Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Seiko 7T59 - Analogue perfection in a quartz chronograph

(All photos - Sony DSC-F717)
This movement type (the 7T59) was only produced between 1991 and 1993. I have no idea what the production quantity was, but although it was encased in a variety of styles, it must have been one of Seiko's lowest outputs.

The technology is incredible. As far as I can determine - and I certainly welcome corrections - this is the only quartz analogue chronograph to (a) have nine hands and (b) give timing to 100th. of a second. No other analogue has that capability.

So for the technology alone, this movement became a "must have" for me.

I was not leaning towards one particular style - there are a variety to be had, but as the watch is pretty rare on the "for sale" sites, one takes what one can get!
So when this one popped up - in France - I was very enthusiastic because I really liked the combination of very dark gunmetal finish to the stainless-steel case and bracelet coupled with the gold-tone highlights. To my eyes it makes a very attractive combination - not overly utilitarian yet still with slight "dressy" characteristics.
The watch is not pristine - far from it.

This has been used as a regular wrist-band at some stage in it's past life, evidenced by the small ding on the bezel at the 6:30 point and some similar wounds on the case-back.
At least the crystal is clear of any gouges or major scratches - there are some fine scratches on it but nothing that is significant.

The bracelet is the tell-tale to the fact that this watch was a favourite. There is wear on the section that would sit under the wrist and make contact with desks and tables and bench-tops etc. For me, this just adds to the patina and provides some personality to the watch.

This is so comfortable to wear - I hardly know it's on my wrist - and the time-keeping is very accurate.

I love it and, when I don't wear it, the 7T59 holds pride of place on my shelf.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Citizen Eco-drive "Alterna"

A very utilitarian watch - the rotating bezel (uni-directional) with the large numbers indicating time remaining before your oxygen depletes; the very dark gunmetal finish to the stainless-steel case and solid-link bracelet; black dial with stainless-steel bars indicating the hours; the screw-down crown protected by the buttresses north and south........all make for what one would think is a big hefty time machine best used by Navy SEAL's or Abrams tank commanders or oil-rig workers.

But looks can be deceiving because although this watch is no dress watch, it is a not an obese chunk of steel either.
The display area of the dial is 30mm in diameter, the overall diameter of the face is 38mm and the crown adds another 4mm. Thickness? A mere 11mm.

The Alterna is a very comfortable watch to wear and I find it so easy to read, with the lighter coloured hands contrasting nicely against the black Eco-drive solar panel which makes up the majority of the dial-face.
And the ease is the same in the dark, with the hour and minute hands sporting green luminous material, as do the hour indices at 3, 6, 9 and 12.

I have two Eco-drives, this and another which is a gold-tone, dressy watch. This one is by far my most favoured of the two.

A Citizen "Eagle" from 1972

This 21-jewel automatic features a silvery-white dial, day/date display at the 3 o'clock position and a with silver hour indices.

The stainless-steel case and signed bracelet are original and in very nice condition and the overall presentation makes for a nice dress-watch - very appropriate for business or evening wear.
The Citizen "Eagle" keeps excellent time and is a watch that I wear occasionally to the office.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Watches For Sale!

UPDATE: February 9th. 2013.
I am thinning out my collection and am open to offers on any watch shown in this blog.

If you see anything that is of interest to you then please contact me via my email address - bhkAToutlookDOTcomDOTau.

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The America's Cup - 1992 & 1995.

Several watch companies have produced special editions associated with the America's Cup yacht-racing extravaganzas over the past couple of decades. Omega comes to mind and also Girard-Perregaux, TAG-Heuer and, in this instance, possibly the first of them, Citizen.

For longer than I like to admit I was a mad America's Cup enthusiast, commencing with the first Australian Challenge back in 1962 with Gretel. From that moment, until the demise of the 12-Metre class after the 1987 event in Perth, I was hooked.
Once rampant commercialism entered the arena I turned off and today I have almost zero interest in what, to my mind, has become a travesty of what its original Deed of Gift intended.

