Iconic Seiko Watches


Iconic Seiko Watches

The Japanese brand Seiko has been around for more than a century and is one of the most influential watch manufacturers in the world. One remarkable aspect of Seiko is that they develop everything in house: they have all the necessary facilities to produce all the components for their watches, at scale.

As a result, Seiko is a very innovative brand, and has been recognized over the years for the technologies it brought to the horological world: it produced the first automatic chronograph 6139, worked on some hybrid electromechanical movements like the Kinetic and the Spring drive...

The Japanese brand Seiko has been around for more than a century and is one of the most influential watch manufacturers in the world. One remarkable aspect of Seiko is that they develop everything in house: they have all the necessary facilities to produce all the components for their watches, at scale.

As a result, Seiko is a very innovative brand, and has been recognized over the years for the technologies it brought to the horological world: it produced the first automatic chronograph 6139, worked on some hybrid electromechanical movements like the Kinetic and the Spring drive...

The Seiko brand is very conscious of the quality and the value it offers. It has always been producing very reliable movements in-house, such as the 7S26, 4R35, and 6R15 just to name a few. Those calibers are reliable and affordable, which explains why micro brands often use them - in their unbranded form, like the NH35 and NE15 for example.

In this article, we will focus on Seiko watches that have become iconic and have been strongly endorsed by the watch community. These timepieces have had much support from watch enthusiasts and been highlighted for their originality, quality and value proposition.

The Seiko brand is very conscious of the quality and the value it offers. It has always been producing very reliable movements in-house, such as the 7S26, 4R35, and 6R15 just to name a few. Those calibers are reliable and affordable, which explains why micro brands often use them - in their unbranded form, like the NH35 and NE15 for example.

In this article, we will focus on Seiko watches that have become iconic and have been strongly endorsed by the watch community. These timepieces have had much support from watch enthusiasts and been highlighted for their originality, quality and value proposition.

Seiko 5 Automatic SNK80X Series

The legendary Seiko 5 SNK80X series provides some of the cheapest mechanical watches on the market. For less than $100 you get a great military-style field watch with one of the following dial colors:

  • Black (SNK809)
  • Blue (SNK807)
  • Khaki (SNK805)
  • Beige (SNK803)

The watch is protected by a lens made of hardlex. These timepieces are rugged, functional and very easy to read thanks to their eye-catching design. They are powered by the Seiko 7S26 automatic movement featuring a day-date complication with 41 hours of power reserve. It can be admired through the transparent case back.

  • Ref: SNK809, SNK807, SNK805, SNK803
  • Diameter: 37.00 mm
  • Thickness: 11.00 mm
  • Lug width: 18.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 7S26

The Seiko black SNK809K2. Credits : eBay listing.
The Seiko black SNK809K2. Credits : eBay listing.

The water resistance is 30m meaning it can handle splashes, we would not recommend it for diving though. The proportions of this watch are great, with a 37mm diameter and an 11mm height it is very comfortable to wear and unobtrusive. This Seiko model can therefore be seen as an affordable Hamilton Khaki Field alternative.

It looks very cool on a NATO, the 18mm lug width makes it easy to find alternative straps as well. At this price it's pretty hard to beat, we can therefore consider that the value it's losing over time is very low, so it's holding its value pretty well compared to other more expensive watches!

The military looking khaki Seiko SNK805, sold on ebay by military.inc
The military looking khaki Seiko SNK805, sold on ebay by military.inc
Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko 5 Automatic SNK80X Series:
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Seiko SKX013

Diver watches tend to have large and thick cases in order to cope with the water pressure during diving activities. The SKX013 is a very much welcomed exception to that. It is simply one of the best dive watches below 40mm in diameter. It's ideally suited for smaller wrists.

This Seiko model has a 38mm diameter. It's a tough tool watch that can definitely follow in the depths of the ocean. The lug to lug distance of 44mm makes it idea an ideal dive watch for small wrists. The thickness of the watch is 13.1mm, which for a diver is within the expected range. The lug width is 20mm, making it easy to customize the strap of this watch. It is one of the best dive watches for small wrists that you will find.

It's also a very affordable dive watch and is in the same price range as its bigger brother: the SKX007. A perfect daily beater that has its own style.

  • Ref: Seiko SKX013
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm
  • Thickness: 13.10 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 7S26

The Seiko SKX013 is a great looking dive watch for small wrists.
The Seiko SKX013 is a great looking dive watch for small wrists.

