Saturday, 24 May 2014

Sign me up for Seikoholics Anonymous ;) Seiko 6309 7040 Turtle Diver Review

potent stuff... a very curvaceous cushion case beckons
in case you weren't certain or aware, i am very much in the seiko zone right now... i've had some of the good stuff and i wants more ;) and unbeknownst to my beloved wife i have purchased 4 seikos in these past 3 weeks... [waitamoment! ... ah she doesn't read the blog often methinks] the reason this is possible is because as earlier mentioned they are affordable and good, bang for buck watches BUT I AM signing up for Seikoholics Anonymous and putting myself on a program to get myself off this addiction... my friendly watch dealer has suggested a 3 step 'Buy Swiss Only' program but i heard it's a pretty expensive package ;) ok jokes aside. 

"doesn't mean u r a character... means u have character..." this watch has character in spades :) 
i had originally thought of modding it to a 6105 dial but i set that aside pretty quickly after admiring
it's original dial in all it's creamy lume goodness

there are already excellent resources out there on purchasing a 6309 7040 (a vintage-y or early diver from Seiko as it's not that old at about 30+ years) and i am not for reinventing the wheel so do check these out if you be keen to buy or just wanna read up more but i warn you this is a dangerous road to travel ;)  

  • A good reference on what to look out for and on different dial and case back variants LINK 
  • some buying pointers LINK
and uhm there's this post u r reading for some info on it and pics of course :)

How my watch came to me and what needs to be addressed on it
  • watch came to me in a tupperware not the usual watch box... a tupperware with freshness sealed inside hopefully? 
  • it came on a modern diver rubber strap and sadly with an aftermarket bezel insert wrong for this model. 
  • the movement is running well and keeping good time which is a big plus 
  • the main hope for me was to find something with as little aftermarket parts as possible and i managed to get a pretty decent one. the main issues are that it's been polished before so the original brushed finish pattern is gone and the bezel ain't right(lume pip protrudes and capped 10 and smaller dots). Everything else looks to be pretty spot on though.
some corrosion on the hands but it's 33 years old so some aging is expected
symmetric and the cushion case serves as a crown guard too 
and first sign of sadness... it's water resistance is zero metres. some water went into the case likely through the crown and got onto my dial. kinda interesting how the droplets pop onto the lume pips... this is one of the drawbacks of purchasing online i suppose. no water depth testing that will happen. but i got it cleaned up and will keep it away from h20 from now on. 

a watch with... dodgy water resistance :( 150m? more likely 150mm

my watch is from the last year of production of the first batch of 6309s which were made in Japan from 1976 to 1981. it has "JAPAN 6309 -704L T" on the dial and the Suwa symbol above the 6 o’clock marker as per the below pic. Suwa symbol means that it was made in the Suwa Seikosha factory(now Seiko Epson) in Japan. Suwa is the name of the city the factory is at in Nagano, Japan. the next batch were made in Singapore and then other countries.

crisp clean printed dial... 150m with Suwa symbol below it in nice silver print

Based on case back serial of 125876, it's from 1981 February as the 1st number is the year of manufacture looking at which decades the watch was made and second number is the month of manufacture. when it hits October, November and December, the 2nd digit is O, N, D respectively. Japan A denoting it's from the Japan factory and the Suwa symbol after


17Jewels 21,600bph non-hand winding non-hacking as negatives
movement is in reasonable shape overall... 

Some quick notes

  • Manufactured from 1976 to 1988 
  • Diameter: 44mm Height: 13mm 
  • Lug width: 22mm 
  • stainless steel cushion case with screw down crown 
  • non-manual winding auto movement, which means you got to get the rotor going for it to power up and start running(note: this is pretty easily done depending on the condition of your watch) and non-hacking(seconds hand does not stop when you put it to time setting) 
  • Quick set day date which is always good to have
  • 60 click bi-directional bezel
Water resistance symbols on your Seiko caseback and what it means


image above from seiko website

and though the higher depth symbols looks like it was inspired from it, there's no direct link of it to the Great Wave off Kanagawa which is also not a wood block print of a tsunami(iirc) but of a great wave but people make whatever associations they like and that's fine by me


Fuji-san and the people about to be swept away? the horror...(note this is a very easy clue to my next Seiko... well easy for film buffs and Seikoholics ;)
and since we are talking about associations... this watch was a very widely sold and popular model in the 70s and 80s and has appeared on the wrist of a rather popular English gentlemen who has been knighted for his services to music... u may have heard of him... Sir Michael Phillip Jagger.

i can't get noooo satisfaction... pic from early 80s with Jerry Hall
Do note that wearing the same watch as Mick once wore does not mean you 
get magicked away to the 70s and become the frontman for the Stones ;)

and it was right to be on the wrist of Ed Harris in The Abyss... although he definitely went past the recommended 150m depth rating in the moviePhotobucket
(above screengrab done by me. his uhm other hand was fishing a wedding ring foolishly thrown in a latrine :)

and on my wrist after it's cleanup from the watery lume dot crises :) 

and a last shot... if u didn't already notice it, i'm lovin the quick change of look with the nato strap changes


and to conclude... Seiko has many great propositions new or not so new or vintage-y below the S$1k mark so do check out what's there and see if anything calls out to you out of a very wide selection. 

once it passes 1k though, you've got to think a bit more about where it stands vs other possible choices as it goes up to the 2k, 4k mark and above. I know there are folks into the marine masters(SBDX001 SBDX003 etc) and tunas and the Grand Seikos but once you cross certain price thresholds, there will be other marques to consider(or that you could save up a little bit more to attain) as well which may tick your boxes for the next target so of course choose wisely. and that's it... for now ;) hagwe. cheers, raph


Stefano said...

Congrats Raph! These Seiko watches are quite addictive. Affordable, well made watches that look good. You can't go wrong. This one is wonderful retro cool!

raphael too said...

thanks mate. my watch boxes are filling up though with sporty & fun watches :) will need to exercise some control.

raphael too said...

Comment from Dave: Dave said...
I actually don´t like the strap it a cheap look. On the other hand if you replace it with a aluminum or leather strap...then we´re talkin´! :)

george @ SCS said...

Congratulations or should I say Once you succumb to the temptations of seiko, especially the divers, the allure of the marinemasters will forever be at the back of your mind till you get one. :)

Marc Gold said...
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