A bit of a mystery on this one to me. It seems to be a custom-dialed Galaxy for Bank of China on their 80th anniversary. However, there are a few things that don't look right. Did BOC really ordered it from Seiko, or was it a very well made knock off back in the '90s?
First, the movement used indicated at the back, is a 6Y39. I can't locate it anywhere officially, even in Seiko's official battery chart, the closest one was the 5Y39. However, on the dial, it says 5Y39! So it is a complete mismatch. Secondly, when I popped open the caseback, the quartz movement is in fact a Shiojiri VX22. I know Shiojiri is somehow related to Seiko, in making the low end quartz movement for other companies. But I have never seen a legit Seiko watch using a non-Seiko branded movement inside, even Shiojiri is part of them. Thirdly, with the assumption of it being a knock off, back in 1992, China had not perfected their capabilities in cloning yet. With that much of the fine details, particularly on the dial, how did they managed that if that was not off from Seiko? I had compared the Galaxy emblem with another Galaxy I have under the scope, they are 99% identical to me, with all the sharp edges and emblem dimension and ratio. The caseback as well, the fonts used and sizing, all correct as well.
So could it be since Seiko had to use their name on the product, but somehow they also had to use this dirt cheap movement, they made up that module number for the sake of it, I don't know. Or, could it be a very well built knockoff made by some companies for BOC, and they knew about it? Or not? Mystery still remains. But that sure is an interesting find, and something rare to collect, no matter it's real or not.
Moreover, it is more of a historical order that is not likely to happen again, political wise. LOL
Thanks to the people at Facebook group Retro & Vintage Watches & Restorations, members had solved the mystery. It is a fake. You can check out the photos below, the one on ebay, of a different model, having the SAME MODEL NUMBER AND SERIAL as the one I have here. Nailed! Well then, a big corporate giving these out to employees or customers, that's not a good sign. However, it's not new to most of us, and history keeps repeating itself.
This is a serious multi-function watch that launched in the '90s. Calculator, alarm, chronograph, these typical functions are not the focus. It's a TV remote controller with learning feature! Too good to be true to some people! Haha!
It features most common functions you find on typical remote controller, such as power on/off, channel changing, volume, numeric keypad, fast forward, rewind, play, stop, input select. You can choose among the built-in support of remote settings, of different TV manufacturers such as Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi, GM etc., or you can program your own. However, it is strong advised the user to either remember how to program or switch modes, or bring a cheat sheet along. It is complicated.
The best use of it, to me, is at the restaurant or pub. You will never know what this bring can bring you. You know what I mean. LOL.
Here is my other Sign Table, not the D409 but a less often seen D410, which was the 2nd generation of their early attempt in bringing new features in their digital watches. Generally it works and features the same as the D409, except for a different layout, and an added function of Contrast Adjust, that said could help extending the battery life. Yes or no, dunno.
It has a 20 built-in memos, and a scheduler, stopwatch and alarm. The most difficult part of this watch is data entry. Under the input mode, the user have to move the cursor on the alphabet area. Once the character is selected, then press a button to enter it. You can figure how long it would take to enter a sentence, even without error. So the real usability of it, is probably have the info entered and not having to edit it often.
Thanks Seth for checking it up for me as it came with a very faded display. He figured it's the weakened polarizing filter causing that. After adding a new filter, things can been seen once again. Thanks again bro for fixing that.
Seiko had brought out a lot quartz chronos in the past three decades. Among them all, I would say the one the grabs most collectors' attention is the 7A series.
There are reasons for that, the movement. There are four types of movements in the 7A series, 7A28, 7A38 and the 7A48. (And also 7A34, the one with a calendar window at 12 o'clock, thank you George Clarkson for pointing that out). The one here is the signature model of using the 7A48 movement. What it offers, obviously is the signature moon phase indicator which is not available on the other two. In the same moon phase dial, it also shows the date of month, but not day of week. The dial itself is not painted but baked, which makes it shine and bright.
What's so special about the 7A? They are fully serviceable, unlike some modern quartz movement, which are sort of concealed and non-serviceable, this can be taken apart just like a regular auto movement. A full strip down service is available nowadays, only through some enthusiasts or places that have the know-how unfortunately. But luckily, this movement is quite robust, a proper regular service can keep it going and going, for years to come.
So, here's my first Citizen Ana-Digi Temp. It is one legendary watch by Citizen released in the '80s. The most iconic characteristic of this series, is definitely the ever busy dial, that features two analog dials, two digital displays, and a mode indicator panel. Almost all the subsequent models kept all these layouts, nothing had been left out.
Some time ago I decided to have at least one of these, I want a special one, not a typical one you see out there, even though those are equally stunning, there's gotta be one that really stands out or what I want, a rare one. Great that my friend Mr. Seth Clary, who is an expert in servicing these Citizen, knew my want on such a unit. He came across this watch. He told me this is one rare bird, in an almost NOS condition. However, the original 8982 module wasn't functioning correctly. He definitely needs some time sorting this out. As soon as Seth showing me this, I knew it, it's going to be mine. Good news was, Seth told me he found a solution for it, was to replace the main module with a newer, better, and more reliable one, which is a 8989. As told by him, it is sort of difficult to locate this module. My thought was, in the later days before the ADT was discontinued, not too many of these watches were sold near the millennium. Thus not many of these, which were still running, would be in the used market. This is just my wild guess.