The SKX013 is equipped with a robust 7S26 automatic movement, which is the ancestor of the Seiko 4R35 movement. The 7S26 cannot be wound manually and does not support hacking. However, it compensates for the lack of those features by being a very reliable beast and is very cheap to service.

The 7S26 automatic movement has 21 Jewels and runs at 21,600 VPH (vibrations per hour). It offers a 40-hour power reserve with an accuracy of +25 / -15 seconds per day. This movement also provides a day/date complication, with a quick set functionality via the screw-down crown.

The face of the SKX013 is protected by a glass made of hardlex crystal. The dial looks black but it is not, it is matte and of a dark grey tone. On the other hand, the bezel is black. The hour markers on the dial are painted, not applied. They are quite big and very easy to read. The legibility under all conditions is optimal, with the lumed hands and hour markers, both contrasting well with the dark grey dial.

The Diver's 200m orange markings pop out nicely, adding a bit of color variety to the dial. A chapter ring is framing the dial, it adds more depth to the watch, it has however been reported that the chapter ring of the SKX013 can sometimes be misaligned. The hands have their own distinctive design and are lumed: no Rolex-style Mercedes hands here! The hour hand is the same one as the SKX007, whereas the minute looks more understated and elegant on the SKX013.

The hand for the seconds looks great and has a very distinctive shape that contributes greatly to the SKX013's own identity. If that a lumed arrow at its tip, which looks well made, the base of the hand is also lumed in an arrow shape. When the lume is charged and the second hand is moving, the overall effect in low light is mesmerizing. The lume of Seiko SKX013 is excellent and will last through the night, it glows green.

The case back looks solidly screwed down and has a beautiful wave pattern, which makes reference to the famous Great wave off Kanagawa painted by Katsushika Hokusai. The crown at 4 o'clock is large and easy to screw/unscrew. It is located between crown guards for protection.

The case is polished and brushed and is waterproof at up to 200m (20ATM). The case is polished, which complements very nicely the matte dark grey dial. In our opinion, if this dial had been glossy, the watch would have looked too shiny and "in your face". We really enjoy the balance between the shiny and matte parts of this watch.

The Seiko SKX013 is available with a jubilee bracelet or rubber strap
The Seiko SKX013 is available with a jubilee bracelet or rubber strap

The grip of the bezel looks well made and adds to the character of the SKX013. The pattern on this trip is not commonly found, it looks quite luxurious, and elevates the overall look of the watch, making it look more refined. This is definitely not a Rolex Submariner homage!

The diving bezel has 120 clicks and is unidirectional. Some users have found it stiff, but we find it very usable compared to other bezels in entry-level dive watches. Like the chapter ring, the bezel can sometimes not be perfectly aligned with the minute markers, but it has a little bit of play to compensate for it.

The SKX013 can be found on a jubilee bracelet or on a rubber strap. The jubilee bracelet is made of solid stainless steel links and is very comfortable, due to the small links that make it nicely wrap around your wrist. It makes the watch look rugged and luxurious at the same time. The clasp is functional and does its job well. The nice thing about it is that you can adjust it precisely to your wrist size thanks to the 5 micro-adjustment positions available.

The value proposition of the SKX013 is astonishing: it is a very good looking watch and will prove to be more reliable than more expensive ISO certified diving timepieces. Seiko has managed to produce a diver with an iconic design that's versatile enough to go with a big variety of outfits. As a result, the Seiko SKX013 has gathered a big community of watch enthusiasts who have become part of a big fan base.

Seiko recently discontinued the SKX013, meaning that it starts to become more and more desired by collectors and enthusiasts looking for a great affordable dive watch below 40mm in diameter. So the resale value is quite good too! There are still plenty on eBay for the moment!

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko SKX013:
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Seiko SARB017 Alpinist

The Seiko SARB017 aka Alpinist is a very well made watch. It has gained strong support from watch enthusiasts and is very often mentioned as a legendary watch. The SARB Series was introduced in 2006 and was discontinued in 2018, which made this watch even more desirable, contributing to a rather high price increase (ranging from 20 to 50%) in the last year or so.

The watch features a green dial with gold indices and lumed hands. It is a perfect watch for going outdoors and hiking, but looks very refined too. It even has a solar compass which can prevent you from getting lost - provided you know how to use it.

  • Ref: SARB017
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm
  • Thickness: 12.00 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6R15

The Seiko SARB017, and its beautiful green dial, on different straps/bracelet. eBay listings.
The Seiko SARB017, and its beautiful green dial, on different straps/bracelet. eBay listings.

