Derek on April 22, 2014 at 8:40 AM||comments (2)|
It has been awhile since i bought anything worthy of an update. The 6159 pretty much dulled my enthusiasm for anything else, but now it has sold I wanted to try a watch that I had seen photo's of and admired from afar.
The Seiko SBDC011 Fieldmaster from the Prospex line, strange how you hear and use a name for so long but never know what it means - Prospex = 'Professional Specifications' found this out while listening to a video from Baselworld 2014 on the Prospex lineage.
Here we have a great alrounder, automatic 6R15 movement which can be handwound, sapphire crystal, 200m depth rating, classic marinemaster shaped hands, stainless steel shroud and a super sized signed crown = meaning it is easy to operate for those with fat fingers and is super smooth to unscrew and wind. The caseback has emergency ground to air signals, for when your lost in the great outdoors and Bear Grylls isn't around to help.
Size is everything and this auto Fieldmaster is just nudging 48mm in diameter and 13.6mm thixk with 21mm lug size, so can fit either 22mm or 20mm strap without it looking to bad.Talking of straps this comes supplied with a double ridged strap which i thought was leather, but not so sure now but would suspect it as being weather proof. The buckle is large and has a touch of Panerai about it.
Here are some photo's
|Posted by Derek on January 18, 2013 at 5:55 PM||comments (6)|
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.
50mm Lug to lug
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
|Posted by Derek on October 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM||comments (2)|
I am a big fan of Seiko’s and though many pieces they produce leave me cold a lot of them are beautifully engineered and every now and then they hit the spot. Certainly some of their vintage watches are cracking pieces of watch history, and they did come up with innovative design features.
But sometimes I wonder what goes through the head of a Seiko watch designer. For example the watch this thread is about, the Seiko 7K52-6A19 (SLD005) is a complex analogue watch. I am sure in the late 90’s (when it was made) there were perfectly capable dive computers which could tell you the depth and time of dives. But someone at Seiko decided to create an analogue version. Seiko are good at innovation but sometimes at the expense of common sense, as NeilC once said about Spring Drive “why invent something that didn’t need inventing”, but that’s what I find intriguing about Seiko they don’t let common sense stand in the way of innovation.
The 7K52 is claimed to be “world’s first fully automatic analogue depth sensor”, the 7K52 movement has a pressure sensor on the case side, and this will feed details to the hands once in water automatically. It has 9 hands, “how do you tell the time” I here you say, it can be difficult to read the time but wearing it for a while it becomes quite easy, and I found another design feature which helps with identifying the hour, minute and second hands, which I will talk about later.
The watch is designed for recreational diving (non-decompression), so what can this watch do
Time/Calendar/Alarm and importantly
• Full automatic measurement of diving data
Current depth, maximum depth, diving time and time submerged
• Recording of log data
Maximum depth, average depth, diving time and time submerged for the last two dives
• Warning functions
• Rapid ascent warning
• Extra measurement range warning
• Abnormal measurement warning
• Rotating bezel
Can measure elapsed time such as diving time, surface interval, etc.
• Battery life indicator
Here is a page from the instruction booklet detailing the hand layout
Here is a page from the instruction booklet detailing hand function
How does it measure up:
Diameter: 46mm without the crown and 50.6mm with.
Lug to Lug: 52mm
Lug width: 22mm
Crown is screw down
What is it made of:
Case and bracelet are Stainless Steel
Crystal is sapphire
The water resistant rating is 200m
The bracelet is solid with flip lock clasp with dive extension.
Technically I suppose this Seiko is not a Scuba Master as it doesn’t have this written on the dial or caseback unlike its cousin the 7K52-6A00. Attractive as it is, particularly with the gold bezel, I couldn’t get past the titanium.
The lume on the watch is the usual Seiko fantastic, this watch is 14 years old but glows as soon as it suspects a shadow is approaching. The lume markers at 12, 3, 6 and 9 are a different shape to the others, with the 12 marker different to the 3, 6, and 9 making orientation easy.
I mentioned earlier how having all these hands can make reading the hour and minute hand difficult. I noticed that if the watch is angled in any light the reflection off the steel hour, minute and second hands make them stand out, making them very legible, whether this was a deliberate design feature I don’t know, but I would like to believe this was considered in the design.
