To make it short, this was the most accurate Seiko watches they made in the '70s. And also, possibly one of the most accurate civilian watches among all brands in the world. Yet, it still ranks among the tops nowadays in terms of accuracy, after 40 years it had reached the market. Now you see how superior it is.
Different from some other watches offered at that time, Seiko stepped ahead of the others by using two high end quartz in the movement. One responsible for the time keeping part of the movement, the other is used for regulating the fine adjustment to the time keeping logic, by detecting the temperature where it affect the accuracy. This method results a huge improvement to the general accuracy to the movement. Where most other watches still use seconds-per-month to rate theirs, the twin quartz equipped models by Seiko, used seconds-per-year to show its superb accuracy. And this SUPERIOR, is the best among all of them, featuring an accuracy of 5-seconds-per-year!
The cost of this watch was expensive, very expensive. Some had said that it cost about the same as getting a Japanese car back in those days, at 230,000 yen a piece! You can see the prices in the photos below. Even nowadays, a good example of this watch still sell at premium, targeting mostly to collectors, as this is one important model that marks the history, and still maintain good performance, with very little servicing. This is an amazing watch indeed.
This is simply beautiful. One of the early models they brought out in the mid '70s. The 0634 series is still one popular vintage digital people are looking for. There are a few other variants in the series, but they all sort of carrying the same look.
Two front buttons to control the chronograph functions, light and other setting functions, with no side button on either sides. The casing is a one-piece stainless steel, with a real glass crystal. Very sturdy built. The bracelet with this one is original paired, with the clasp showing the SQ emblem. This is the international model 5001.
The 0634 was in fact world's first digital chronograph. When it first came out, it actually cost more than some other Swiss watches, for example, the Omega moon watch. See how expensive these things were at that time.
Here's a great video by my friend, Mr. Michael Bolton, on his YouTube Channel, showing one of his collection on 0634 he has, and he fixed that up from a dead watch, to a full function one. A great video to see the inside of this and how great the quality this watch is.
Enicar was a Swiss brand. However, can their current products still be considered as Swiss watch. I have a big question on it. For the fact that Enicar is already owned by a Hong Kong based company, who used to be their authorized distributor for the region, some of their products no longer considered as Swiss made and their focused market is now the mainland China. More detail about the history and fate of the brand, can be found from the internet easily.
This one here is definitely made by the 'original' Enicar. A solid stainless steel casing it has, with a very beautiful automatic movement inside, which is gold in color. The dial has a campaign tone which has a darker tone near the edge. Hour markers are huge and high profile. Setting the date, is by a pull-and-push action at the crown to advance a day. Thus adjusting the day could cause you to pull and push the crown a number of times to set it right. Bracelet is original, with an Enicar emblem on the clasp.
After a proper service, it's now running great and keeping good time. Not sure about the production date of this watch, however, with a comparison of a similar Enicar of this, I believe it's from the late '60s.
Laurel, it's a very special name to Seiko. In 1913, Seiko produced their first wrist watch, named Laurel. During all these decades, Seiko brought out a number of different Laurel models to the market. The one you see here, was a 1959 production. Manual wind and a very simple design.
Nothing fancy about this watch, just a plain dial, shinny and pointy hands, curved acrylic crystal, and a then slimline case. On the movement it was marked Seikosha. Movement is straight forward as well, and well built. That's why after 60 solid years of running, a simple lubrication service will bring it back to good time keeping condition. Even if you look at it as of today, it still looks elegant.
The golden years of Seiko digital didn't really last long. It last only around 20 years, from roughly around mid-seventies to mid-nineties.
Photo above shows one of the later vintage digital they released in late '80s. A pretty simple module with the most typical features like stop watch and chronograph. Still using a real light bulb for brighten up the screen in the dark, where later on most of their new digitals will use the EL backlight technology instead.
You can notice the design of this watch had somewhat moved away slowly from the traditional design. More rounded edges had been used to replaced the sharp angular design elements, that resulted a more futuristic look.
From the early '90s. Seiko had moved the focus in releasing functions-specific digitals, like those which were designed for racing, skiing, running, etc. And less of these generic digitals were developed. This is what I perceived from the models they released in that era and hinted from their catalogs.
Another Casio early digital watches in mid '70s, the Casiotron. This is one of their early one, not the earliest on though. The earliest ones were all time telling units only. This one, is among their frist series of World Time pieces.