The Alpinist sports a reliable 6R15 calibre, with a 50h power reserve. We love the comfortable size of the case which has a diameter of 38mm and is 12mm thick. The SARB017 Alpinist really incarnates the spirit of adventure, and can be seen as an affordable Rolex Explorer alternative.

It comes with a brown leather crocodile print strap which is not of great quality, fortunately with the 20mm lug width finding a decent replacement strap is an easy mission. The water resistance of the Alpinist is 20ATM making it a solid companion even in tough conditions. This is a watch purchase that you will definitely not regret!

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko SARB017 Alpinist:
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Seiko SKX007 and SKX009

The SKX007/SKX009 is a very respectable diving watch that many people have in their collection. It is very affordable and easily found around $250 on eBay. It is very solid and is comfortable to wear.

The water resistance is 200m. It sports the Seiko 7S26 automatic movement which is a reliable workhorse and offers 40 hours of power reserve. Although this movement does not have handwinding and hacking capabilities, unlike the 4R36.

  • Ref: SKX007K1, SKX007K2
  • Diameter: 42.00 mm
  • Thickness: 13.25 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 7S26

The Seiko SKX007 K1 (rubber strap) and SKX007 K2 (bracelet), having black bezel. Available now on eBay.
The Seiko SKX007 K1 (rubber strap) and SKX007 K2 (bracelet), having black bezel. Available now on eBay.

The diameter of this timepiece is 42.5mm and it is 13.25mm thick: it definitely has a healthy wrist presence, but is surprisingly comfortable to wear despite its size. The water resistance is 200m and it is ISO certified for diving activities.

The Seiko SKX007 is often mentioned as an affordable Rolex Submariner alternative, it has even found its place in collections made of much pricier timepieces. Others see it as the ultimate toolwatch that can take a beating without breaking a sweat.

  • Ref: SKX009K1, SKX009K2
  • Diameter: 42.00 mm
  • Thickness: 13.25 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 7S26

The Seiko SKX009 K1 (rubber strap) and SKX009 K2 (bracelet), having a distinctive blue and red (Pepsi) bezel. Available now on eBay.
The Seiko SKX009 K1 (rubber strap) and SKX009 K2 (bracelet), having a distinctive blue and red (Pepsi) bezel. Available now on eBay.

Moreover, this watch can also be easily customized through modding kits that can be found on the Dagaz website. The customizations that you can do on this watch have no limit.

The design of this watch is timeless and it can easily be your daily wearer. If the SKX007 is too big for your wrist, you can have a look at its little brother, the SKX013.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko SKX007 and SKX009:
(scroll horizontally for more )

Seiko “Arnie” H558 Divers Watch

The Seiko H558-5009 was introduced in 1983 and has become an icon in the watch world. This watch has an horological significance not only because it was worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger, but because it was the first dive watch to feature digital alarm, a chronograph and a combination of analog and digital displays.

The black dial is matte and is protected by a mineral crystal. The hands are lumed, we can see that this dial and hands configuration looks very similary to the Seiko SKX013.

The H558 is powered by a quartz movement.

  • Ref: Seiko H558-5009
  • Diameter: 45.00 mm
  • Thickness: 12.20 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Quartz H558

The Seiko H558-5009 divers watch “Arnie”, built to last, with a combination of analog and digital displays. Available on eBay.
The Seiko H558-5009 divers watch “Arnie”, built to last, with a combination of analog and digital displays. Available on eBay.

The LCD display can be set to a different timezone than the hands, providing dual-time/GMT functionality! The button at 10 o'clock can be used to set and start the stop watch, which can record durations of up to 60 minutes. The crown can be used to set the time on both analog and digital displays, which we find quite cool!

The H558 has a diameter of 45mm and is 12.2mm thick, with a lug to lug distance of 46.5mm. It is no small watch, with an imposing wrist presence and a lug width of 22mm! It has a plastic shroud held by 3 screws, giving the watch a very rugged look.

The water resistance of this watch is 150m and it is equipped with a bi-directional bezel which has 60 clicks. The bezel color is black but can sometimes seem to be of a very dark blue under the light. The crown is at 3 o'clock and it comes with a rubber strap. As mentioned above, Arnold Schwarzenegger wore this watch in the following movies:

  • Predator (1987)
  • Raw Deal (1986)
  • Commando (1985)
  • Running Man (1987)
  • Twins (1988)

The Seiko H558 “Arnie” was worn by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 5 movies. James Cameron also wore the watch.
The Seiko H558 “Arnie” was worn by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 5 movies. James Cameron also wore the watch.

