Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > Non-Seiko General Discussion Area - Contemporary Chrono's > Close Calls and Double Takes - but not the real deal

Seiko7A38
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Does anyone else, like me ever idly browse eBay just scanning images - looking for that classic horizontal tri-compax layout, and the familiar 3-pusher and crown at 8 o'clock arrangement, in the hope of discovering a hither-to-unknown brand using a 7A movement ?

Well, I'll admit I do.  I've found a few 'gems' that way, in the past. I've also stumbled across a few wannabe's and semi-lookalikes.


Here's one I saw earlier today, that made me do more than just a quick double-take: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/220970291572 


PRYNGEPS Sky Pilot crono in acciaio bicolore Bianco Ref. 1409.



Brand: PRYNGEPS Model: Sky Pilot crono Ref. 1409 Movement: Quartz

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, 3 counters chronograph

Case: Two tone steel. Measurements: mm 38,80

Crystal: Mineral. Dial: White

Strap: original in leather of brown colour. Clasp: Personalized gold-plated buckle


The watch is new. Box: No. Warranty: No. Stock remainder (by stock remainder we mean an item that could have some small signs because of the stock and/or no more on the market). What You see in the picture is exactly that what You will receive. We do not sell fakes. Communication is fundamental: don't hesitate to ask us any information, we will be at your disposal. Visit the eBay Store of Lister Agent.


Check out the font used for Chronograph and QUARTZ. Note the very similar 1980's Seiko style of the subdials, hands and batons. 

If it weren't for the fact that the minute sub-dial counts up to 60, rather than only 30 minutes, this could almost be a nice Panda 7A28.


The same Italian eBay seller is also offering this NOS black and gold dialed 'Diver' version of Pryngeps' 7A28 wannabe clone:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350540072365


PRYNGEPS crono nero Ref. CR01. NUOVO!




Note the more conventional round pushers on this one, which at first glance again could quite easily pass for a Seiko 7A28.


And I tell you what ....

If that 'Sky Pilot' Panda dial existed in a case (with or without the 'Diver' bezel) with round pushers (I dislike big oblong pushers) ....

I could almost be tempted by one.  But then it doesn't have a Day / Date window in the 3 o'clock subdial, either, does it ? Pity. :(

March 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9109

Here's another NOS Pryngeps 'Sky Pilot' with gold-plated plated case and a champagne dial, I found on eBay Italy classifieds:

http://annunci.ebay.it/annunci/orologi/rimini-annunci-rimini/orologio-pryngeps-mod-sky-pilot-nuovo-mai-indossato/12835290

Orologio PRYNGEPS mod. SKY PILOT - NUOVO mai indossato




Here's a similar-looking Pryngeps quartz chrono' with gold-plated plated case and a blue dial, also on eBay Italy classifieds:

http://annunci.ebay.it/annunci/orologi/parma-annunci-parma/orologio-pryngeps-chronograph-quartz/25055744

Orologio Pryngeps Chronograph Quartz



It's not difficult to find more variations of these by searching on eBay Italy.

This pseudo-Breitling is being offered with a Buy-it-Now price of 49 Euros:


http://www.ebay.it/itm/390395133393  

OROLOGIO PRYNGEPS AL QUARZO

 



March 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

Pryngeps are an established Italian watch manufacturer (and also victims of the fake / replica watch industry, unfortunately). :(

I thought I'd do a little research on Pryngeps, and started with their own website: http://www.pryngeps.it/english/pryngeps.html

You've got to hand it to those Italians.  



The girl on the website home page is also available as a wallpaper (with 3 others) - only one of whom are actually wearing a watch. :roll:




I clicked on the website Downloads tab looking for technical information on their quartz chronograph calibers - Honestly Guys !!  

March 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

O.K. enough of the lascivious thoughts  .... back to the watches.


Here's a little something I spotted on eBay in Italy in March 2011(there were a couple of them, both NOS at various times):



It's a (French-made) Yema, but typically Italian in style - very ornate, with it's gold-tone fluted case and Mother of Pearl inlay sub-dials.

My first thoughts were that it was another N7 (7A28 equivalent), but closer examination (of other larger photos) proved otherwise. Again, the minute sub-dial reads to 60 (not 30), and at the bottom of the dial is printed not 'FRANCE' as you'd normally expect to find on the bottom of a Yema N7 or N8 dial, but 'SWISS MADE'. So I can only assume it must be powered by an ETA quartz movement.

March 14, 2012 at 9:48 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

The next one frustrated the hell out of me, because I thought I might possibly have been on the trail of another Yema N7 or N8.

It's pretty hard to make out exactly what it was, and whether it even has a Day / Date, in these photos, even now, with hindsight.

It came up in a job lot of 'spares or repairs' junk watches on eBay in Spain in December 2010:



The watch I was interested in was the three sub-dial chrono' with only half a leather strap, and the familiar 7Axx pusher / crown layout -

the one with the dark-coloured dial and gold sub-dials. The listing title included the word Yema, and the buckle on the half of the strap (which you can see in the upper photo), looked to me like a Yema buckle (as used on the Spationaute III and a few other models). I did send the eBay seller a message (my Spanish isn't very good), asking if he could email me a better photo of (just) that watch. He never replied, and less than a day later, the auction ended early, so I presume someone must have made him an offer outside eBay. :mad:


Now I've seen the Pryngeps 7A28-lookalike, I'm more inclined to think it might have been one of those rather than a(ny) Yema.