These were made in mid to late 90’s, mine’s a 1998 vintage despite its beastly size it is all in proportion which makes it very wearable, if your wrist size is 7inch or above. The dial has great depth; it needs to be so it can accommodate all the hands. The box it comes with clearly shows this watch means business with depth log, compass and temperature gauge. A spare rubber strap, strap changing tool and compartment for the instructions.
(pic taken from a previous 7k52)
This is my third 7K52 over the years and hope to hang on to this for a while. There are other interesting models with a 7K movement.
ScubaMaster 7K52-6A00 (as above but Titanium)
Cruising Master 7K36-6A00
Marine Master 7K32-0A20
Land Master 7K32-0A10
|Posted by Derek on October 24, 2011 at 10:40 AM||comments (2)|
Tutorial: Changing the battery in a Darth SBBN011
Though the battery in my SBBN011 is not dead or showing signs of giving up, I don’t know when it was changed, so it could die anytime soon, and as I have the whole day to myself, I thought I would give it a go.
If you are brave enough and have a lot of patience and the right tools then the following might help – but I won’t take any responsibility if you mess up.
Firstly some details on this watch, the model number is SBN0011, 7C46-OAAO. It has a Seiko 7C46, hi-torque 7 jewelled movement designed for the Tuna series of divers. For more interesting information on these movements check out the link below written by Poseidon-Jim…..
The calibre 7C46 is used in the 600m and 1000m Seiko divers and is designed for use in saturation diving using Helium gas. The one piece case consists of Titanium and Ceramic, there is also some stainless steel in there, but to find out which part contains what; I found this post, by Jim from Sept 2010;
The case is always spoken of by the Japanese as a single unit, but as we know the casei s made up of more than just the body alone. You have the bezel and inner screwdown crystal rings and even an inner iron/SS antimagnetic plate inside theTitanium alloy case, and the shroud screws are IP coated stainless steel or could also be titanium alloy, and you have the inner crown and stem parts that are no doubt Stainless steel.
Titanium is also in the stainless steel family as it is steel, but a hi-grade type that is lighter and harder than stainless steel.
The body or main case is Black IP coated titanium with an TIHCCE (ceramics) shroud.
The bezel I think is either titanium IP coated stainless steel or titanium.
So you see, the whole case or body is actually a mixture of mostly titanium with some stainless steel parts (SS & Titanium) and the shroud is (IPcoated Ti Ceramics).
The battery required for this model is SEIKO SR43SW (301) and should last approximately 5 years, I bought a Maxell from Cousins.
For details on the watch here is a pdf from Seiko
OK, let’s make a start, what tools for the job? – BTW the hex screws shroud requires a 1.5mm Hex key, Jaxa type case remover, Blade to pop off the bezel, small screwdriver for the battery retaining screw, case/movement holder.
Pic 1 –Remove the Hex screws
Pic 2 –Shroud removed, revealing dirt – I cleaned this up to avoid any getting in the case later on.
Pic 3 –Slipping a flat blade between the case and bezel, pop off the bezel – this should be easy. In this pic you can see the two flat bezel springs still in thecase.
Pic 4 - The flat bezel springs sit in a groove and are easily removed with a small screwdriver or similar
Pic 5 - I have removed the strap and popped the case into a movement/case holder, you will need to secure the case so that you can get good leverage to unscrew the crystal retaining ring.
Pic 6 –Here the crystal retaining screw has been removed using a Jaxa type caseback remover. Ensure the remover sits properly within three grooves, apply even pressure and unscrew anti clockwise. These are normally hand tight some can be tough but keep even pressure or you may slip and scratch the crystal orcase.
Pic 7 –Under the crystal retaining ring sits a nylon band which ensures the rubber gasket below it is evenly pressed and shaped to provide a maximum seal.
Pic 8 –This shows the crystal out but the crystal gasket still in place. Removing crystal I found to be quite tricky, it sits on the rubber gasket under pressure so it is well bedded in and requires very gentle persuasion with a small flatend object, preferable made of plastic or wood. You can use a flat head screwdriver, but you can end up damaging the gasket or the crystal.
