Yep, old Mort went and did it again; another vintage watch, another Asian gem that just sort of jumped up and said “Hey, Mort! Here I am! Buy me!” So this beautiful 1964-vintage Seikomatic is now en route to Rancho de los Muertos, and I figured I’d share a few pics of it with my fellow horological science enthusiasts.
Take a look at the simple, almost unadorned lines of the dial:
I really like the small, simple affixed post-style hour markers with their shaped and polished tips; they’re highly reminiscent of the hour markers on the Citizen 7 Auto Dater from the same model year. Even the larger and unusual 12 o’clock marker – essentially the same post, but with a wider base to add size and visual distinction – doesn’t do anything to overload the dial’s visuals with unwanted detail. Looking closer, the sunray dial is balanced out with a high-shine chapter ring that reflects the hour markers and gives the illusion of a second set of them.
The simple SEIKO in a no-frills font, between the 12 o’clock marker and canon pinion, might seem a bit too plain were it not for the Seikomatic name in italicized script just below the canon pinion. The plain text returns immediately below the name with the notation, DIASHOCK 30 JEWELS. The Made in Japan and model number/caliber appear below and on either side of the six o’clock marker, rounding out and completing the last of the written information on the dial.
The simplicity of the dial is repeated in the smooth, no-nonsense architecture of the case, semi-hidden crown, case-back and crystal. While this may not look uber thin by today’s standards, it was sharp, modern and, yes, thin in the year of its release, 1964, a timeframe wherein simple and clean designs were the most desirable and the awkward, even ugly, watch designs of the 1970’s were still a world away.
I like the simple, square look of ‘the five brick’ bracelet. It’s not particularly easy to tell from photographs, even today’s digital versions, but it looks like this particular bracelet may have been manufactured using aluminum which, given its light weight and long-time association with the aviation industry, made it a popular material during that era. The rather dull appearance of this bracelet, plus the presence of what looks like a blackish dust – a common indication of weathering or tarnish in uncoated aluminum – may indicate that it was indeed made from this substance. I’m certainly looking forward to its arrival so I can find out for certain…
But what about the innards, Mort? you ask. Indeed, I am a big fan of watch innards, and I enjoy showing them off whenever possible – subject, of course, to local Watch Porn Laws. So, just to make sure that we don’t offend anyone – at least right off the bat – let’s start slowly with this nice picture of the case-back:
Pretty racy stuff, what with the Stainless Steel notation beneath what looks almost like a Silversmith’s mark, but is actually a stylization of the Seikomatic (SM) logo. The model number/caliber appear again, along with the Country of Origin, noted as JAPAN, as opposed to NIPPON, the more formal name used within the country itself. This doesn’t indicate an export-only watch, but is rather an interesting quirk regarding their COA naming convention. The final item, the capital L beneath the COA, is something of a mystery, as my research hasn’t revealed anything about it as yet. I’ll keep looking, and if I manage to locate anything, I’ll include it with the full review write-up I’m planning for the May-Jun 2014 timeframe.
Okay, all, as promised, here's ‘the full [monty] innard shot:’
And a second, even closer one:
Are these not absolutely stunning shots of some stunningly beautiful Seikomatic – or, as can be read in the above snaps, Seikosha – innards? Damned skippy, I’d say! Aside from the obvious attractiveness of the yellow-gold colored parts playing off the ubiquitous stainless steel, this is just one plain beautiful piece of Japanese Horological machinery. It is one of my deepest held watch collecting convictions that there is no such thing as an ugly automatic movement, even some of those old, ‘el-cheapo’ things made of tin and never meant to see the light of day. This obviously isn’t one of those, but you get the idea.
That’s it for the time being. Hope y’all enjoyed the snaps and, as previously mentioned, full review to follow. Many thanks for stopping by and giving this’n a look…