March 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

The last one (for the time being) came up on eBay in August last year. It was being sold by the same Italian gentleman, now living in Scotland, from whom I bought my 7A38-7040. He'd titled his auction listing as simply: Maserati wristwatch. Item # was 250878106178.

Surprisingly, it's still possible to look it up eBay:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/250878106178



As you can see, again it has the classic horizontal tri-compax layout and 7Axx 3-pusher / crown arrangement, plus a Date wheel at 12 o'clock - almost like a 7A34. I did make an odd bid or two on it, but didn't follow through. It sold for a mere £41 to a Maserati enthusiast. Again, like the Yema, this had 'Swiss Made' at the bottom of the dial, so I think it's safe to presume it used an ETA quartz movement.

March 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

I was googling on Kamatz, earlier today, and I came across this one again, which I'd stumbled upon last August.


http://tokomajesty.com/Kamatz-Chronograph-gm-026.htm

Kamatz Chronograph $200.00




At first glance, it looks very similar to the Kamatz model 519000 'Tango Charlie' - but without the 7A38's day / date windows:




So one might at first think (as I did when I originally saw it) that it was a Kamatz powered by 7A28 (or should I say Shimauchi V905).

But it's not.  Look closely at the left-hand minute subdial, and once again you'll find that it's graduated to 60, not 30 minutes.


Again, the minute sub-dial reads to 60 (not 30), and at the bottom of the dial is printed not 'FRANCE' as you'd normally expect to find on the bottom of a Yema N7 or N8 dial, but 'SWISS MADE'. So I can only assume it must be powered by an ETA quartz movement.


The more I see of  these similar-looking watches with the same 3-pusher / crown at 8 o'clock, and tri-compax sub-dial configuration,

the more intrigued I become - as to finding out exactly what movements they are actually fitted with. 

July 10, 2012 at 12:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9109

I could just as easily have flagged this eBay listing in the 'Yet another 7Axx on an undisclosed non-original braceletthread 

.... for the stainless 7A38-7280 in this pairing, fitted with a well-worn two-tone bracelet, but it should be pretty obvious to most people.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/330855468304

SEIKO Chronograph Day Date 7A38 & ZENTRA Chronograph



I was more intrigued by the very 7Axx-esque ZentRa 9320-70.93 on the right.



Once again, the familiar 3-pusher and crown at 8 o'clock layout, but with a 60 minute subdial at 9 o'clock (rather than the 7Axx's 30).


January 9, 2013 at 8:04 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

Reference my earlier post about the non-Seiko 7Axx powered Kamatz 5xxxxx's in July last year (dating back to August 2011 on RLT):

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=62733&view=findpost&p=684089

I just stumbled across another one, listed on eBay earlier today by a French seller:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221189485771

KAMATZ chronograph quartz




Chronograph KAMATZ Paris quartz - sans pile - bon état général à prendre dans l'état d'usure et d'usage d'une montre d'occasion. 3 cm diamètre (sans le "tour" gris) et 4 cm avec et 1 cm épaisseur - bracelet cuir marron état correct. 

Les frais de port indiqués sont uniquement valables pour envoi en France (pour les autres pays merci de me contacter avant d’enchérir). N’hésitez pas à me poser des questions ou à demander d’autres photos

Bonnes enchères à tous !!!


In his description, the seller conveniently omits to mention the bleedin' obvious fact that the rotating bezel is missing. :roll:

But this one nearly caught me out. Enticed by the 'Panda' dial, I did put in a minimum bid - and then hastily retracted it.

Lacking the day / date windows, obviously not powered by a 7A38 (Shimauchi V906) movement, but could be mistaken for a 7A28.

That is till you look at the 3 o'clock sub-dial and notice that it's graduated to 60 minutes (not 30 as per 7Axx's) as was the previous.


February 14, 2013 at 6:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

Well, whatever non-Seiko movement these Kamatz 7A28-lookalikes may be powered by*, this French eBay seller seems to have cornered the market in them. Earlier this morning he listed another on eBay. At first glance, this one looks better / more complete ....


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/221191242408

KAMATZ chronograph quartz




.... in that it's got a bezel and appears to be fitted with the original Kamatz strap. But it's missing the constant seconds sub-dial hand.


*PS - Curiosity has got the better of me. I've asked the seller the question. ;)

February 18, 2013 at 3:16 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Arpie
Member
Posts: 202

Did anyone spot this one, at the left? Seems like an 7A28, isn't it?

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/130873475923



Unfortunately the photo is not the best to figure out what is it exactly. The dial possible says: MCA.

Never heard about it.



March 25, 2013 at 5:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

Well spotted, Arpad. :) That's exactly the kind of thing I was hoping people would point out - it's certainly the right configuration. 


