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Forum Home > Non-Seiko 7Axx Discussion Area (Re-branded mvmt's) > The tacit Seiko 7A38 / Orient J3920 / Puma JEPIC Y19 connection

Seiko7A38
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I can't remember writing about this topic on our forum before. I know I certainly did on the UK RLT forum last year, in this thread:

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=62169 entitled Puma 7A38 .... By Orient


In post #26 on the second page, I'd also written a bit about the German importers, C. Melchers & Co, and their involvement:

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=62169&view=findpost&p=711882

 

I was half hoping that little leaflet might give some clues as to the watch's origins / manufacturer.

But it turned out to be just a 'generic' Puma leaflet .... No mention of Seiko, Orient, nor even 'Made in Japan'.


 

But there is one clue printed on the bottom of that leaflet as to the importers / facilitators - if not the actual manufacturers:

C.Melchers (GmbH) & Co. - who are still very much in business in the Far East today. See: http://www.melchers.com.sg/

More C.Melchers' asian company locations involved in watch imports here:

http://www.melchers.com/EN/default.aspx?TabId=30&BusinessId=50&CountryId=0


Further to that, back in May this year, I'd accidentally found a couple of other spurious connections, which are actually quite relevant.


I stumbled across http://www.boley.de - there's lots more information on there, besides what they've copied from Seiko's database. :)

They even have some parts information (but sadly no actual spare parts holding - I've checked ;)) for Orient J39's and Puma Y19's.

The strangest thing, though, was how they'd set up the model codes. :/


The Orient J39's (although not a complete list) are as you'd expect:

http://www.boley.de/en/case-parts/orient?x=9&y=9&search=J39



But the Puma Y19's are also set up as Orient case model #'s !

http://www.boley.de/en/case-parts/orient?x=12&y=11&search=y19




Of course 'we' already knew that the Puma 7A38's were made by Orient - there are so many similarities and shared common parts. 8)


The other connection is a small company called H K Uhren & Schmuck: http://www.hk-uhren-und-schmuck.de/

They appear to be the official service providers: http://www.hk-uhren-und-schmuck.de/ueberuns.html ....

for, amongst other makes: Melchers (own brand), Orient and Puma watches in Germany:

More than just yet another coincidence, perhaps ? 

August 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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The one real stumbling block had been this mysterious JEPIC Corporation - whoever the hell they are / were.

You may remember I've posted these photos of the insides of a Puma 7A38 Y19 elsewhere before (most probably on RLT).

Whereas all the Puma external case-back stamping typefaces / layout (and many case parts besides) are obviously Orient .... 

The movement back-plates are all stamped JEPIC CORP. Y19 and inside the case-backs are stamped JEPIC CORP:




But if you google JEPIC Corporation, like me, all you're likely to find are references to Japanese Electric Power Information Center. :mad:

http://www.jepic.or.jp/en/index.html


Oh, Yes - and my post # 13 from that RLT thread:

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=62169&view=findpost&p=630730


So there you have it ....

 

Puma Y19 by the Orient Watch Company - or by SEIKO Corporation, if it was actually they who built the Orient J39's. 

 

The $64K question remains: Who is JEPIC Corp., and what was their actual involvement in manufacturing the watch ? 


August 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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As is often the case, what had re-kindled my interest, and prompted yet another bout of fervent googling, back in May of this year ....

had been the almost simultaneous arrival of 2 more Puma Y19's to join my collection:

A second, almost mint gunmetal coated Y19201-70, and something of a beater Y19301-70 - the stainless black-faced variant. 

If you google Y19301-70, the first (and only) two references to come up are the boley.de database, which is how I first found it ! :D


Which is what happened again today. At the weekend, I'd bought yet another Puma Y19201-70 off eBay in Germany (where else ?).

This one was slightly different in that although gunmetal coated, it had a grey dial with black printing - a variant I'd not seen before:




It was (mis)described by the seller as 'absolut Neuwertig' (in the title) and Das Uhr funktioniert 100%ig einwandfrei.

Which when it arrived today, to become the 5th Puma Y19 in my collection, turned out to be complete and utter bullsh!t:mad:


It has some minor but otherwise acceptable cosmetic flaws, but it was also rather dirty and had a completely flat battery to boot. :o

It arrived showing exactly the same time / day / date as in the eBay seller's listing photo !!

These are a couple of photos I quickly rattled off, and emailed to the seller this afternoon, to vent my displeasure. 




The green tissue / toilet ? paper is what it came wrapped in, incidentally. 

The more observant of you will notice another reason (even if the battery wasn't completely flat) why it couldn't be 100% functional.

August 16, 2012 at 2:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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As you can see from the above Q&D photo (which, by some fluke, came out clearer than those I've posted before) ....

like all the previous Puma Y19x01-70's I've stripped down, the 7A38 movement back-plate is stamped JEPIC CORP. Y19


The watch was pretty mucky, with plenty of the previous owner's DNA around the back of the watch case and inside the bracelet.

So I stripped it down and put the case and bracelet to soak in cleaning fluid, before giving them a quick bath in the ultrasonic tank.