Anyway......this fascination with the 'Cup recently expanded to include watches, but the prices being asked for Omega, Girard-Perregaux et al were just overwhelming for me.
However, a little bit of research came up with the fact that, for 1992 and then as a re-issue for 1995, Citizen produced a marvellous example specifically designed for the yacht-racer in general and the America's Cup aficionado in particular.
Within the space of two months I was lucky in securing two examples of this rarely-seen watch, each at opposite ends of the scale insofar as wear & tear was concerned.

The first, (seen immediately below) and marketed for the 1992 challenge, had been a favourite of some previous owner. It had lived a useful life, perhaps seeing many wrist-hours on the water being used to time starting countdowns. Or maybe it simply adorned the wrist of an office-worker on a daily basis for many years. Who knows?

It came without its original stainless steel bracelet, being mounted on a rubber strap, albeit one that was designed for the yacht-racer in mind.

There was no other accompanying paraphernalia - no box, no documentation. Just the watch.
It works beautifully, keeping accurate time. The only function that I cannot activate is the alarm. Other than that, it works as intended and is an excellent example of a well-loved watch, now more than 16 years old.
This 1992 watch has now gone to a new owner as a gift for her husband, who has been involved with America's Cup yacht designing for some years.




The second example was marketed for the 1995 America's Cup defence and is identical to it's older sibling.

I get the impression that any 1992 models not distributed by Citizen were simply re-packaged for the 1995 event. Smart move by the company.
This one is the complete, pristine, unworn package.

The watch wears its untouched and un-sized original bracelet. It is packaged in its original boxes and the ensemble includes the original documentation.

It is a superb example of the type and one in which collectors of America's Cup memorabilia may be interested.

Following several requests for information on the functions of this watch I have scanned the Instruction Manual and it is available as a PDF file (approx 9Mb in size).

Just email me if you would like a copy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A lovely old Orient - circa early 1960's

This charming period-piece hails from the 1960's but I cannot determine the exact year of manufacture as the watch is bare of any such information. The case-back simply displays "ORIENT" and the serial number; and Orient serial numbers have no connections (apparently) to year or month, as do Seiko watches.
The dial says "ORIENT" and then the name of the model, being "Fineness", under which is "17 Jewels".

Dial is unmarked, being finished in what appears to be a very fine creamy-gold textile pattern when viewed under magnification and when matched to the slim gold hour indices and slim black hour and minute hands, it presents a beautiful face, very delicate and extremely stylish.

Like most watches of the 1960's this old girl is small by comparison with the humongous devices marketed today and the dial is a mere 31.0 mm across, with the slim gold rim adding only 3.0 mm to the width. The projecting crown is 1.5 mm in section.
Thickness of the watch, from top of crystal to back of case, is a thin 7.5 mm.

When I received the Fineness (early May this year) I gave it 25 winds and it ran for 40 hours, keeping perfect time for that duration, the ticking of the movement clearly audible when held to the ear, unlike many automatic watches made today.
The movement is in beautiful condition, with no signs of corrosion or other deterioration and it beats away at about 180 bpm, perfectly happy with its lot in life.

The case is gold-filled, with a stainless-steel snap-on back and it sports a slim, supple black leather watch-band with gold buckle, matching the style and period just nicely.

A really lovely watch which gets its share of wear on those occasions when a coat and tie is called for.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Old Gold restoration.........update.

Within the past week I have enquired about three types of refinishing for the watch case and bracelet:-
  • Gold plating (as per the original finish)
  • PVD
  • Powder coating
I also considered anodising but quickly learned through a bit of preliminary research that brass (the watch case) cannot be anodised.
The PVD route is not possible either - not because the application can't be done to what I have but because the cost for a "one-off" is too high and also because there is no-one here in my area who can do it.

So I thought about a powder coating as an alternative to anodising and PVD.

It's practical, it can be done locally, it is reasonably inexpensive and the choice of colours is broad.
But.....I would have to disassemble the bracelet completely - break it down to it's individual components so as to avoid any likelihood of having the coating affect the flexibility of the bracelet.