Problem with that one, is that even if you zoom in on the photo, it's virtually impossible to tell whether the numbers (not clearly) visible on the 9 o'clock sub-dial are 10 and 20 (as they'd need to be for a proper 7Axx clone) or 20 and 40, as on a look-alike wannabe.

March 25, 2013 at 5:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Arpie
Member
Posts: 202

As I am not interested in the other junk which would come in this "konvolut" I was too lazy to request more photos from the seller :)

Maybe someone would like to send him a message for couple of better shots.....just to clarify things? :P

March 25, 2013 at 6:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9109

As you can see, again it has the classic horizontal tri-compax layout and 7Axx 3-pusher / crown arrangement, plus a Date wheel at 12 o'clock - almost like a 7A34. .... 'Swiss Made' at the bottom of the dial, so I think it's safe to presume it used an ETA quartz movement.


Here's another of those Maserati pseudo 7A34 lookalikes, I mentioned in an earlier post. Similar, but this one was a stainless 'Panda'.

It was listed by the Italian seller 'Strega_68' as 'New with tags':


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/121095903584

VINTAGE WATCH MASERATI CHRONOGRAPH MOD. MERAK




It sold for $172.50 (approx £111) after 7 bids.

May 1, 2013 at 2:26 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

I was more intrigued by the very 7Axx-esque ZentRa 9320-70.93 ....

Once again, the familiar 3-pusher and crown at 8 o'clock layout, but with a 60 minute subdial at 9 o'clock (rather than the 7Axx's 30).


Here's another ZentRa chrono', a 9335-70.91, obviously powered by the same movement, that I've just spotted on eBay Germany:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/390614146242

Konvolut von 3 CHRONOGRAPHEN SEIKO,CITIZEN, ZENTRA - für Bastler



Apart from a 60 minute counting subdial (and seconds at six o'clock), note the markings on the 3 o'clock subdial: 10 HR. and 1/20 S.

I'm intrigued to know how a single hand can count both. On belated inspection, this is exactly the same marking / configuration as the various Pryngeps chrono's at the top of the page. Interestingly, none of the Pryngeps nor either of the ZentRa's have 'SWISS MADE' (or anything else) at the bottom of their dials. Yet according to this post in an old thread from 2006 about Zentra watches on TZ-UK:


ZentRa of Albert Kratz; a German Company. They both are known to have used swiss based movements for their watches. Hmm. 


June 21, 2013 at 9:03 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 9109

I'll admit that my curiosity had been more than slightly aroused by this 7Axx-esque ZentRa.

After I placed a low bid on it, I messaged the eBay seller asking him what markings were on the movement. He wrote back in German:

Can't find any manufacturer's name, but it's marked with Six Jewels Unadjusted and also with One Jewel (on the bridge plate by the coil).

He continued: The movement is running; the chrono' runs - can start and stop, but I can't "zero".

So I asked him if he could send me a photo of the movement, in the hope that I might recognise or possibly be able to identify it.

I heard nothing for a couple of days, but tonight he kindly uploaded these two to his listing, and messaged me to let me know he had.




Well, that ZentRa may resemble something like a 7Axx layout from the front, but it sure as hell doesn't look like one on the inside. :/

Got to admit I've got absolutely no idea what it may be.  Not sure that I even want to take it on as 'fun' project any more, either. 


June 26, 2013 at 5:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Konkordski
Member
Posts: 41

I quite like the design of that one but up close it looks really sloppy :o That PCB looks sub-Japanese quality and I can't see the Swiss putting a Casio-style plastic ring around the outside.

I guess a button switches the right dial between fractions of a second and hours so maybe it's pretty clever on the electronics side?

Probably some novelty value in these but only at £5 from a boot sale ;)

Lawrence.

June 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Konkordski
Member
Posts: 41

To update this, I've just been browsing some dissected Far-Eastern fakes and saw a movement very similar in construction/materials, even if a completely different design.

Browsing some other movements from the same company I can say with 99% certainty this is an old ISA (of Hong Kong) movement.

July 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 9109

7A48 'Diver' anybody ?   Well, another close-but-no-cigar clone with the familiar 3 pusher / crown @ 8:00 configuration, anyway. :P

Found this Memostart by Memotime on a Turkish watch blogspot:

http://tickdong.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/memostart-by-memotime-chronograph-moon.html



It appears to be a similar movement to the one we've been discussing (60 minute and 10 Hr + 1/20 Second dual function sub-dials) ....

But with the added complication of a moon-phase indicator and date pointer à la Seiko 7A48. Oh Yes, and a rotating diver's bezel. 


August 8, 2013 at 9:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Konkordski
Member
Posts: 41

I've since spotted a couple more implementations of these 7A clone movements ;)

These days ISA does functional clones of ETA movements (found in fake Tissot and Tag Heuer's) so I'm pretty sure it's their work.


Most common seems to be the Gucci 9400 which regularly sells for over £100.

Actually looks half-decent compared to the other examples above!

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GUCCI-MENS-CHRONOGRAPH-WATCH-9400-/261260339865



August 8, 2013 at 12:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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