Saturday, March 7, 2015

Thinning out the collection

I retired two-and-a-half years ago and since then have discovered new interests and time-consuming activities.
Therefore I have decided to thin out my assortment of collectibles, including my watch collection.
They will be offered on eBay or, if you are interested in anything, you can contact me directly.
My email address is bhkAToutlookDOTcomDOTau.
Just replace the capitalised words with the appropriate symbols. :)

To start with, the following watches are now available.
The links are internal to this blog and will take you to the blog entry for that particular watch.

Orient Multi-Year Calendar

Let me know if anything is of interest.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A modern "Bellmatic"? Seiko's Cal. 8V36

SOLD November 2015.

Here's an interesting modern take on the genre of analogue watch with an alarm capability.

Back in the 1970s Seiko introduced the brilliant Bellmatic (Cal. 4006) - a completely mechanical watch, with automatic movement and a hand-wound alarm that actually had a tiny striking-arm make contact with the internal "chassis" of the watch. I have two of these watches and they operate perfectly and the alarms work - and are usuable for reminders whilst the wearer is concious (or daydreaming).
But unless one is a light sleeper and has the watch sitting right outside one's earhole then it could not be depended upon for a wake-up call.

In the 1980s the mechanical Bellmatic faded out of production and a replacement model (Cal. 7223) was introduced. (I have one in my collection but have not yet featured it here).
This was also an analogue but with a quartz-controlled movement and an electronic alarm, still set in an identical fashion to that of the original Bellmatic.
However, the alarm on this watch, whilst more piercing than the mechanical device in the Bellmatic, would still be hard-pressed to wake a sleeper.
Good for reminders, such as appointments etc. but not an ideal alarm clock.

Now, some 30 years after the original Bellmatic, comes this 21st. century version, the 8V36. Ultrasonic Alarm.
Still an analogue watch and quartz-controlled, this version not only does away with mechanical strikers but also eschews electronic chirps.
The 8V36 uses an ultrasonic motor to vibrate the watch. There is no sound emitted at all.

Does it work?
Yes, it certainly does, still wouldn't wake a sleeping wearer unless he or she was susceptible to having their sleep disturbed by an alighting blowfly.
This latest incarnation of Seiko's analogue alarm watch is eminently suitable for reminders but I wouldn't rely on it if I needed to wake up to catch a flight or make an important meeting.
That aside, the watch presents a very attractive face.
It is encased in a titanium & base-metal enclosure which features a snap-on back-plate.
This particular item, a very recent purchase from a collector in Singapore (many thanks, William), still has its protective plastic film on the rear plate and the entire watch presents very close to mint condition.
Speaking of the back - you may notice the oval shape which projects about 1mm from the surrounding flat surface.
This is to ensure that close contact is maintained with the wrist so that the ultrasonic vibrations are efficiently transmitted.
The case is 42mm lug-to-lug, 39mm diameter and with a dial 30mm in diameter.
A fixed bezel (titanium) decorates the face of the case. Two unsigned stainless-steel crowns protrude from the right-hand side at 3 o'clock and 4 o'clock.

The dial is finished in a plain white with the hour and minute indices in black. Arabic numerals denote the hours.
There are four hands - three cover the regular time-keeping requirements of hours, minutes and seconds whilst the fourth - the long red hand - is used to set the required time for the alarm.
The hour and minute hands are "lumed".
On the left, at the 9 o'clock position, is a 24-hour dial with a silver hand within a silver ring. I'm not sure why this feature is included because the alarm is confined to a 12-hour cycle; set it for 6:00 AM and it will also sound at 6:00 PM if activated.
Maybe it was to give symmetry to the face because on the right, at 3 o'clock, is a little display, again with a silver hand within a (smaller) silver ring and a red and black quadrant.
When the second crown (at 4 o'clock) is used to activate the alarm the hand snaps from the black, OFF position to the red, ON position.

The core of the watch - the ultrasonic motor - is recessed behind the little circular window at the 6 o'clock position. This window is also framed with a silver ring, somewhat more decorative than the plain circles used for the other two.
Behind a flat metal probe that projects into the window from the right is a disk and when the alarm operates this disc can be seen moving. Well, it moves so fast that it just appears as a silver blur.
This is the rotating section - the rotor - of the tiny motor and when the alarm is running for its 20-second alarm time it does so in bursts of approximately 1 second each.
When activiating the alarm - by pulling the second crown out - the alarm gives 3 bursts to confirm to the wearer that the alarm is now active.

The 8V36 is set off by a very nice Seiko (signed) black calfskin strap with a signed silver buckle.
A different watch, certainly very wearable and I could imagine it being of use to someone needing to keep appointments, although the cynic in me says that  in 2012 that person would most likely be using their smart-phone for the same purpose, thus rendering the 8V36 little more than a curio.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Seiko "Railroad" 7N49


This is a very fine example of a Seiko "Railroad" watch with the 7N49 quartz-controlled movement. Full model number is 7N49-9A00 and it was manufactured in August of 1991.
It measures 40mm diameter across the case (including the crown) and 40mm between lug-pin centres.
The watch comes complete with its original stainless-steel bracelet.