This watch is desired by collectors and is getting increasingly rare, therefore the price is steadily going up.

The Seiko “Arnie” was built to last, so it was tested extensively in harsch conditions with temperatures ranging from -40 to +60 degrees Celcius. The Seiko H558 Field master was also worn during expeditions to the North and South Poles as well as by an international team of explorers that climbed Mount Everest in 1988. It is simply one of the most iconic Seiko watch, a must have for collectors!

A modern reissue of the iconic Seiko H558 was introduced in 2019: the Seiko Prospex SNJ025 Solar.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko “Arnie” H558 Divers Watch:
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Seiko SARB033

The Seiko SARB033 ($350 On the used market), also called baby Grand Seiko due to its similarity with its big sister (SBGR001 retailing in the $2k range on the used market). Discontinued in 2018, this watch saw its value increase by up 25% in a few months. This model was only available on the Japanese domestic market (JDM) but is easy to find on eBay. It is still very desirable to this day.

The execution of the black dial is classy and the design is timeless. The watch features a date window at 3 o'clock. The automatic mechanical movement 6R15 - which can be seen through the see-through case back - is the same as the one used in the Seiko Brightz range, priced at the upper $1000 level. The 6R15 movement has a generous 50-hour power reserve. The diameter of this watch is ideal to me, 38mm makes it wearable in all conditions, whether it's while wearing a suit, or going for a walk on a sunny day. The thickness is 11.2mm.

  • Ref: SARB033
  • Diameter: 38.00 mm
  • Thickness: 11.20 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6R15

The Seiko SARB033 is a very polyvalent watch.
The Seiko SARB033 is a very polyvalent watch.

The glass is sapphire crystal, with no anti-reflective coating (probably to keep the cost down). The stainless steel bracelet received some criticism, but for this price, you will get a lot of watch for the money. This watch is a strap monster, I own one and it will fit a big range of straps, you will find me currently wearing it on a honey leather strap from Two-stitch straps. Watch resistance is 100 meters.

If you do not like the black dial, the Seiko SARB035 offers the same package but with an off-white dial. Buying one of those SARB models will be one of your best decisions.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko SARB033:

Seiko 6138 vintage chronograph

The Seiko 6138 series are automatic chronographs produced in the early 1970s. In the 1970s, a lot of the chronographs produced were around the theme of motorsports and featured very colorful dials as well as very audacious case designs. Those very funky designs are very much sought after by collectors, and Seiko's vintage chronographs are no exception.

In that era, Seiko released the 6138 and 6139 series, as a set of very cool looking automatic chronographs, including the legendary models “Pogue”, “Bullhead”, “Panda“ and “Kakume”.

The vintage Seiko chronographs offer amazing value and are amazing vintage collection starters. A lot of them can be acquired under $500 on eBay, however, prices have been rising over the last few years, as more people are getting aware of them.

  • Ref: Seiko 6138-802X “Panda”, “Baby Panda” 6138-800X
  • Diameter: 40.00 mm
  • Thickness: 13.50 mm
  • Lug width: 19.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6138

The different models of the Seiko 6138 range, including the iconic Panda, Kakume and Bullhead vintage chronographs. Available on eBay.
The different models of the Seiko 6138 range, including the iconic Panda, Kakume and Bullhead vintage chronographs. Available on eBay.

The Seiko 6138 movement equips those chronographs, it is available in versions A and B. It is the first automatic chronograph that provides 2 registers with a column wheel and a vertical clutch. The 6138A/B have automatic and hand-winding capabilities, as well as a quickset day/date function. At the time of its development, this was pretty amazing: it provided more functionality than its Swiss competitors: Breitling, Heuer, and Zenith! Moreover, as you would expect from Seiko, every component of the 6138 was manufactured in-house.

On those chronographs the subdials are aligned vertically, and a day-date complication is located at 3 o'clock. The diameter of those chronographs varies from 40mm 44mm and they can be up to 16mm thick. The chronographs have a flyback capability, allowing you to reset the chronograph while it still runs. They have supposedly a water resistance of 70m, but we would not advise you to put any vintage timepiece in water.

Seiko 6138-80XX Panda chronographs

Our favourite vintage-looking pieces of the 6138 series are the Seiko 6138-8020 “Panda” and 6138-8000 “Baby Panda”. They can be found with black subregisters contrasting elegantly with the silver/white color of the dial which is framed by a tachymeter ring. This Seiko chronograph has a day/date complication visible at 3 o'clock.