So finally, this watch is totally restored by Seth. With the 8989 as the power train inside, yet keeping all the dials and hands preserved, now this could possibly be among the best ADT you can find right now. And I am extremely pleased Seth is willing to let me having it. I definitely won't pass it on to anyone else, it's such a masterpiece.
To celebrate its arrival, for the very first time, I made a nato strap for it. Yes, the very first strap made by myself. This watch I don't have a photo showing it's original form, thus I can't tell whether it came with a bracelet or straps. However, we do believe it came on straps or nato. So, to make myself more comfortable for my first straps, I made a nato. Real leather at 1.5mm thickness, leather loop instead of metal one, and one pin hole only, it's made for me after all.
I don't have much photo I can attach to this blog for the Ana-Digi, but I will update it once I could locate some, and use this a place to store my findings. Finally, thanks Seth, you made my day! Thanks bro!
After Seiko had launched the world's first quartz watch to public in 1969 December, it took them a few years to make quartz watch a bit more affordable to general people. Belongs to their early quartz series, the 38 series could said to be more price friendly for the first time.
This 3802 was one of those. I's very well kept and close to NOS condition. a really stunning dial texture, plus applied indices in numeric numbers. This is definitely a keeper. Originally should come on leather with a Seiko signed pin buckle. Now with an all solid stainless steel bracelet, it does shine anywhere, with its all silver finishing. Note this is a less seen model as most do have day/date, but this, has only a date window. Which is less of a people's choice generally.
In the seventies, Seiko had came out with a lot of funky designs on their wide ranges of watches. When we look at the vintage watches nowadays, we could identify these '70s watches by a few characteristics. Not always right, but that's not far out.
One typical clue, is their dial. The have brought out many dials with colors not been used before. Blue, green, red, yellow, and I had seen a few even with mixed colors that changes while you look at different angles.
Another characteristic is the dial markers. They loved to use raised three dimensional ones, to make the look of the dial very profound.
Day/Date position. Typically, they are located in the 3 o'clock position. In this decade, they had some having the window opened at the 6 o'clock, just like the 6116 shown above. I do have a few with the same characteristic, on both automatic and quartz models.
If you had looked at these vintage for quite some time, you could also notice the funky design they had on the case style and the bracelet. Shapes of different kinds like in oval, hexagon, octagon, perfect square, and also at least one in irregular shape. Integrated bracelet is also one typical sign. Like the 6119 here, the lug is totally different from other typical watches, and the bracelet endlinks are designed for this particular watch as well, no alternative.
Many had said in terms of design, the '70s is a big decade where almost all manufactures had some really iconic, great, or even weird designs, where they were brave enough to bring this out to the market without too much of a concern in acceptance. Seventies, really rocks!
Developed by Timex was the original Triathlon watch in 1984. They teamed up with WTC in the same year to have the watch officially licencsd for the Ironman Triathlon, with the Ironman trademark, for the Ironman Triathlon. The watch is finally released in 1986.
The main different between the original Triathlon model and the Ironman version at that time, were using the new lronman logo, a then new color theme as show above instead of all black, and the uplifted the rating from 50m to 100m. Nothing more. Note at that time they didn't use Indiglo but the traditional light bulb for screen lighting in the first generation. The first gen were produced from 1986 all the way to 1991, then they came out with a new one replacing it, with Indiglo.
This was picked up as a non-runner as well. But in fact it was just overly dirty and all pushers were clogged up by grim or mud. A good cleaning of the casing, a simple dust off of the module, plus a fresh battery, brought the whole thing back to life. Also note the screws on the bezel, those are real, and the bezel can actually come off. Pretty nice construction this slim plastic watch has, which should last the full day long haul activity of the triathlon event.
As early as 1983, Seiko had came out with their first watch equipped with a new feature, a pulsemeter. Don't know if it was a hit at that time, but definitely a start of this new line of sports watches using the S-modules. The S-modules at first were only used in their digital handheld timers, not in watches.
Have the watch mounted to your wrist, with the metallic caseback touching your skin, then a press of the PULSE button, and put your finger on the metal plate. The screen will then show a figure, which is your heart beating rate. The figures will update itself ever 1.5 to 2 seconds. However, not all readings are correct. You have to filter out some of the figures that shows extreme ends like below 40 or above 190, which are sort of too low or too high for a normal person. Well, a good attempt, not bad for that time, which was like 30 some years ago.
The watch came with a two-piece nylon bands, with an aluminum buckle for the velcro strap going through. One with original strap is hard to come by, as they are usually torn or with bad velcro which had been replaced by previous owners. Lucky enough to score this nice piece with one intact, and still holds.
Yes, that's correct. This is the first solar analog made by Seiko, back in the 1977. This should be a 1978 model. However, up till today, I can't find a trace of any advertisement and catalog to show this. Thus I can't find how much this thing they asked for back in those days. I do believe it is not cheap as it's something new to the market.
They have the solar panels, totally there are twelve of the, somehow smartly integrated to the dial, as part of the design. The panels will then charge up the built-in capacitor, which is the same size as a regular button cell, except it got two extra wires from the battery hooking up to the inside of the movement. As time had passed, the capacitor can no longer keeping any charge. The sad thing is, the capacitor can no longer be sourced nowadays. A fix for this, is to disable the charging wires, put in a regular 1.55v modern silver oxide button cell instead. It works fine that way.
There is a silver stainless steel variant, which is equally rare in the market. And also, the movement 4826, was only known being used in this model, and this model is the only watch that Seiko had the name 'Solar Quartz' put on. I could be wrong, but somehow over the years I haven't found any other watch using this movement and this name. If you do have more information, please let me know.