While I was waiting for it to do its stuff, and then leaving the parts to dry, I thought I'd have another go at googling JEPIC Corporation.


Now although the Internet has been around since the 70's, and (quote): TCP/IP network access expanded again in 1986 when the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET) provided access to supercomputer sites in the United States from research and education organizations .... Even though in those days, when I worked for Intel, and could have got access, even I didn't really start using it until around the mid 1990's. Nor did many other commercial organisations, for that matter. So the chances of actually finding any reference to JEPIC Corporation going back to the mid-to-late 1980's, when these watches were manufactured, are slim to remote to none - right?


It might sound like a tenous link, but this afternoon I got lucky. Really lucky. Call it the Luck of the Irish, if you like (and I'm not Irish !)

I simply googled two words together 'PUMA' and 'JEPIC'. Nothing else.

As usual, the first result returned was that Puma 7A38 .... By Orient thread I'd written on RLT last year. :roll:

But the 6th result down was an entry in the Register of Trademarks of the Irish Patents Office (of all places):

http://www.patentsoffice.ie/eregister/register/TMRegister.aspx?idappli=119842




August 16, 2012 at 2:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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You'll notice that the date of this registration for use of the PUMA trademark on watches is April 1986 ....


and that both licencees ORIENT TOKEI KABUSHIKI KAISHA and JEPIC CORPORATION share the same registered address:

4-4, 2-Chome, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.


If you google search on the above address alone, there are plenty of references for: 

ORIENT WATCH CO., LTD. Global Merchandising Group. Marketing Planning Dept., etc.


Add 'JEPIC Corporation' onto the address and search again, and that Irish trademark registration is still the only result returned.


I did subsequently manage to find an earlier record of a registration of the Puma trademark for use on watches, in February 1981:

http://jewelry.zibb.com/trademark/puma/29298867 - but Orient Watch Co., Ltd. was the only licencee - no mention of JEPIC Corp.

The timing of that apparent re-registration of the Puma trademark, adding JEPIC Corporation as a licencee in 1986 is almost perfect.

From what I've learned, that would appear to be the year Seiko started off-loading re-branded 7Axx movements to other companies.


If not proven 100%, I'm getting there, gradually, I think. 8)

August 16, 2012 at 3:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Something I probably hadn't explained properly before, although it's pretty obvious to most people, that Orient J39's and Puma Y19's are just very thinly disguised Seiko 7A38's, is that Seiko Corporation didn't completely hide their involvement in their manufacture.

It was there in plain view, for all to see, the whole time, if only in very 'small print' - assuming you knew what you were looking at. 


I was reading this SCWF thread, started by Jake B., when it dawned on me: http://www.thewatchsite.com/index.php/topic,23868.html

(Since their 'upgrade' found at: http://www.thewatchsite.com/21-japanese-watch-discussion-forum/22517-quartz-flyback-chronos.html)


Jake posted a few photos of prototype Seiko quartz chronographs, including these two. Note the small font used for SII on the dial ....




So, after a few chats with my buddy Daisuke at SII he hooked me up with these nice SII display watches, made for marketing purposes for employees to wear and for distribution as free samples .... These Japan-made quartz chrono movements are apparently not yet in any Seiko branded watches, but supposedly there are a couple of WIRED models which use them.


SII stands for Seiko Instruments Inc. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seiko_Instruments

It is a prototype marketing branding which Seiko apparently use on watches that they do not wish to be directly associated with.

Shorten that SII to SI (as the watch division would have been known prior to 1997) ....

and look closely at the bottom of any Orient J39 or Puma Y19 dial, and you'll generally find printed to the right of the subdial SI - xxx.




Well, most of the time. :P But SI is always there somewhere - at least on these two makes of re-branded Seiko 7A38's, anyway. ;)

August 16, 2012 at 6:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Getting back to JEPIC Corporation, for a moment ....

As they share the same company address, one must assume that JEPIC Corp. is a division or subsidiary of Orient Watch Co., Ltd.


http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapid=883690


Orient Watch Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries primarily engage in the manufacture and supply of wristwatches in Japan. The company also offers information technology-related products, including printer components, quartz oscillators, silicon wafers, as well as other electronic devices. Orient Watch Co. was established in 1950 and is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan (4-4 2-chome Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo).

Orient Watch Co., Ltd. operates as a subsidiary of Seiko Epson Corp.


The $64K question remains: Who is JEPIC Corp., and what was their actual involvement in manufacturing the watch ?


So maybe that question is partly answered, but now, in the light of the foregoing, I find myself asking ....


If Orient Watch Co., Ltd. were already manufacturing watches using the Puma trademark in 1981, why was it then neccessary to also bring JEPIC Corp. 'into play' in 1986, when in parallel, Orient themselves were using Seiko 7A38 movements stamped Orient J3920 ??


August 17, 2012 at 3:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Per my earlier statement (of over a year ago): 

Of course 'we' already knew that the Puma 7A38's were made by Orient - there are so many similarities and shared common parts. 8)


I hadn't posted this photo on our forum before, only previously on RLT in the Puma 7A38 .... By Orient thread (29 November 2011).

