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

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

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

This year represents the 50th Anniversary of the first automatic chronographs that were released by multiple companies in 1969. Seiko’s first automatic chronograph calibre was the 6139 and it was available in a number of models. There has been much debate over the years as to which companies products were “first” so I try to look at the evidence to determine when Seiko models were first produced and released to the market.

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Seiko Olympic Timing - 1972 Sapporo Games

Seiko Olympic Timing - 1972 Sapporo Games

Many people are aware of Seiko’s involvement win the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games but their involvement in the 1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics is less commonly known. I recently acquired a Seiko promotional folder for the Sapporo ‘72 games and have documented its contents here as well as some other background information on the event and its preparation.

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Seiko and the Swiss Chronometer Competitions

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In the 1960's mechanical watches were reaching their peak and a series of competitions to determine the most accurate watches in the world were being held in Switzerland. A couple of Seiko companies joined these competitions and within a few years were able to compete at the highest levels.

To understand how the companies performance was able to improve and rapidly evolve I have created a timeline showing the details of their results along with information on the key staff members and the details of the calibers developed.

More information about the competitions can be found HERE.

Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer

Seiko Astronomical Observatory Chronometer

In 1968 Daini-Seikosha submitted 103 specially regulated 4520A movements to the Neuchâtel Observatory for Chronometer certification. 73 of these watches passed the certification and these were then placed into 18K gold cases and sold to the public as the 45GSN Astronomical Observatory Chronometer. Additional movements were certified in later years and Seiko finally offered 226 examples for sale.

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Seiko Caliber 19xx - World's first ladies 36,000 bph movment

Seiko Caliber 19xx - World's first ladies 36,000 bph movment

In 1967 Seiko released the world's first 36,000 bph (5Hz) movement designed for ladies watches. This compact Hi-Beat caliber was used in various watches including the ladies Grand Seiko and GS VFA models. It is also possible that this is the only series of ladies 36,000 bph models produced by any manufacturer.

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