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.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

For the ladies - a Seiko from 1977

(All images may be enlarged by clicking on them)
Apart from the "unisex" Citizen titanium-encased item I bought a couple of years ago I had never owned a ladies watch until very recently, when I saw this mint item advertised on Ebay.

From November, 1977, it has a quartz-controlled movement, cal.4326, in a stainless-steel case and a bracelet, with signed clasp.

Apart from the fact that it was original, and complete with its 1977 price-tag (Y20,000 in '77. That was about AU$260), I was taken by the green dial and the simple silver indices and hands. It also has a day/date readout, with the day in Kanji and English.

When I saw the watch I thought that it would make a lovely gift for my wife so I bid and ended up winning it for the very reasonable sum of AU$77 plus postage.

The watch is not worn every day, my better half saving it for special occasions.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Uh-oh! More Cosmotrons.

(All images may be increased in size by clicking on them)

Well, just one Cosmo wasn't enough - I saw two more which attracted my attention and their cost fell right within the price-range which I have allowed myself for this hobby.


This first one is distinguished by its mauve/purple dial which has an almost iridescent effect, changing shade slightly as it is tilted towards or away from the light. I find it very appealing and very similar to a Seiko Advan I have - also from the early 1970s - although the intensity of the colour on this Cosmotron is not as strong as that on its Japanese cousin.

Apart from the colour the dial and hands are rather simple, consisting of thin silver batons for the hour indices and hour & minute hands of matching colour and width. The sweep second hand is also a simple silver sliver (how's that for a catchy phrase?!).

At the top of the dial, under the '12' baton, are displayed the CITIZEN name in silver relief letters under which is the word ELECTRONIC in tiny white-printed lettering.
At the bottom, above the '6' baton, is the Cosmotron logo, in silver relief, and the word COSMOTRON printed immediately above in white.

The '3' position is taken up by the combined day/date display, with the day showing in both Kanji and English.

The crown is recessed at the '4' position, easily popped out by a fingernail when time or date needs adjustment.

The whole watch is set in a stainless-steel case with bracelet of matching material, the design featuring broad rectangular folded links in a satin finish, all secured by a clasp signed CITIZEN and the Cosmotron logo.
Case is 37mm across x 42mm top-to-bottom and the dial face is 29mm in diameter.

The overall condition of this Cosmo is excellent; it appears to have hardly been worn or, if done so on a regular basis, then it has been well cared-for.

It runs perfectly, keeping very accurate time. I have never adjusted it since it arrived (July) other than to initially set the time and date.

SOLD March 2013
This is the third "safety watch" that I own!
You may recall the two Seiko items that I recently featured here. Well, Citizen made an orange-dialled Cosmotron several years before Seiko produced those quartz items.

This Cosmo has a cool name to go with its brash face - 'X8'!
And the '8' is a stylised 'X', so looks like the 'X' laying on its side. Fab move, Citizen!

So at the top of the dial we have 'CITIZEN' in the same raised silver characters as the purple watch (above) but under that wording is the 'X8' instead of 'Electronic'.
At the bottom is the special Cosmotron logo, just the same as the other watch, with 'COSMOTRON' printed above it, but now there is the word 'TRANSISTORIZED' underneath.

The hour indices are also really neat items, consisting of chunky rectangles of alternating silver/black stripes and featuring a bevelled surface on the inside face.The hour and minute hands are styled in a similar manner as the indices, made of a silver material with black striping along the length - 2 stripes for the hour hand and 1 stripe for the minute hand.
The sweep second hand is finished in overall white.
Around the circumference of the dial face is a register of a lighter orange and it is marked with 1-minute segments, a bolder mark at every 5-minutes.

At the '3' position sits a date-only window and the crown, like its sibling, is located at the '4' position, although in this case, although recessed, it is not shrouded from above by the case overhang.

The bracelet on this watch is made of solid stainless-steel links in a "tank track" style, tapering slightly from maximum width at the lugs to a tad narrower at the clasp, which is signed 'CITIZEN' but without any reference to the type of watch to which it is attached.

Dimensions overall are about the same as the first of these two, but the dial is slightly larger at 31mm in diameter.

This Cosmotron - which, incidentally, came with the original Citizen cardboard tag - keeps excellent time and has also not required adjustment since purchase in July (from a vendor in Spain).

So there you have them - two 40-year old transistorised timepieces, each with a bright face and both capable of providing colourful and cool time-keeping.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Orange is for Safety!