The decision, therefore, is to go to gold-plating and to reproduce the original coating, albeit this time in 24- carat. (That is the only plating they do......24 carat. The original is 9ct).

Cost to undertake this is AUS$120.

The only thing I need do is remove the stainless-steel clasp (already done), as the plating will not properly adhere to stainless-steel and could cause uneven plating on the bracelet and the case.

At this time I have also polished the brass case to a smooth and relatively blemish-free surface. The bracelet (base metal) will be chemically cleaned by the plater.

The question is - is the cost worth it for a 1970's-style Seiko of somewhat kitchy styling?

Well, like all hobbies, value is in the eye of the user, I s'pose.

There is no way I would ever expect to recover the cost of refurbishing this old dear if I ever came to sell it but then that isn't really the intention behind an interest or hobby, is it?

I think it will be nice to see Madam 1973 back in all her finery!

UPDATE - 13th. July
Another option has entered the arena - black chrome.
Thanks to a chap in Melbourne who is investigating this option for one of his watches, I am now looking at this as a possible alternative.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Restoring Old Gold: a Seiko 6119 needing a spruce-up.

This 1973 gold-tone-encased Seiko, with a 6119 21-jewel movement, was received in exchange for a Bell-matic that was surplus to my requirements.
As you can see from the photos (click on them for larger views) the plating has seen better days - much better days - and whilst running perfectly fine, this great example of 70's watch-styling looks rather an over-the-hill Hollywood actress who doesn't know when to call it quits.
So I thought I'd have a shot at stripping it (the watch, not the actress) and see if I could get the case and bracelet re-plated.

The chap from whom I received the watch had advised that he'd never had the back off as he couldn't undo it with his "magic ball" and even with an appropriate tool I found it very difficult; that back must have been screwed on with a rattle-gun (used for car wheels).
But off it finally came, revealing a clean and corrosion-free movement.

There was no sign inside the case-back of the watch ever being serviced - watchmaker's usually leave some indication scratched inside the back-plate, but there is nothing in this case. (No pun intended).

With the movement exposed I then removed the crown & stem before popping the mechanism out and inspecting the dial for wear and tear.

This is in almost immaculate condition, with the only signs of aging being slight deterioration of the metal on the hour & minute hands and the framing of the day/date window.
In all other respects the dial, script, indices and minute markings are in fabulous shape, the aqua colours being bright and unblemished.

The crystal was finally removed and inspected and apart from external surface scratches - only to be expected on a 36-year old watch - the item is unmarked and undamaged. This is the original crystal, with the distinctive triple-facet design running vertically on the oval face. You can see the effect in the first photograph - there is a vertical line which just touches the inside of the 2, 3 and 4 indices. There is a corresponding line on the left-hand side of the crystal.

The final stage of disassembly was to remove the crystal retaining ring from inside the case and then the two bracelet halves.

With the watch now completely broken down into its component parts I will be making some enquiries this week regarding re-plating and hopefully the old girl will once again have a case and bracelet worthy of that magnificent face. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bulova's Accutron "Breckenridge".

(Sony DSC-F717 digital)
At the outset let me say that the current "Accutron" label has no connection with Bulova's patented electronic "tuning fork" technology of the 1960's. The only relationship is in the name and the logo.
The watch seen here - the Breckenridge - sports both (as can be seen on the dial).
However, behind that curved sapphire window and carbon-fibre pattern is a modern, Swiss-made, quartz chronograph movement.

The visible stand-out features of this watch include the curved crystal, the distinctive dial, the thickness and heftiness of the case and the tear-drop-shaped press buttons for the various functions.

Make no mistake about it - this is a solid chunk of stainless steel hanging off your wrist - the heavyweight case is matched by an equally hefty 20mm bracelet made of solid links and held together by a butterfly clasp, the whole assembly capable of anchoring the QE2.
If the Breckenridge fell into the wrong hands it could become a lethal weapon. I'd hate to get hit by it!

Yet appearances can be deceptive. This is a very comfortable watch to wear because its case has a maximum diameter of 40mm, including the crown. Thickness is 13mm.