Those watches tick a lot of boxes for vintage collectors and are the most desired. However, their price reflects their beauty, it ranges between $1000 and $2000 depending on condition. Their diameter of 40mm and their thickness of 13mm along with their black/white color scheme makes them more wearable than other 6138 references. An iconic vintage Panda chronograph for sure!

  • Ref: Seiko 6138-002X “Tokai Zara”, 6138-003X “Kakume”, 6138-300X “Jumbo”
  • Diameter: 43.00 mm
  • Thickness: 14.50 mm
  • Lug width: 18.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6138

The legendary 6138 Panda chronographs. Available on eBay.
The legendary 6138 Panda chronographs. Available on eBay.

Seiko 6138-003X Kakume

“Kakume” in Japanese means “Square Eyes”: as its nickname suggests, this highly collectable model in the 6138 has two square subdials. It has orange hands and is available in two colors: blue and champagne.

  • The blue dial is surrounded by a black chapter ring and is completed with white subregisters and day/date frame.
  • The champagne dial is surrounded by an orange chapter ring and is completed with black subregisters and day/date frame.

    The JDM version of those models has the “Chronograph Automatic” text at 9 o'clock replaced by “5 Sports Speed-Timer”. A tachymeter ring is present on the bezel of those watches which wear bigger than the pandas: 43mm diameter and 14mm thick, with a rather modest lug width of 18mm.

  • Ref: Seiko 6138-001X “UFO”/“Yachtsman”, 6138-004X “Bullhead”, 6138-700X “Calculator”
  • Diameter: 44.00 mm
  • Thickness: 15.50 mm
  • Lug width: 19.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6138

The Seiko 6138 Kakume (6138-0030) with Blue and Champagne dials (left). The Seiko Jumbo (6138-3002) (right). Available on eBay.
The Seiko 6138 Kakume (6138-0030) with Blue and Champagne dials (left). The Seiko Jumbo (6138-3002) (right). Available on eBay.

Seiko 6138-300X “Jumbo”

The reason why this watch is called “Jumbo” is that the dial spreads all the way to the extremity of the case, with a black inner chapter ring that accentuates the size of the watch face. Although it has yellow hands, this model is the least colorful of the 6138 range, and its style might remind you of some Porsche Design chronograph.

With its black dial, stepped inner chapter ring and large subregisters, this watch offers a classic yet sporty look. It has a similar design to some watches you see today. Surprisingly, the diameter of the “Jumbo” is 42mm, which is less than the following models and makes it quite wearable.

Seiko 6138-004X “Bullhead”

The term “Bullhead” is a popular nickname referring to the pushers being positioned at the top of the watch case and making them look like bull horns. This gives this model a very distinct look, which makes it highly sought after by collectors. This design trait was also present on the Citizen “Bullhead” automatic chronograph produced in 1971. The Seiko 6138 “Bullhead” can be found it two colors: in brown and in black.

The diameter of this model is 44mm and it is 16mm so it is bulky and won't easily slide under a sleeve. The “Sports-timer” version of this watch released on the JDM has a lumed dial and a different bracelet.

The bulkiest Seiko 6138s from left to right : 6138-004X Bullhead, 6138-7000 Calculator and 6138-001X UFO (or Yachtsman). Available on eBay.
The bulkiest Seiko 6138s from left to right : 6138-004X Bullhead, 6138-7000 Calculator and 6138-001X UFO (or Yachtsman). Available on eBay.

Seiko 6138-001X “UFO”

This watch has been called the “UFO” by vintage Seiko collectors because its rather alien-looking case seems to be levitating on your wrist due to the lack of protruding lugs. Seiko refers to this model as the “Yachtsman”. The top subdial is smaller than the bottom one. The model you see pictured is the 6138-0011 which has a red sweep hand and lighter orange checkerboarding on the subdial. This particular model does not state its 70m water resistance. This vintage chronograph also wears big, with its 44mm diameter and 15.5mm thickness.

Seiko 6138-7000 “Calculator”

The 6138-7000 “Calculator” features a double external bezel, one rotating and one fixed, that can be used to perform a set of mathematical calculations. For those who were familiar with using a slide rule instead of a digital calculator, you will probably have some fun doing your calculations mechanically using the 6138-7000's bezel! Unlike the rest of the 6138 range which uses Hardlex crystal, Seiko's mechanical calculator has an acrylic glass.