Pic 9 –This shows the crystal far left, then the rubber gasket and the minute chapter ring. The chapter ring has two grooves cut into it that match to one dial feet and the crown. This ensures that the markers line up perfectly when refitting.
Pic 10 –Here you see a gasket that sits around the movement, this should be removed to get access to the crown release button.
Pic 11 –This shows the crown release button and it sits just north of the crown,unscrew the crown, on the two occasions I have removed the crown from a 7C46 I didn’t pull it out to 1st or 2nd position prior to removal, just unscrew the crown, depress gently the release button and wiggle the crown with gentle pulling force, and it should pop out.
Pic 12 –Case, movement and crown
Pic 13 –With the crown removed there is nothing holding the movement in the case, so be careful and turn the case over ensuring you can grip the edges of the movement/dial. Then you will need to pop the movement into the holder. Remove completely the screw holding the battery retaining clip, don’t think you can nudge the battery out, you won’t. Replace battery and pop the retaining clip back and spend 30 minutes putting the little bugger of a screw back in :(.
Pic 14& 15 – Here is the case all nicely cleaned, I really like this case, and you can see it is a great piece of design and engineering, each groove has a purpose and the base has a raised plate where the movement sits.
Now thebattery is replaced and you have cleaned and greased (very little required) the gaskets put it back together. Do you need to replace the gaskets? Well some will swear by it, but I have found that certainly on these modern Seiko’s the gasket shape is fine and can be used again, if it has deteriorated or out of shape then of course in needs replacing.
Pic 16 –Once completed put on wrist and admire your handy work J
I want to pay credit to Dr Seiko for his tutorial on the 1000m divers, without I wouldn’t have ever dared to attempt this.
|Posted by Derek on May 5, 2010 at 12:45 PM||comments (2)|
Seiko SLR003P (Quartz Monster) review
There aren’t many Seiko’s that tweak my “Oh! that’s unusual” radar, but this one did, a cream dial perpetual calendar 200m diver. I first saw this model on eBay a few years back and though it piqued my interest I never went for it.
I saw another recently on eBay and bid over £160 but didn’t win it, the one I have now was purchased in atrade plus cash from TZ-UK and I am really glad I made the effort as it is such a great and unique piece.
It’s known as a quartz monster as it carries some similarities with its automatic cousin the SKX779. Such as hands, bezel layout and the use of Lumibrite to make these glow like a torch.
I have seen a couple of SLR001/3 caseback’s and they look to be made in 1999 as the serial numbers both start 96******* and the SKX779 was introduced in 2000. Both watches feature in a 2000 Seiko catalogue as kindly put on the web by Thomas (Yeoman) Link below.
Thomas (Yeoman) also suspected that this model had a short production run as he didn’t see many in Singapore retail shops.
The rarity reminds me of the Italian chronographs which I collected a few years back, these models had serial numbers indicating a short production run with a date no earlier than April 1998 and no later than January1999.
The SLR001/3 retailed for $550, though I have read folks buying these for around $250 from Seiko AD’s in the States.
The one I acquired is model SLR003P1 - which brings nothing up on Google but in the Seiko Oceania cataloguesearch here http://service.seiko.com.au/pls/seiko/f?p=104:20:3032896854376266:Go:NO:RP
It identifies this watch as having a Silver dial!! Well we all should know by now this on-line catalogue is far from perfect.
The Black dial version SLR001P1/9 is identified correctly in the Seiko Oceania catalogue. The last numbers 1 or 9 denoting whether it is for the local market or international. So what happened to SLR002P?? who knows! though I had initially thought my cream dial version was SLR002P.
Here it is taken apart:
And with Shroud:
I have carried out a bit of on-line research and thought I would post my findings as some of the things I have read are incorrect and would like to put right.
Movement and case number: 8F35-0010 Model Number: SLR003P
Size: 46mmdiameter without crown and 50mm with the crown. 57mm lug to lug and 13.3mm thick. Yup, you 6inch wristers aren’t going to carry this off
In the photo below notice the lugs have a springbar hole and a screw hole for the shoud;
Similarities with the SKX779: The bezel has the same font numbers but the grooves cut out at the sides which align to the case are markedly different – so they is no sharing of parts between the two.