(Sony DSC-F717 digital)
Functions include.....
  • Chronograph with 1/100th second accuracy; three sub-dials - for 60-seconds, 30-minutes and 12-hours; digital alarm; digital date; dual time (or second zone) feature; water resistant to 100 metres.
  • In addition, if you live in the USA and buy from a Bulova dealer, there is a 5-year warranty.

  • I was really smitten by this watch when I first saw it. I love the design of the face - not just the dial but the whole face - what you see when you look down at it......the bezel, the crown, the buttons......everything.
    It is far, FAR more appealing than any "diver".

    As well as looking great the watch also keeps excellent time. I haven't adjusted it since originally setting the time after it arrived from the USA just over a month ago and it is running within 30 seconds of actual AEST.

    I was very fortunate in being able to buy this watch for much less than what you will see touted around the internet. My Breckenridge was less than AUS$200 and I consider it worth every cent - a worthy descendant of the Accutrons of 40 years ago.
    I assume that the name
    "Breckenridge" comes from the town in Colorado, USA, as I can find no other connection.

    Thursday, June 18, 2009

    Another 1980's Digital

    This is my third digital watch (see an earlier post which featured the other two) and is certainly the most pristine of the bunch.
    When I bought it (April this year - from Spain) it was working but two functions were intermittent - the light and the alarm.
    So I took it to my friendly watchmaker to see if he could do anything for it and he did a fix to the little circuit board which seemed to cure the dual problems but, after a couple of days, the same malfunctions reoccurred.

    At that point he hunted through his old stock of spare Seiko parts and, Lo! and Behold! - found an NOS board, including the LCD display! (This watch uses the A133-5000 module).

    So now the watch - manufactured in July 1978 - is functioning exactly as intended and is looking superb with its fresh and bright LCD display, unscratched crystal and immaculate case with original bracelet.
    It is hard to believe that it is now over 20 years old.

    I don't wear it, to be honest - it's too nice to risk damaging.
    But it is used: it sits on the desk here in my study at home and acts as a point of reference when I wish to set the correct time on any of my other old manual or automatic watches. The watch is very accurate, gaining less than 30 seconds in a fortnight, which is good enough for me!

    Sunday, June 7, 2009

    Replica or Rubbish?

    The watch world is full of so-called "replicas", some of which are pretty good imitations of the real thing.
    Many, however, present a face that is nothing but complete and utter rubbish.
    See that watch over there - that's a genuine Omega "Moon-to-Mars" model #3577.50 - there's nothing shonky about that watch and there wouldn't want to be - the current price is approx. AUS$4,000.
    You may be able to get it at a cheaper price, by a couple of hundred dollars, by searching around. (I haven't tried because I can't afford one, anyway).

    Now have a look at the two images below (click on them - and any image in this blog by-the-way - to get a full-size version).

    (Sony DSC-F717)
    This watch is not the genuine article.
    It is not even deserving of the dubious term "replica" and I would be hard pushed to grant it the title "facsimile". It may just be approaching "fake", but in my opinion, if you are looking for a good facsimile of the genuine article, look elsewhere. This one is just plain rubbish.

    Look at the dial and compare it with the Omega-made item.
    The most glaring difference is with the wording between the two blobs representing the Moon and Mars. How stupid are the people who throw this sort of garbage together?
    "From Time Moon To Mars"!!!
    For crying out about dumb and dumber! "Time"? What happened to "The"?

    The next items of rubbish to look at are the three circular blobs of colour.
    The one on the left is supposed to be the Earth, that in the centre, the Moon and the one at right, Mars.
    About the only things that they actually look like are multi-coloured blobs of Plasticine found in a child-care centre.

    Hard to see in the photo is the fact that the hand at the 3 o'clock position is slightly off-centre.
    If you look closely at the second pic you might be able to see that its hole is elongated and the centre of the hand is actually to the left of that hole. Built to close tolerances, this machine.

    That the case has been punched out or die-stamped is clear from the fact that the underside edges are almost sharp enough to shave with. They are sharp! I had to use a jeweller's file to smooth them off so as not to slash my wrist.