We can see that in the 1970s Seiko was very innovative once again, this was at the dawn of the quartz crisis, and those chronographs are part of the last mechanical chronographs that were produced at such scale by the Japanese brand. If you want an affordable automatic chronograph from a reputable brand, a Seiko 6138 is certainly worth considering!

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko 6138 vintage chronograph:
(scroll horizontally for more )

Seiko Pogue 6139

The first automatic chronograph in space is the 6139 from Seiko, which was worn in 1973 by the American astronaut William R. Pogue, the pilot of Skylab 4. Pogue spent 84 days on the Skylab Orbital workshop and returned in February 1974.

While training, Pogue needed a chronograph, but the Omega Speedmasters would be provided only near the date of the launch, so he bought himself a Seiko 6139-6002 in order time his exercises and tests.

  • Ref: 6139-002
  • Diameter: 40.00 mm
  • Thickness: 10.00 mm
  • Lug width: 19.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6139

Vintage Seiko Pepsi Pogue 6139-6002 Automatic Chronograph 17 Jewels sold by oldwatches4u.
Vintage Seiko Pepsi Pogue 6139-6002 Automatic Chronograph 17 Jewels sold by oldwatches4u.

He kept it during his mission, making it the first automatic chronograph to go to space! It was reported that it performed flawlessly throughout Pogue's long stay on the Skylab Orbital station. This particular 6139 model is now called the Seiko “Pogue”. The 6139 was also one of the first automatic chronographs to be produced in the world.

The Seiko chronograph model 6139-6002 he was wearing had a distinctive yellow sunburst dial, with one minute register at the bottom of the dial. The automatic chronograph movement also provided a day-date complication, visible through a framed window at 3 o'clock.

This vintage watch is colorful and its bright color combinations will definitely attract curious collectors. The bezel has a tachymeter in a red-blue Pepsi color scheme, which contrasts well with the yellow sunburst dial. This watch incarnates the spirit of the 1970s: innovative, bold and vibrant. It's a true vintage gem.

William R. Pogue wore his Seiko Automatic Chronograph 6139-6002 during the Skylab 4 mission. Picture Credits: NASA, Heritage Auctions, Wikimedia commons.
William R. Pogue wore his Seiko Automatic Chronograph 6139-6002 during the Skylab 4 mission. Picture Credits: NASA, Heritage Auctions, Wikimedia commons.
Left: Advertisement by Seiko for the 6139 model (1969). Right: Page 22 of the Seiko 1969 Catalog, showing different Seiko 5 chronograph models (61SP - 6139). Credits: Seiko, Seiko 1969 Catalog.
Left: Advertisement by Seiko for the 6139 model (1969). Right: Page 22 of the Seiko 1969 Catalog, showing different Seiko 5 chronograph models (61SP - 6139). Credits: Seiko, Seiko 1969 Catalog.

The Seiko 6139 Pogue also features a yellow inner bezel, which can be adjusted via the crown at 3 o'clock. The white hour and minute hands are rather simple looking and are lumed. The central sweep second hand and the smaller 30-minute register hand are both bright red. They are easy to spot and complement well the yellow and “Pepsi” colors.

The dial has applied lumed hour indices and the frame around the day-date window integrates very well with them. Above the 30-minute register, you can notice the “Suwa” factory logo, and just above it, the marking “17J.”. The dial and hands are protected by a crystal made of hardlex instead of acrylic, which was the most commonly used material in that era.

Left: Seiko 1969 Catalog, showing different Seiko 6139-600X models. Right: Seiko Chronograph advertisement by Seiko for the 6139 model (1969). Credits: Seiko 1969 Catalog, Seiko.
Left: Seiko 1969 Catalog, showing different Seiko 6139-600X models. Right: Seiko Chronograph advertisement by Seiko for the 6139 model (1969). Credits: Seiko 1969 Catalog, Seiko.

In November 2006, Pogue replied to a question from David Bruno (watch enthusiast) about his Seiko, and explained: "I did not wear the Seiko on an EVA (spacewalk). I can't remember if I wore the NASA Omega on my EVA's but we did have an extra-long black watch band that wrapped around the sleeve of the spacesuit. .... We wore the watch like this for launch (suited). I put the Seiko in a suit leg pocket after we got suited for launch and when we got into orbit we got unsuited and changed into flight clothing (shirtsleeves and trousers). I put the Omega on my right wrist at this time, and the Seiko on my left wrist. I did not get NASA approval to carry the Seiko watch on the mission but we weren't given the Omegas until late in our training. I had been using the Seiko for well over six months (perhaps a year) and had found it very handy for timing engine burns in the simulator, using the bezel as reported earlier. ...".