SKX(Borrowed Pic) SLR
Bracelet: I read that it had an integrated bracelet, well it hasn’t, it has end pieces which fit into the case lugs using spring bars. The end pieces on the bracelet are solid and are 15mm, as are the lugs on the watch. The end pieces splay to 23mm at their widest part and end up at 20mm at the clasp. The clasp has a diver’s extension. The links are solid and very similar to the monster (SKX) bracelet.
The case back indicates “St.Steel + Plastics”, I believe Seiko are referring to the lug shroud and crown guard as the Plastics part – this is not plastic! Not in the sense of an Arnie shroud, as far as I can tell it is rubber, it is malleable not brittle.
The picture below shows it with and without the rubber shroud the lug space is 15mm.
Dial: The black text really stands out on the beautiful cream dial; the raised markers are gloss black with Lumibrite infill which glow like a torch. The manual for this watch makes reference to Lumibrite, here is what Seiko says about it;
“LumiBrite is a newly developed luminous paint that is completely harmless to human beings and the natural environment, containing no noxious materials such as radioactive substances. LumiBrite absorbs the energy of sunlight or artificiallight in a short time and stores it to emit light in the dark.
For example, if exposed to a light of more than 500lux for approximately 10 minutes, LumiBrite can emit light for 5 to 8 hours. Please note, however, that, as LumiBrite emits the light it stores, the luminance level of the light decreases gradually over time. The duration of the emitted light may also differ slightly depending on such factors as the brightness of the place where the watch is exposed to light and the distance from the light source to the watch
When you make a dive in dark water, LumiBrite may not emit light unless it has absorbed and stored light sufficiently.”
The 8F35 Quartz, has been referred to as one of Seiko’s High End Quartz (HEQ), here’s why;
PERPETUAL CALENDAR Once set, the calendar automatically adjusts for odd and even months including February of leap years up to February 28, 2100. It indicates the month, date and the number of years since the last leap year.
HIGH ACCURACY Loss/gain: Annual rate of less than 20 seconds
For more detail of the 8Fmovements check out the piece below (sorry I don’t know who wrote it):
“which FINALLY brings usback to calibers 8F (launched around 1998)- those are higher-end models designed with a perpetual calendar and a single 'temperature-insensitivized'196 kHz quartz crystal - probably the last to be still produced of the quartz calibers with a frequency higher than 32 kHz (also used in the ladies-modelswith caliber 4F perpetual, and in two non-perpetual calibers used in certain discontinued Pulsar models). In the 8F family there were 8F32 (date), 8F33 (day/date), 8F35 (date, high-torque) and 8F56 (date, GMT) - all used a HUGE battery (CR2412) with the result of claiming a very convenient 10 years batterylife (8 years for 8F35 which is found in some heavy-duty diver models).”
As mentioned above the 8F35 uses a CR2412 battery and has a battery life of 8 years. On my watch the battery change indicator on the case back is notched at 2007 and with a serial number starting 96***** clearly shows this was produced in 1999.
You can download the manual for this watch here (just scroll down to the 8F35 manual pdf):
What a great find, I have the watch synched to my Seiko Power Design Project Solar Radio Wave Control SBPG003 and it has been spot on for the last few days. Great accuracy, super chunky 200m diver with great lume and very handsome dial.
The rubber lug/crown shroud is a bit different and not to everyone’s taste, but it is well made and screwed to the case so can be easily removed for cleaning.
The crystal is mineral with a cyclops which sits under the crystal and is quite effective, the bezel ratchets 60 clicks and sits a mm or two higher than the crystal which will (in theory) protect the crystal from scratches.
How does it compare in size with some old favourites?
And a wrist shot:
Well that's it, thanks for reading and if you would like to leave a comment or ask any questions then feel free to do so
All the best
|Posted by Derek on February 28, 2010 at 2:13 PM||comments (2)|
Back in 2003, while at work I hit the sales corner of TZ-UKand for sale was a beautiful 6105-8110 that had been for the full spa treatmentby by Jack at IWW. I believe he goes under a different name now, Dr Seiko I think.