    Inside the case is an automatic movement that surprise, surprise, hand-winds and hacks, and via a screw-down (signed!) crown.
    Another surprise is that it also keeps very good time.
    I have not taken the case-back off, fearing that the guts may spill out all over the desk, so cannot advise what type of movement may be lurking inside.

    The silly thing about this bit of fluff is that nobody could ever, ever, mistake this for the real McCoy.
    Perhaps the wording on the dial is deliberate (although I doubt it) but even if it said "The" instead of "Time", the rest of the face gives the game away immediately. It's like a low-rez photo-copy!
    You'd have to be Blind Freddy to accept this as a genuine Omega.

    But I didn't buy it mistaking it for the real thing; I bought it for what it is - a piece of inconsequential stuff that, if and when I wanted, I could wear whilst doing manual labour without worrying about damaging a decent watch.

    Or, if I wanted, I could wear it to an important business meeting and compare it to that of the Managing Director and say "Yes, JB, very impressive.....but mine says 'From Time Moon To Mars', so there!"

    Saturday, May 30, 2009

    ".....пять, четыре, три, два, одно, воспламенения"

    The heading translates as the last six seconds in the countdown for a rocket launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome, USSR.
    What on earth (or in space) does that have to do with anything? I hear you ask.

    Well, I was a child of the space-age.
    When the USSR launched Sputnik in 1957, I was just on 11 years old and from that moment I followed the space-race so keenly that I would lay awake at night in my boarding-school bed listening (on a small transistor radio with ear-piece) to The Voice Of America short-wave broadcasts of every US space launch.
    The Russians weren't as forth-coming; they would only publicly announce after the event (and then only if it was successful) but the excitement I felt wasn't any less.

    On 12th. April 1961 the first man went into space: Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth.
    This was science-fiction come to life and it didn't matter that the hero was Russian - it was the event itself that was awesome.

    Anyway - getting to the point - I recently discovered that the type of watch that Gagarin wore into space was available on the internet and, after doing some research, I happened upon the example shown here.
    The watch-band and the dial are reproductions - modern replacements for what must have been very tired 50-year old originals - and the original perspex crystal has been replaced with a more recent (acrylic) item, but the movement, case and back-plate are exactly as issued back in the 1960's.

    It was a hand-wound Shturmanskie (often spelt without the 'h') with central seconds complication and a hacking feature that allowed the watch to be precisely stopped and synchronised with a given time signal.

    The Shturmanskie that Gagarin wore into space had a highly finished (including Geneva striping) 17 jewel, shock protected movement. The movement was housed in a chrome plated, two-piece case measuring 33 mm across, 12 mm high, with a 16 mm lug size and had a stainless steel screw back.

    A little item of nostalgia with which to commemorate the 48th. anniversary of the event and something which I will enjoy wearing occasionally.

    Friday, May 29, 2009

    Orient - Not widely known.

    This is a brand-name that you will not find in many (if any) "watch shops" in Australia.
    In amongst the vast numbers of Seiko, Citizen and Casio watches from Japan you will be hard-pressed to detect an Orient.
    Yet the brand is as old as (if not older than) Seiko and although Seiko now own Orient the watches continue to be produced independently, with Orient making their own movements - and they have a high reputation for the excellence of their automatic mechanisms.

    My father owned an Orient back in the late 1950's - I can still see the distinctive logo, with the two lions holding the shield with the 'O' in the centre - to my eyes a very "British" logo and not at all oriental.

    It was only recently, and quite by chance, that I discovered that these watches still existed and after spending some time deliberating I finally decided on the model shown here - a satin-black (ion plated, or "IP") stainless-steel Orient Star with the distinctive power-meter on the dial at one o'clock and the display of the date at nine o'clock. The crown is at four o'clock.

    This is an impressive piece of time-keeping equipment; whilst not as large as the current crop of "diver" models out there (the diameter of the crystal is approx. 33mm) it is a solid and "chunky" unit and, with the black finish, looks bigger than it really is. It is also reasonably heavy, as the stainless-steel bracelet is comprised of solid links.