The case of the Seiko 6139 Pogue has a shape similar to the other watch cases used in the 1970s. It has a diameter of 40mm and a lug width of 19mm. The case features quite a few facets, if you look at the side you will see that it plays nicely with the light. The screw-down case back looks rather classic yet of quality.

The thickness of the Seiko 6139 is 12mm, making the proportions of this watch comfortable and suited for most wrists. The bracelet of this watch is simple yet comfortable, it can be adjusted by sliding and locking tabs.

To conclude, the Seiko 6139 Pogue is a great daily wearer, it is comfortable and has a lot of wrist presence due to its vibrant color scheme. It can be considered as an affordable Omega Speedmaster alternative despite its very unique design, simply because it's the first automatic chronograph to have been in space. It's a solid vintage watch with a lot of history!

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko Pogue 6139:
seiko pogue pepsi 6139 6002
  • £520.00 ($675.92)
  • Watchcount76
  • Bids38
  • Time left21h 04m 03s
Seiko Vintage pogue pepsi 6139 6002
  • £420.00 ($545.94)
  • Watchcount60
  • Bids43
  • Score15346
Seiko Pogue Pepsi 6139-6002 Excellent Vintage Chronograph
  • £225.00 ($292.47)
  • Watchcount61
  • Bids23
  • Score10822
Vintage Seiko Pogue 6139-6005
  • $320.00
  • Watchcount48
  • Bids6
  • Time left00h 28m 38s
Seiko Pogue yellow 6139-6002
  • $769.00
  • Watchcount77
  • Score6320
Seiko Vintage Watch, Chronograph, 6139-6002, 1974,  Pepsi/Pogue
  • 1250.00 AUD ($886.31)
  • Watchcount38
  • Score3179
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Seiko 62MAS

In 1965, Seiko introduced the 62MAS, its first dive watch. The design of the 62MAS has become a point of reference to other dive watches and has influenced the style of Seiko watches and other brands ever since. The stainless steel case has a diameter of 37.5mm and a thickness of 14mm.

There are 2 main versions of this watch:

  • The early 6217-8000 was produced in 1965 only for a few months and has a small crown and a dolphin engraved in the case back.

  • The 6217-8001, which has a bigger crown and a more simple case back, was produced from 1966, earlier versions still have a dolphin on the case back whereas later ones have a Seiko signed "Horseshoe".

  • Ref: Seiko 62MAS
  • Diameter: 37.50 mm
  • Thickness: 14.00 mm
  • Lug width: 20.00 mm
  • Caliber: Seiko 6217

Seiko's first diver, the 62MAS had a date complication provided by the Seiko 6217 automatic movement. Available on eBay.
Seiko's first diver, the 62MAS had a date complication provided by the Seiko 6217 automatic movement. Available on eBay.

The meaning of 62MAS is the following: 62 relates to the caliber 62, which is an automatic mechanical movement developed by Seiko whereas MAS stands for seikoMAtic Selfdater. The self-winding movement of the 62MAS is the Seiko 6217 which beats at 18,000bph. This movement has a date complication visible at 3 o'clock but does not support hacking and hand winding.

The Seiko 62MAS model is characterized by relatively short lugs and a dial with generous indices that have a rectangular shape. They are very well complemented by the simple yet efficient lumed baton hands. The big crown is very easy to operate and give a very masculine look to the watch.

The Daini 62MAS, produced by Daini Seikosha in spring 1967 (left). Vintage Seiko 62MAS advertising (right).
The Daini 62MAS, produced by Daini Seikosha in spring 1967 (left). Vintage Seiko 62MAS advertising (right).

All those features were meant to achieve 2 things: the 62MAS was designed to be practical and reliable. The water resistance is 150m. At the time, 150m was considered to be very high and this watch was often compared to higher-end timepieces such as the Rolex Submariner. It was even chosen by the team of the Japan Antarctic Research Expedition from 1966 to 1969.

This watch has now become mythical for collectors and can be found at rather hefty prices! It is definitely a horologically significant timepiece. In 2017, the reissue of the 62MAS under the reference SLA017 was received with great success (edition limited to 2000 pieces).

Some homages of the Seiko 62MAS have been produced by brands such as San Martin and Sharkey. You can easily find them on eBay.

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko 62MAS:
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Seiko 7A28

The Seiko 7A28 is an iconic watch because it represents the first quartz powered analog chronograph ever produced. The 7A28 was introduced in 1983 and can be found in 42 different variations of which some were produced for the army (South African Air Force and UK's MoD).

