89ST Series Stopwatches - Olympic Sports Timers

89ST Series Stopwatches - Olympic Sports Timers

In the early 1960’s Seiko developed a series of high quality stopwatches specifically designed for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. These models were sold to the public for over a decade and were used at two different Olympic Games. Two of these stopwatches have a split second complication while a third operates at a high frequency of 360,000 bph.

While the Seiko designer Taro Tanaka is know for his "Grammar of Design" this series of stopwatches shows the range of products he influenced during his career. These models were the most interesting mechanical sports timers developed by Seiko and there is a very interesting story behind their development and evolution.

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Seiko at the Neuchâtel Observatory Competitions - Quartz Entries

Seiko at the Neuchâtel Observatory Competitions - Quartz Entries

In the 1960’s Seiko participated in the Chronometer competitions that were held at the Neuchâtel Observatory in Switzerland. During these competitions Seiko participated in the mechanical wrist watch categories as well as various quartz categories. Their first entry was in 1963 where they placed 10th and by 1967 they dominated the pocket chronometer category with the first 5 places and 13 of the top 15 entries. This article focuses on the quartz entries from Suwa-Seikosha and their participation in the competitions.

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Seiko Quartz Astron - World's First Quartz Watch Promotional Brochure

Seiko Quartz Astron - World's First Quartz Watch Promotional Brochure

On Christmas Day 1969 Seiko released the world’s first commercially available quartz watch. To explain this new technology to the public Seiko produced a dedicated brochure that highlighted the advantages and differences to a traditional mechanical watch. Here is a copy of the original brochure and a translation of it.

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Visit to the National Clock and Watch Museum in Columbia P.A.

Visit to the National Clock and Watch Museum in Columbia P.A.

I had the opportunity to visit the museum operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors during my visit to the United States. This museum is located in Columbus Pennsylvania and it has a wide and varied display of clocks, pocket and wrist watches. While the majority of the collection is focused on US based manufacturers there was still a number of interesting displays for Japanese watch enthusiasts.

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Update: 50th Anniversary of the first automatic chronograph - Seiko’s 6139

I have updated the article about the first release of the 6139 chronograph to include an article from the Suwa Seiko internal company newsletter. This article supports the May 1969 market introduction date of the models.

The revised article on the release of the Seiko 6139 chronographs can be found here:
50th Anniversary of the first automatic chronograph - Seiko’s 6139

Update: 50th Anniversary of the first automatic chronograph - Seiko’s 6139

Another example of a Seiko 6139-6010 chronograph with a January 1969 produced case has been discovered. This watch has the serial number of 910170 and is just 21 units from the only other known January 1969 example.

I have also just added a February 1969 produced 6139-6000 model to my collection. Now I need to track down a January example.

I have updated my previous article on the release of the Seiko 6139 chronographs and this can be found here:
50th Anniversary of the first automatic chronograph - Seiko’s 6139