    I'm in two minds about the usefulness of power meters on automatic watches, seeing no real advantage in having any indication of the time remaining before the watch needs to be shaken again.
    After all, those who wear one watch - and that would be the vast majority - only take it off at night and as a modern automatic movement can run for more than 30 hours before needing another shake, the owner isn't likely to need an indication of what power remains.
    Even 1950's-vintage manual-wound watches are capable of running for 30 hours between wind-ups, so what's the point?
    On this style of watch-face the power indication doesn't clutter the dial but on a chronograph with multiple complications, the dial can look a bit overcrowded.

    I like this watch and I particularly like the black IP finish. It has a definite presence but in an understated, almost stealthy, manner. Certainly the opposite to Seiko's Advans, Vanacs and their cousins from the 1970's!

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009

    Let's not forget the LCD's!

    Remember when the magic of digital watches arrived?
    Firstly it was the glowing red LED's of such things as the Pulsar range (now very collectible) and then the world was taken by storm with companies such as Casio, Citizen and Seiko producing a vast range of LCD watches - such as the two seen here.

    The first watch featured is an example of Seiko's A639 module, from 1981.
    This model included regular time-keeping, in 12 or 24-hour mode; day & date; an hourly chime; an alarm and a stop-watch. It also boasted a light - operated by the bottom-right button.

    This watch - like most LCD Seiko models - came with a stainless-steel case and bracelet, as pictured here.
    The clasp is signed and includes Seiko's "SQ" logo to indicate quartz timing.

    12-HOUR or 24-HOUR SETTINGS:
    For those of you who have this watch but not the user's manual or guide to the settings, one of the most confusing is how to switch between 12-hour and 24-hour display. Each of the others are pretty straight-forward, but this one had me beat for a while.

    This is the sequence:
    Go to Time Setting mode, then sequence through seconds, then minutes, then tens of minutes, then hour and when in the hour-setting mode (the hour digit is flashing) press the bottom right-hand button.
    Voila! You can switch between 12 or 24-hour display.

    SOLD (July 2010)

    One of my favourite LCD watches is this Citizen digital-analogue (Digi-Ana) hybrid from October 1979.
    This watch features dual-time capability - one display in analogue and the other in digital. Two time-zones can be monitored if desired.
    In addition there is an hourly chime; an alarm feature; day & date and also a stopwatch.

    I was fortunate when buying this watch in that it includes the original Citizen (signed) leather watch-band; a nice change from the regular stainless-steel bracelets.

    Both of the watches operate perfectly.
    I had to clean around the press-buttons of the Citizen, removing a couple of decades of gunk.
    Once this was accomplished, all functions resumed normal service - just as they had done some 20 years previously, when the watch was shipped from the Citizen factory.

    A nice detour from the analogues and these are two watches which I wear occasionally but mainly use to keep a pretty accurate check on the time-keeping qualities of some of my non-quartz models.

    Everyone should own at least one period Seiko, Casio or Citizen LCD.....just for old-times sake!

    Monday, May 25, 2009

    Citzen's 8110A chrono - in Green & Burnt Orange!

    With a face like that it has to be from the 1970's........and, of course, it is. October 1974, to be precise.
    As with most of my previous acquisitions I was attracted by the design and colours - the hexagonal sub-dials with their graduated colouring from yellow to orange; the emerald-green dial; the octagonal case. All worked for me, baby!

    However, upon arrival of the watch I noticed that the dial was more blemished than I was led to believe and that the 12-hour hand (sub-dial at 12) was inoperative.
    Other than those glitches, the watch operated correctly, keeping good time, and was all-original, including the signed stainless-steel bracelet.

    Apparently the Citizen 8110 movement is considered to be somewhat ordinary by those who know watches (and I'm not one of them and don't pretend to be), and can be a pain in the posterior to work with.
    However, a local watchmaker, whose expertise I have used in recent months, is taking a look at this blast-from-the-past in order to bring the non-functional sub-dial back to life, although the blemished main dial will have to stay that way.