Anyhow, this 6105 was for sale at £330, a lot of money back in 2003 for this model but it had a lot of work done and this doesn’t come cheap. I guess a similar example today would be worth in the region of £600 to £700.
I stumped up the cash and within a couple of days it arrived, all the way from sunny Devon.
I was thoroughly pleased with the purchase and showed it off round the forums with great pride. Here it is………..
Having read Kevin’s website on Seiko divers and Shawn’sdiver model heaven article over a few years from 2002 I started to think that I could collect all the early Seiko divers’ – 6217, 6105-81, 6105-80, 6306, 6309,7002.
My next purchase was a great eBay find a 6105-8000 which after a new crystal (which I fitted myself) looked fantastic.
Then came in quick succession a 6306 and a 6309, followed bya 7002. Now trying to get a 6217 was going to be hard but Roy Taylor of RLT got in contact after a mate let him know I was after one and lo and behold I had a set
Now I don’t think I have the dedication to be just a collector, but I did think that my next entrée into collectersville would be the challenge of collecting all Seiko divers that had 150m on the dial.
So here are some pics of what I managed to get
H558, not it's cousin the H601 as it doesn't have 150m on the dial
Did I miss any?? let me know
|Posted by Derek on February 23, 2010 at 1:23 PM||comments (2)|
Seiko 300m White Diver
I had never really considered a white dial watch but the opportunity to buy one arose in January this year and I took a chance and bought a white dial Fortis marinemaster.
It is an exceptional watch..................the fit and finish is the best you will find on any watch and this being a tool watch rated to 200m is as solid and practical as any other tool watch that I have owned.
Anyway, I started looking for Seiko white dial watches, I know there are the white dial monster watches but this is the watch I really want 300m and gorgeous, look at the bezel serations!
Am I going to get it.......................I doubt it as it hasn't been made
It is a power design project from 2006, so may have been the inspriration for those white dial monsters.
Of course many of you would probably enjoy this watch in a variety of colours Orange or Yellow !!
If you would like to explore the Seiko power design project follow the link below
Now, not all the power design watches are left on the page, some do get made and I did purchase this retro seiko digital.
The model is SBPG003 and full of features that make it my favourite gadget watch.
Blog entry 23/02/2010
|Posted by Derek on February 19, 2010 at 11:30 AM||comments (1)|
Has Seiko revived the7A28/7A38 style of chrono?
Hereis a photo I found from eBay showing a new Seiko with the 7A* style ofdial layout, haven't seen this dial layout before in a modern Seikoapart from the LE speedmaster.
What do you think? please add a comment
Is it a welcome return to those older models or a modern bastardisation
Update 20/02/2010 - 23:25
Having seen more detailed photo's I don't consider the above chono as harking back to the vintage 7A28's of old in terms of quality, design and attention to detail. Though I am biased but I am sure there perfectly functional.............just not for me
Here is a photo of the white one
|Posted by Derek on February 18, 2010 at 5:24 PM||comments (4)|
I recently purchased a nice refurbished 6309-7040 which I want to put one of Harold's
sapphire crystals in. Having taken apart quite a few vintage divers in the past this
would be no problem in doing myself.
Now I have to wait for Harold to get these crystals back in stock but in preparation I took
off the bezel and noticed something fall out or was it my imagination. The bezel clicked OK
before I took it off but when I put the bezel back on it moved quite freely and no clicks. So
yup, something definitely came off - this being either the ball for the click or the spring or
I had a poke around the hole where the spring and ball should sit and nothing but air.
So a search on SCWF found numerous posts relating to the bezel click ball etc. So to replace
the ball and spring I was going to need a medium BIC ball point pen and tiny springs.
And why not do a short pictorial I thought!
I managed to find genuine spare parts for the spring, bought a set of 5 BIC pens so away we go......
Now at this point, my wife suggested I should use the ball point pen to write with and when all
the ink has run dry, then take it apart as it wouldn't be so wasteful, yea right. So when she left the room I destroyed one of the five pens, and got the magic ball...........
Now my eyes are pretty good but I needed superman sight to see this ball, but carefully picked it up with a pair of tweezers. As I went to put it on a piece.............ping, bugger, it was gone, no worries I have four more pens left.
