Sunday, 30 June 2019

Japan Bound

As I continue to explore different segments of watch collecting, to which there are many many paths, I find myself looking at the Japanese offerings of Seiko and Citizen of late. And in particular, chronographs of the 1960s and 1970s.

Image courtesy of Music vs. The World
Image courtesy of Pitchfork
I believe Seiko and Citizen use some of the best systems (nomenclature) for referencing their watches and the common names associated with certain references are derived in many ways. For instance, the Seiko "Pogue" is named after Colonel William Pogue, a pilot and astronaut. The Seiko panda, well, it looks like a panda bear's white face with black around its eyes. 

A series of numbers generally reference the movement in the watch and the case style. For instance Colonel Pogue's Seiko below is referenced 6139-6002. 6139 referring to the movement, 6002 referring to the model or case style.

Colonel Pogue's Seiko ref. 6139-600x (image courtesy Heritage Auctions)

The Seiko Panda, ref. 6138-8020 (image courtesy of Hodinkee)

OK, so to my first chronographs of the era. I'm featuring two Seiko and one Citizen. The two Seiko watches share the same workhorse movement the 6139. 

The Seiko ref. 6139-7080 below couldn't have a more obvious reference name the "hexagon".

Seiko ref. 6139-7080 "hexagon"
While my Seiko ref. 6139-6012 below doesn't have its correct bracelet in this picture, it is a sharp example. It appears that this particular model (6012) has not received a nickname.

Seiko ref. 6139-6012

Finally, my Citizen "Bullhead" ref. 67-9011 below is a nice example even though someone has done some polishing to the otherwise brushed metal case (some base alloy) factory finish. Perhaps it's obvious but the name "bullhead" comes from the position of the two chronograph pushers you see at the "top" of the watch versus the pushers in the Seiko examples above located on the side in roughly the two and four positions.

Citizen ref. 67-9011 "Bullhead"
Examples of my watches remain priced well for the collector between $250-400US. The Seiko Pogue will set you back a little more at about $350-600US; and the Seiko Panda $500-700US. Beware though, like any popular vintage watch, there are lots of fakes.

I'm enjoying this segment of the watch collecting world and will no doubt add that perfect Pogue and Panda to my collection.

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