(All photos enlarge when clicked)
SOLD February 2016.
For some reason, when I saw these two Seiko quartz watches for sale - and it was several month's apart that they were acquired - I was taken by them.
I think it was a combination of the striking dial colour coupled with a rather attractive (to my eyes) design of the entire watch, including the bracelet.

The first one - on the left in this opening photograph (taken against a background consisting of a high-visibility orange woollen pullover) - is a model 7546-603H, from (I think), 1988 - March, to be precise.
The outer bezel, which has 12 flat faces around its perimeter, can be rotated so as to give some idea of elapsed time, I presume. Yet there is no stop-watch or countdown facility as part of the design, so I am at a loss to understand why the rotating bezel.

The dial has large, bright luminescent markings for the hours, thin luminescent hour and minute hands and a black sweep second hand.

At the 3 o'clock position is a day and date window and at the 4 o'clock position sits the screw-in crown. Once released from the thread the first click allows the setting of day/date - turning it in one direction changes the day and in the other direction the date changes. The day readout is available in English and French.

The second watch is a 6923-600A, from November 1983, and it is also a bit unusual in its design.

Where the first one has a rotating bezel, this one has a fixed bezel but around its perimeter are a series of "windows" through which one or another set of numbers can be seen.
Above the crown you will see a small black button, which can be moved to sit either immediately above the crown or slid upwards to a second position.
When in the first position, the windows provide a quasi-24 hour time, with 24, 14, 16, 18, 20, and 22 being seen around the perimeter.
In the second position - with the black button slid up to the 2 o'clock location - the windows provide a 60 minute or 60 second count, with 60, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 appearing in the cut-outs.

This watch also has luminescent markers at the hour points around the dial, luminescent hour and minute hands (wider than the first watch therefore easier to read at a glance) and a black sweep second hand.

At the 3 o'clock position is the day/date window and the crown is also at this traditional spot.

If you are observant you will have noticed that this watch has some damage done to the bezel at the 12 o'clock position.
That is a result of a motorbike accident I had in April 2010 - not long after I bought the watch, in fact - and it suffered some asphalt-rash in the incident. So whilst it will never be a sellable item, I don't really mind because I now wear it as an everyday, ready-for-anything timepiece.

So there you have it - a couple of watches for everyday use which keep accurate time, are water-resistant, can take a few knocks yet are quite colourful and a bit out of the ordinary.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Brand-new Citizen Cosmotron - 41 Years Later!

(All photos enlarge full-size when you click on them) 
SOLD March 2013
This is the story of a mint-condition, never-been-worn, Citizen Cosmotron X8 that first saw the light of day in 1970 - 41 years ago.

The Cosmotron was Citizen's response to Seiko's Elnix electronic watch - and remember (if you've seen the article I have here about the Elnix) that these designs pre-dated the quartz electronic movement - also developed by Seiko.

The Cosmotron, like its neighbour, was fitted with a conventional balance-wheel but was powered via an electrical circuit and, in this case, one that was transistorised, as Citizen told the world at the bottom of the dial.

I found this watch on Ebay.
It was advertised as mint, complete with its original tags and the only new item was a battery that the vendor had fitted.


One of the tags displayed the original price - 19,800 Yen  in 1970.
I did a conversion and that equates to $242 dollars at today's rate of exchange so forty-one years ago that was a lot of money.
Oddly enough - almost eerie, in fact - that was within 63 cents of what I paid for this watch just two weeks ago. Including postage from Japan it cost me $242.63.  As I said - weird.

I was tempted to just store this watch away with my collection and then I thought, bugger that......I wear my watches and this one should be no exception.
So the tags and instructions were removed and popped into a spare Citizen watch-case I had, the X8 was given a polish with a microfibre cloth and now sits on my wrist, to be worn to the office when I feel like it, rotating its usage with the others.

The solid-link bracelet is a work of art in itself - one of the nicest bracelets I've seen on any Japanese watch and certainly equal to anything Seiko produced in that style.

When not being worn this will sit on display next to its contemporary, the Seiko Elnix, and they can chatter away to each other.

After all, they have all the time in the world to do so.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Citizen Bullhead

SOLD - November 2011.
I bought this watch nearly two years ago and really did so just for the sake of having an example of the bullhead style in my collection.
It's been worn occasionally and sits nicely on the wrist, but I'm not carrying on a love affair with it........I don't find it an attractive design. The crown and pushers sticking out the top remind me of an insect!

The dial is immaculate but is in a rather dull brownish shade, although the overall effect is quite pleasant, with the white markers, white minute & hour hands, splashes of reddish/orange with the other hands and a bit of greenish-blue showing on the 30-second dial on the right.