    But irrespective of the few scratches and aging, nothing can take away the nostalgic charm of this 1970's design.
    It evokes mini skirts, flares, cassette tapes and ABBA! Groovy!

    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    A Trio of Accutrons

    The Bulova Accutron "Tuning Fork" watch (thus the logo seen on the dials of the watches shown below) was developed in the early 1960's and had, like its electronic competitors from Seiko, Citizen and others, been surpassed by quartz technology by the end of the 1970's.

    Bulova watches were extremely popular in the United States, being worn by corporate executives, movie stars, politicians and many high-profile celebrities. They were also that country's most popular "30-year" watch, thousands being presented to those entering retirement after a lifetime of company service.

    The Accutrons shown here cover the period in which they were produced, with the oldest being manufactured in 1965, the second in 1970 and the youngest in 1976.

    This model, from 1976, has a stainless-steel case and backplate, with a silvery dial, indices and hands.
    It sports the original Bulova sharkskin watchband complete with signed buckle.
    The watch is in excellent shape and keeps accurate time.

    Like all "tuning-fork" electronic movements, it has a high-pitched hum, which can be clearly heard when held to the ear and is unlike the sound made by any other type of electronic movement.

    SOLD April 2015
    This beautiful gold (10k gold-filled) Accutron was manufactured in 1970 and is in superb original condition. It is set off by the integral mesh bracelet, complete with original signed clasp.
    The creamy textured dial is unmarked and the hands and indices are perfect.
    A beautiful watch in anybody's language.

    Finally, from 1965 comes another gold-filled (14k) item, this one being a 30-year presentation gift to a gentleman who retired from "C&M" in 1969 after many years of loyal and faithful service.

    Once again, it is in original configuration, with the exception of the after-market lizard-skin watchband. The case, dial, hands and indices are all in wonderful condition after more than 40 years and the watch hums along beautifully.

    I really like the Accutron models, not just for their interesting technology but also because they were a stylish watch, a very elegant accessory.
    Even today they do not look out of place peeking out from under the cuff of a business shirt.

    The Jewel in the Crown - Vanac KS

    SOLD March 2015

    From November 1973 comes another fine example of Seiko's 1970's styling - the Vanac KS (King Seiko), with their high-beat 25-jewel cal. 5256 movement with day & date, 9-facet crystal, chunky indices and colourful dial - in this example an ocean-blue.

    Even the case is sculptured, with bevelled edges, and the crown is signed (KS).
    The leather strap is not original - I believe that these watches were issued with stainless-steel bracelets. Trying to find an original item may well be an impossible quest.

    A fabulous design and probably the most highly-valued watch in my collection of Seiko's.

    UPDATE :
    I was so taken by this watch that a month later another one became available - a very similar dial, same design for the case but with the 5246 movement. In excellent condition.
    It was such a nice item that I couldn't resist! Now they share the same box, like peas in a pod. :)

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    It MUST be the 1970's!

    This is an example of Seiko's Advan range.
    Most, if not all, of these watches had colourful dials, "chunky" hour indices and sculptured hour & minute hands.
    They were certainly from the 1970's - without even checking the back-plate for the manufacturing date it was easy to tell that they were seventies designs: the delicate faces of the 60's had gone and the quartz movements of the 80's had yet to appear.

    This example - another Ebay purchase - has a bright and bold purple face, with hardly a blemish other than a small scratch on the illumination material of the hour hand.
    The dial itself is in superb condition, with the stainless-steel indices and Seiko name quite shiny and the Advan sun logo & script in perfect order.

    There is a day & date complication, with Kanji and English versions of the day display.

    The watch uses Seiko's cal. 7039 movement and keeps very good time.
    Overall size is approximately 37mm diameter and 41mm lug-to-lug.

    The original bracelet is in stainless-steel and follows a similar pattern to that fitted to my Elnix (see below) with the toothed links.
    The clasp is signed "Seiko" and "Advan".

    A nice watch and one that always draws attention due to its colour.
    You've gotta love the 70's!