In the 1980s, the Swiss industry was suffering from the quartz crisis. On the other hand Seiko was being very successful during that period and raised the bar very high by issuing this model. The 7A28 movement is not like today's cheap modular and plastic quartz movement, it is a well-engineered, good looking 15 jewel metal caliber that was built to be serviced like a normal mechanical movement.

  • Ref: Seiko 7A28-7120, 7A28-7020
  • Diameter: 37.00 mm
  • Thickness: 10.20 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Quartz 7A28

The Seiko 7A28-7020 (top) was featured in the James Bond film “A View To A Kill” whereas the 7A28-7120 was issued to RAF crew (bottom left). The 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” (bottom right) has a similar look to the Omega Speedmaster. Search these watches on eBay.
The Seiko 7A28-7020 (top) was featured in the James Bond film “A View To A Kill” whereas the 7A28-7120 was issued to RAF crew (bottom left). The 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” (bottom right) has a similar look to the Omega Speedmaster. Search these watches on eBay.

The stepper motors used for the chronograph functions of the 7A28 are carefully protected by individual metallic plates.

As mentioned earlier, the Seiko 7A28-7120 was issued to the UK's MoD in 1984 to equip their RAF/RN aircrew. The first contract saw 11,000 timepieces issued. This watch is a holy grail for watch Seiko watch collectors as it's getting quite rare, and therefore commands high prices in the $1000 range.

The 7A28 was also featured in a few movies:

  • In the movie Aliens (this chronograph is often called “the Ripley” because it was worn by the character Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver).
  • It was worn by Roger Moore in the James Bond film “A View To A Kill” (ref 7A28-7020).

  • Ref: Seiko 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer”, 7A28-6000 “Bishop”, 7A28-7000 “Ripley”, 7A28-7049
  • Diameter: 40.00 mm
  • Thickness: 10.00 mm
  • Lug width: 22.00 mm
  • Caliber: Quartz 7A28

The 7A28-7000 “Ripley” (top) was featured in the Aliens movie. The 7A28-7049 (bottom left) had a diving bezel. The 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” (bottom right) has a great classic design with a tachymeter bezel. Search these watches on eBay.
The 7A28-7000 “Ripley” (top) was featured in the Aliens movie. The 7A28-7049 (bottom left) had a diving bezel. The 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” (bottom right) has a great classic design with a tachymeter bezel. Search these watches on eBay.

The chronograph starts when pressing the 2 o'clock button. The center seconds hand has a one-second tick, whereas the dial at 3 o'clock displays the 1/20ths of a second. The elapsed minutes are indicated at 9 o'clock and a running second can be observed at 6 o'clock. If you press the pusher at 10 o'clock after having started the chrono, the hands will stop moving, but the chronograph will keep running, which is a nice split timing feature! You can reset the chrono by holding the 4 o'clock button.

Seiko heavily advertised the 7A28 Quartz chronograph. At the top, from left to right, you can see vintage advertisement for the 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer”, 7A28-7049 and 7A28-6000 “Bishop”. There were also variations with a moonphase, as you can see on the bottom left advert. Search these watches on eBay.
Seiko heavily advertised the 7A28 Quartz chronograph. At the top, from left to right, you can see vintage advertisement for the 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer”, 7A28-7049 and 7A28-6000 “Bishop”. There were also variations with a moonphase, as you can see on the bottom left advert. Search these watches on eBay.

It is also worth noting that the 7A28-6000 “Bishop” and 7A28-7000 “Ripley” were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, a famous car designer. He also worked with Seiko on the models 7A28-5000, 7A28-500A, 7A28-7A00 and 7A28-7001.

To some, the Seiko 7A28 can be seen as a modern and affordable alternative to the Omega Speedmaster, the 7A28-7039 “Speedy/Synchro Timer” is a great candidate for this. Although it has not been to the moon, the 7A28 is an undeniable icon in watch history!

Here are 8 suggestions on eBay for the Seiko 7A28:
1989 Seiko Gen 1 Military Chronograph RAF Pilots Watch 7A28
  • £645.00 ($838.40)
  • Watchcount94
  • Bids32
  • Score15389
Vintage Seiko 7a28-703B Quartz Chronograph Watch
  • £310.00 ($402.95)
  • Watchcount80
  • Bids16
  • Time left19h 38m 00s
Seiko 7a28 710A Chrongraph Watch
  • $515.00
  • Watchcount81
  • Bids13
  • Score9908
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