The automatic movement includes a day/date complication, its positioning being somewhat unusual when compared to the vast majority.

The case is all stainless-steel, with a sort of "helmet" shape and it does sit very nicely and unobtrusively on the wrist.

I really like the (original, signed) bracelet design.......I think it's cool and very 1970s.

The case-back advises that the watch is water resistant and that it is made of stainless steel.

A very original item - it hasn't been mucked about - and runs perfectly, keeping good time.
Just a shame that I don't find it particularly attractive.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So much for New Year's resolutions!!

Not that I'd made any, but if I had, it would have been to not buy any more watches!
But I couldn't resist two very nice, vintage, Orient time-pieces that popped up on the old eBay recently.

The "Multi-Year Calendar" (scroll down) is still available.
The first one to catch my eye was this beautiful gold-plated charmer from the early 1960s.
 Don't you just love the name?!
"Olympic Orient Weekly Swimmer". Delightful!
That dial is in excellent condition, as are the gold hands and indices.
This is a day/date complication, with the day being displayed in Kanji only - no English characters.
The watch was a Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) model only.

The wording on the case-back is just as charming as on the dial...............
Note that it is "Perfect Water Proof"!
Well, I'm not tempted to try and prove it - certainly not after 50+ years. I'll take their word for it.
Now, you'd probably think that this watch would be an automatic.
Uh-uh. It's a manual wind..............
Just look at that mechanism.........not a blemish on it.
This model is featured in a Japanese-language catalogue and was actually made in 1963.

Just a lovely piece.
I removed the (non-original) expanding bracelet - with the intention of cleaning it - but when doing so I discovered that there was hardly any stretch left. When attempting to remove some links several of the little connecting wires snapped, most likely due to age.
So the bracelet has been replaced with a very nice genuine alligator-skin, tan, leather item with gold clasp which suits the watch perfectly.

You know what?
I've been wearing this watch since I received it - that's nearly a week ago.
I give it a 30-click wind each morning, it keeps time perfectly and is so comfortable to wear.

This Orient has an incredible power reserve.
On Friday morning (14th.) at 6:30 AM I gave it a normal winding and deliberately let it run until it stopped, which I expected to be around 30 hours later, based on my other manual-wind watches.

No - the Orient ran past not only the 30-hour mark but breezed past 36-hours, past 40 hours and finally called it a day at 5:27 this morning - Sunday 16th..
That's nearly 47 hours!

UPDATE to the UPDATE - 25th. January:
This watch has become a permanent fixture on my wrist - other than when showering and doing grubby work in the yard.
I would not have believed that I would have chosen to have this 50+ year-old timepiece as my daily watch!

Okay, I mentioned at the start that there were TWO Orients.
Here's the second one, which I bought two days ago and hope to receive in the next week or so.
This is a 1959-vintage Orient "Multi-year Calendar" 17 jewel, manual-wind watch.
It has been stripped, restored where necessary (all gold items replated with 20 microns of 14-carat gold) and fitted with a new crocodile watchband.

I can't wait to see this in the metal - it looks superb.
One thing about the perpetual calendar - 2011 is exactly the same as 1966, so I can pretend that I'm back being 19 again!

More on this Orient after I take delivery of it.

UPDATE - Feb 3rd. 2011
I've had this watch now for over a week and am delighted with its condition. The Orient is exactly as the vendor described it - nothing was exaggerated, nothing was overlooked - the watch is really beautiful.
The package in which it arrived provided the best protection for any watch that I have bought online - it could have protected an egg. Not only that, the watch was encased in its own display box.

Oh.....and it also runs perfectly . :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Girard-Perregaux. A name synonymous with quality.

SOLD March 2015.
In June 2009 I was fortunate in picking up this lovely 1950s hand-wound Girard-Perregaux from a chap in Western Australia.
It belonged to his father and came complete with its original presentation box but minus the original (leather) watch band.

It has a stainless-steel case-back and front (the split is around the extreme circumference, the movement being accessed from the front), an acrylic "glass", slim gold hour, minute and second hands and a cream dial adorned with gold baton hour indices and raised "G-P" initials.

When I received the watch I did nothing more than wind it (30 clicks) and it ran for over 40 hours, keeping excellent time.

To service it I simply removed the front, cleaned and polished the acrylic crystal, lightly polished the case and fitted a new, black leather watchband with a silver-metal clasp.
The dial itself has a wonderful patina which, in my opinion, does nothing to detract from the overall appearance.

This G-P is a beautiful example of quality watchmaking.