The stainless-steel case is in very good condition, with only very minor light scratches from normal usage, these marks being virtually invisible to the naked eye.
The stainless-steel case back is in similar condition, as is the original stainless-steel bracelet.
The dial is in excellent condition, showing no sign of spotting or discolouration, the white face being unblemished and with the characters clear and bright.
All hour characters are printed on the dial and are backed by luminescent "dots".
The "Seiko" wording is a raised sign in silver.

The hands are in perfect condition, with the hour and minute hands finished in silver with luminescent material down the centre. The sweep second hand is a thin, straight, item finished in red. At the '3' position is a combined day/date display window framed in silver.The crystal is unblemished - there is not a mark on it.

All of the functions operate perfectly and the watch keeps accurate time consistently.
Day and date operate perfectly.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bond......James Bond. Seiko's G-757

SOLD March 2015.

This watch is a bit special because the display, and the "movement" (the G-757), is colloquially referred to as the "James Bond Octopussy" watch and although it was encased in several different styles they all featured the same functions.....albeit without the special capabilities of the watch used in the movie!

Prior to purchasing this watch I had but two digital items in my collection: one is  the Seiko shown here and the other is a very recent purchase, an inexpensive Casio A178W which has a large numeric display, dual-time and alarm.
I bought the latter because my son is travelling overseas for the next couple of years and, wanting to be able to check the local time at his locations, I wanted something that had a dual-time capability that I could wear frequently. Rather than use either my Seiko Navigator or World Timer items I opted to buy the Casio for the enormous amount of AUS$44!
I don't normally wear digital watches because I have trouble seeing the small LCD figures, but the Casio sports 9mm-high characters.

However - back to the Seiko.
When I saw this G-757 I was attracted by the rarity of the design in such great condition and, as a bonus, the fact that it came in its original box (plus tag) and was complete with all links in its (original) bracelet.
The condition of the nearly 30-year old "Octopussy" is quite remarkable - the dial is pristine, with all LCD segments intact and operating perfectly, including the graphic  analogue display in the top-left quadrant; the light works perfectly; all the buttons operate smoothly and without any undue pressure required; the alarm chime is loud and clear; the glass crystal is scratch-free and the stainless-steel case, back and bracelet are undamaged.
Because of its scarcity and condition the watch was not inexpensive but then if it had been in any state less than as described I would not have been attracted to it.
I look upon it as another worthy example from the Seiko company.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Seiko 8V22 World Timer

(All images enlarge when clicked)
I had not heard of the 8V22 movement until browsing the web and seeing this watch for sale.
What attracted me was the dial, a very colourful design which makes the watch stand out in a crowd.
That, coupled with the gold-plated case and bracelet, certainly makes for an eye-catching time-piece.

The movement is quartz-controlled and whilst it does not have a day or date complication it does have multiple functions, all of which can be seen referenced around the outside perimeter of the external rotating (bi-directional) bezel.
Reading clockwise (pun intended!), they are TIME, ALARM ON, ALARM SET, 0 MATCH, DUAL TIME, WORLD TIME.
The bezel is rotated so that the function required is at the 12 o'clock position and then the functions are operated by using the buttons at the 2 o'clock, 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions.

The first three settings are pretty obvious and are used to set the local time, set the alarm on/off and the alarm time setting.
Incidentally, local time will be displayed when the bezel is positioned at either the TIME or ALARM ON functions.

The next, 0 MATCH, is used to align all three main hands (hour, minute, sweep-seconds) with the 12 o'clock position. In other words, it matches them all at zero.
The 24-hour hand, in the dial at 6 o'clock, can also be zeroed.

DUAL TIME allows the wearer to set the time for any location marked around the inside perimeter of the bezel and to then check that time (after returning the watch to it's normal TIME state) whenever required just by rotating the bezel again to DUAL TIME.
For example, if one was living in Canberra (same time-zone as Sydney) and was keeping a Skype appointment with someone overseas in let's say New York, then the DUAL TIME would be set for NY time and the wearer would simply rotate the bezel to DUAL TIME now and then to keep tabs on the time in that city.

WORLD TIME can be similarly used.
Once the time is set for the wearer's location then simply by rotating the bezel to the WORLD TIME function and pressing one of the buttons, the sweep second hand can be moved with each press to any of the locations shown. The hour and minute hands then move around the dial to show the current time in that location and the little 24-hour hand also moves around, indicating whether it is AM or PM.
Very simple, very neat and very cool!
As briefly mentioned above, the case and bracelet are gold-plated and the case-back, a screw-on item, is stainless steel.
This watch was made in October 1991, according to the serial number, so is now more than 22 years old.
It has stood up very well over that period, with negligible scratches to the bezel, none at all on the glass crystal and sports a pristine dial.
The areas showing the most wear are limited to the case-back and the "SEIKO" signature on the clasp, at the point at which the wearer's wrist would have been resting on tables, desks etc.