The casing is beautiful! A thick piece of stainless steel monobloc as the main casing, with another thick piece of flat screw-in case back, plus a separate opening for battery. Even all pushers are made of solid stainless steel, this watch is heavy. The crystal is made of real glass, a thick one too. Came as a runner, the condition of the LCD is still in prestige condition, no fading, no rainbow effect. Bracelet it is original with all solid links and matched finish with the watch body.
Overall, it is a very very nice piece and well preserved. Have to mention the most difficult part of it, is to setup the module. Unlike most other digital modules, setting this is a real pain. To set every individual digits, you have to wait the the digit cycling itself from 0 to 9, and at the desired digit, you then immediately press the correct button to choose it. Once you've missed that, you have to wait another cycle to make the choice. It just takes a lot of time to set just the time, not to mention the rest like setting default time zone and other operations.
A nice one to keep, and a desirable early Casiotron for digital watch collectors.
Not a commonly seen model, the hexagon case 6139 is a rarely seen among the series, and I am lucky enough to have one of these.
The case is a bit over-polished, but that's ok as it still keeps the shape properly. I had seen some been polished to a state that all the lines had disappeared, that is completely rounded. The dial is original and shows some ages on that. Not planning to touch that part for it being a very high risk of destroying the finish, so I've decided to leave it as is. The movement is excellent, probably one of the best one among all the 6139 I have. The chronograph function works perfectly, and the needle can swing back to 12 o'clock position precisely. A lube job is planned for this beauty to keep it in shape.
Bracelet is original, and is the one shipped with this model. A bit of proper treatment is needed to restore the original finish of it and the signed clasp. That's about it. A stunner to keep indeed.
Anything to talk about this? A trendy G-Shock or some limited editions that the selling prices goes crazy, those were the ones people are more interested. But none of them beats the popularity of some basic models that Casio offers, since the '90s (or even earlier) yet they are still selling them unmodified or without any upgrade since they came out, and still selling like hotcakes.
The A158W is one of those. You can still get one from Amazon for less than 20 bucks, it has a claimed battery life of 7 years, it is so easy to operate, so easy to carry, fit anyone's wrist, has an alarm, with a stopwatch, it even has a light (nowadays a tiny green LED) built-in! All at a suggested retail price at 21 US dollars. You just can't go wrong with it.
The case itself is actually chromed plastic, with an acrylic crystal. So it wears pretty light, and all the buttons and the caseback are properly installed with rubber gasket to provide everyday water resistant feature.
Once putting that on, it just give you that feeling that you're back to your college time or university life. It's a kind of 'a piece of the time' thingy. Well, it's all for twenty dollars, get one.
A good thing about vintage Seiko, parts are widely available to most models. Thanks to the interchangeability of parts among their series, this what what I had done recently, used parts from another vintage and fixed this one.
The symptom was, even I am wearing the watch, the auto doesn't seem to wind the coil unless I shake it whit it's off in my palm. It didn't look right, so I decided to take the back off and check it out. First First thing I noticed was, the rotor was turning as freely as expected. So I looked around, and saw some grinding marks on the main block of the movement. Under the loupe I looked, when turning the rotor manually, I saw the rotor block actually touching the main block.
What I have done was, taking the whole rotor assembly with the bearing off by unscrewing the big center screw. Took another assembly from one of my parts watch, 6106, and moved it over to the 6119. I had a closer look of the bearing area of the 6119 rotor, it is falling apart, pretty loosen and it is not fixable to my capability. So the quickly fixed the 6119 by using the parts from the 6106.
Mind this is not always the case that parts are interchangeable among the same series, but usually they do share lots of common parts. So next time, if you have some non working ones, don't toss them, you will never know when you will need something from them.
One of the most iconic digital model of Seiko, the Running Man!
Why is it called the Running Man? On the photo above, at the lower right of the display, it's a dot matrix LCD. When the watch is set to the chronograph mode, there it shows a running man figure. As soon as you press the start button and time starts counting, the running man will move like a man running, until you hit stop. Seiko had used this graphics motion to advertise their achievement on digital watch development, with dot matrix LCD. You can check out the video below, which was a vintage TV commercial broadcast in Hong Kong.
Other than the chronograph function and time keeping, it also features two separate alarms and hourly chime. In setting the alarm, you can choose different icon for that alarm, where the those icons are also animated. The one shown above, is one of them, showing a man shaking hands with a girl, which I believe this indicates a meeting is planned.
This is called the 'big' running man, so there's another model which is called 'small' running man using a different movement and have a different set of features. I will show the other later on.