I LOST TWO OF THE LITTLE *******ERS
Anyway, after more BIC mutilation and carefully opening the Seiko spring packet (which thankfully had 5 springs, Seiko must have known that big fisted heathens would lose some)
I finally had these two critters pinned down..............
Now I was feeling confident so went ahead and placed the spring into the hole on the side of the case....
At this point I carefully lifted the ball onto the spring and carefullypushed it in...........ping, another one leaps for freedom.
TIP: There is no point trying to look for one on these balls, you could spend an hour of your
valuable time, or even get the kids to help and suffer the ridicule of your better half.
Just accept it has gone
I was going to take a photo of the ball sitting on the spring but I panicked and just slammed the
bezel in place. I now have a functional click bezel (though superman's strength does help to turn it)
The finished piece...............
Well thanks for reading, and hope it may inspire others with a lot of patience to have a go.
Geran posted: remove the bezel inside a clear freezer bag so you can keep hold of the ball.
Mike posted:A dab of silicone grease on the spring will hold the ball in place while you are placing the bezel on.
|Posted by Derek on February 18, 2010 at 5:19 PM||comments (3)|
Personal reflection on 6309 diver
Over the years I have had a few 6309 divers and a 6306, my desire was always to buy an original piece as most of the aftermarket 6309's I saw were pretty awful and were synonymous with shoddy workmanship.
In the early days the lume on these aftermarket pieces was once referred to as "frog butt green"
(not sure who coined that phrase, but it has stuck with me) and they would be paired with
totally different hand lume, I am sure there are some still about today.
The popularity of the vintage Seiko divers has also led in the past year to some pretty
good aftermarket parts that do an excellent job of trying to recreate the real thing. It is
becoming difficult to spot the aftermarket ones. In the past I would probably be thinking
that producers of these were out to hoodwink and pass off put-together's as original pieces,
some may have had that intention - who knows!
I sold my last all original 6309 a few months back without much hesitation as it was looking a
little tired with aged lume a few knocks and a scratched bezel insert. I know that looks
aren't everything and in my own slightly pompous way thought that only original pieces are the
way to go.
A few weeks after I sold the 6309 I was at a regional swimming competition (both my children have
grown fins) and as I was walking outside amongst a crowd of people I saw this guy with a small
child and on his wrist was something familiar - it was a 6309 diver, I had not seen one before in
the wild so to speak. Of course I got into a conversation and made reference to the watch, he had
no idea what it was, and indicated it was a friends who had given it to him.
Now I know your all thinking I offered him a pound (dollar) and I walk off with a nice 6309.. nah!
It was a nice piece, I offered some information and let him go back to play with his son.
So what is the point of this story, well I got to thinking how great that watch looked on his wrist
and how my brain is now programmed after years of looking at Seiko divers to spot one at 50 paces,
a bit like recognizing a family member in a crowd of people - I am sure some of you are also
afflicted in this way.
Still with me?
Following this encounter I saw and bought another 6309, purely based on the photograph (impulsive,
I know) I didn't consider that it was an aftermarket piece because it looked to have all
original parts, but it was! Silly really as most really good looking dial and case 6309's
are aftermarket. But it is this attention to detail that the aftermarket producers are now giving
Now I had a dilemma, for years I had been given any aftermarket piece a wide berth as I am a `Seiko Aficionado`, ha ha ha!!
Wearing original pieces does give a sense of satisfaction, but what I didn't realise until last week,
a good aftermarket piece can give you the experience of wearing a 6309 like it was fresh out of
the box, no longer do you have to put up with frog butt green lume, bezel inserts with three
dots between the first marker and the 12 oclock triangle, a number one with a flick at the top.
Or a dial with inaccurate marking at the bottom of the dial.
I still get irked when I see adverts on forums that dont describe a 6309 accurately, but I
have stepped down from being a Seiko snob, it must be a sort of WIS maturity.
A thread is useless without photos so here is my aftermarket Seiko that I now proudly wear as it
gives me a sense of what it was like wearing one of these fresh from the AD back in the 70s/80s.
Thanks for staying with me till the end
6309 with one of Harold's sapphire crystals