When all is said and done, a nice example of another "world time" Seiko to add to the others in my collection which have this function.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Seiko SUS 7T32 - "Big Red"!

(Note that all images expand to full-size if you click on them)
Recently bought from a fellow Seiko enthusiast in Germany, this is an almost mint-condition watch that was made for the Japanese domestic market (JDM) and which originally sold - in 1998 - for over Y30,000. That's around AUS$400 at today's rate of exchange.

Although I've referred to it as "Big Red", the overall diameter is under what I consider to be the maximum for my wrist - that is, anything larger than 40mm.
This SUS has a dial of 28mm in diameter and is 38mm across the widest part, including the crown.
So it sits on my wrist very comfortably.

Case, bracelet, crown and pushers are all satin stainless steel and the bracelet, which is signed, is of the type fitted with a security clasp that has to be lifted before releasing the catch.

The dial is a beautiful cherry-red and is enhanced by the silver hour batons and the white hands - the hour and minute of which have a luminescence embedded down the centreline.
Date window is at the 4:30 position.
The movement for this watch is the well tried and proven Seiko 7T32 quartz calibre and it keeps perfect time.

All the registers are printed in white characters and there are four sub-dials, also printed in white.
These are for 30-minute timer (at the 12 o'clock position); parallel time, alarm and for stop-watch timing beyond 30 minutes (at the 6 o'clock position); seconds (at the 9 o'clock position) and somewhat of a rarity, a telemeter dial in the central position which is read using the stop-watch sweep second hand.

This register can be used to determine the distance that a thunderstorm, for example, might be from the wearer: click the stopwatch when you see the lightning flash, stop it when you hear the thunder and then read off the kilometres on the telemeter.
Very useful for golfers who want to finish a hole before being hit by lightning!

A very attractive watch and so very easy for my eyes to quickly read the time, with the clear white hands against that lovely red background.

I have discovered that the alarm (the small dial at the 6 position) has an alternate use.....not one officially mentioned:-

When in the "setting the small hands to the current time" mode (crown 2 in the first out position), instead of actually aligning those hands with the main hands they are set to whatever time one wishes to monitor anywhere in the world, then that little dial becomes a second time-keeper and gives the watch dual-time capability.

It does mean that the alarm use is nullified - unless you wish to be "alarmed" at some odd hour - but, in my particular case, it allows me to have that little dial show the current time in Vancouver, Canada, where my son is located.
So this watch really has one more function than those originally stated by Seiko.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Seiko "World Time" - A 6117-6400 from 1970

(All images may be enlarged to full-size by clicking on them)

SOLD March 2015
This little gem is a very recent acquisition, coming my way via Ebay and at what I consider to be a very reasonable price. In fact, when I won the auction I must admit to being a bit concerned as to what I'd actually bought, considering that final low price.

But any worries were put to rest when the watch arrived and I was very happy to remove the case-back and find a pristine 6117 17-jewel movement tucked away inside a perfectly clean interior.
The watch is 100% original other than the crystal (acrylic) and left the factory in February of 1970 - being the 274th. on the production line.

The dial is almost unblemished, displaying just a couple of spots under magnification. When viewed by my naked eye they are almost invisible......but then my eyesight is pretty blurry unless I wear my glasses!

As the name implies, this is a timepiece which allows the wearer to see what time it is in various major cities across the globe.
This is done by rotating the "city ring" or time zone (the one with the light blue and black names on it) where you are located via the crown in its normal un-pulled position.

The idea is to then line up your city/time zone with the red hand (which moves once around the dial in 24 hours) and then the time at any other location  - including GMT - can be determined quite readily by reading off the time opposite that city or time-zone.
This is a different arrangement to that used on Seiko's later 6117-6409 "Navigator", where the 24-hour internal bezel is moved so that GMT (or the local time at any place on earth, so long as you know it to start with) can be monitored by aligning that time with the red hand.

So the "World Time" 6117 was more for the international traveller who jetted across several time-zones to various locations whereas its "Navigator" cousin was aimed at those who wanted time at two locations - theirs and somewhere else in a different zone.

In addition to the 4 hands (sweep second, minute, hour and 24-hour) the dial displays a date-only window at the traditional 3-position.
The case is crafted from stainless steel, with the crown slightly inset at the 4-position.
Case-back is also stainless steel, as is the attractive and very comfortable folded-link bracelet, which tapers from its connections with the case to a slightly narrower width at the clasp, which is signed.
In the few days that I've been wearing this watch I have found it to be very accurate, gaining less than 30 seconds over that period of time.
It runs beautifully, looks great and is a very nice example of another timepiece from Seiko's great 1970s range.