Seeing as I'd used it to illustrate a point in another Orient-related topic, earlier this week, I thought I may as well add it on here too. ;)




My post in that thread included:


Anyway, here's a side-by-side photo of my latest Orient J39725-70 'beater' with my original 'stainless' Puma Y19001-70 ....

To further reinforce the (now completely obvious) Orient / Puma connection .... Case (now completely) proven I believe, M'Lud. 


September 7, 2013 at 6:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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The case for the tacit connection between Orient Watch Co. Ltd and JEPIC Corporation has already been conclusively proven ....

But it never hurts to submit post facto evidence to add weight to an argument, as further proof. Well not in my book, anyway. :P


The family resemblence between the Orient J39725-70 and the Puma Y19001-70 in the above photo is all too obvious.

But there was a branch of the Orient / Puma family tree which was still missing. I wrote about it in another thread in this section:

http://www.seiko7a38.com/apps/forums/topics/show/8567146 'Missing' Puma Y19 spotted by Hungarian 7A38 enthusiast !


To save you reading through that thread, here's a copy and paste of the most relevant post:


Originally posted by myself on January 25, 2013 at 10:21 PM


Even today, if you google 'Puma Y19904-50', the only meaningful result you'll find is still just the Boley.de case parts database search.


But of course, we already know of the Orient J3920 / Puma / JEPIC Corp. Y19 relationship, good as proven by my findings here:

http://www.seiko7a38.com/apps/forums/topics/show/7997030-the-tacit-seiko-7a38-orient-j3920-puma-jepic-y19-connection


Earlier this evening, I just happened to google 'Orient J3920' (as you do) - and for once found a new result on the second page:

Hungarian though - it might as well all be Greek to me. But I thought I'd have a quick look, as it was a thread about Japanese watches. 

Currently halfway down the first page is this post by 'steve31': http://forum.index.hu/Article/viewArticle?a=123178326&t=9198082

Most of the images look fairly familiar (including the wrist shot of my Orient J39909-80) and were probably borrowed from this site ....

Apart from these three:



So there you have it - that's how a Puma Y19904-50 looks. No suprises really - quite like a dressy Orient J39. It's just nice to know. :D


December 19, 2014 at 4:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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It seemed unlikely to me that Seiko / Orient / Jepic (or whoever) would have tooled up a watch case exclusively for use by Puma ....

In all probability, there'd also have been an Orient branded version - possibly with the model # J39904-50, instead of Y19904-50.

I've been keeping an eye open for some time. I think I may have finally spotted one. 8)



It's in a job lot of 8 watches and the seller's crappy photos are only 640 x 480. That's a 2x zoom and crop from the best of three. :roll:

It's described simply as Orient chronograph, but it's clearly a 7A38 (J39) and the gold plated bezel with moulded Tachymeter scale looks the same as that of the Puma Y19904-50. The bracelet is likely an after-market fitment and something doesn't look quite right with the 30 minute sub-dial. Needless to say I'll be following up in due course - hopefully with a better photo of just that watch ....


December 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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In all probability, there'd also have been an Orient branded version - possibly with the model # J39904-50, instead of Y19904-50.


Perhaps I should have used the word logically:roll:

But (Puma Y19's apart) I'd already seen a few odd discrepancies in the numbering sequences of Orient / Racer J38's and J39's.

Got a reply back from the seller this morning, followed by this close-up photo. It's an Orient model # J39012-50 (CS). Pretty it ain't. :(




Clearly the same watch case as the Puma Y19904-50 with an almost identical dial layout - apart from the odd 30 minute sub-dial.


December 20, 2014 at 9:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Another slightly postscript, with regard to my statement of August 16th 2012:

But if you google JEPIC Corporation, like me, all you're likely to find are references to Japanese Electric Power Information Center.


.... and the tongue-in-cheek reference I made on Friday: It seemed unlikely to me that Seiko / Orient / Jepic (or whoever) ....


I thought I'd try googling JEPIC Corporation one more time.

Seems that a couple of German watch enthusiasts have also since made the connection between Orient / Puma and JEPIC Corp.

The relevent posts are on page 20 of this thread on UhrForum.de (discussing vintage LCD watches) made in September 2013.

Notably the second by poster 'Peachykeen': http://uhrforum.de/zeigt-eure-vintage-lcd-uhren-t115040-20#post1858027

Where he initially appeared to have been under the impression that JEPIC was just another sub-brand of Seiko movements ....

Followed a day later by a subsequent post: http://uhrforum.de/zeigt-eure-vintage-lcd-uhren-t115040-20#post1858554

Where he notes the registered address shared by Orient and JEPIC Corp.: 4-4, 2-Chome, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo,, JP.

.... and ends with: Hochinteressant, das alles. 


I wonder where he might have picked that up from.  Vairy Interrestink, Nichts ? 


December 21, 2014 at 5:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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It didn't seem worth starting another thread to post this - just a very brief mention of another Puma Y19 sub-variant that 'got away'. :/

I must admit that I haven't bothered searching on eBay Germany (obviously the best place to find them) for Puma Y19's lately ....

There really is too much crap (modern Puma cheap tat, made in China) to scroll through, in the off-chance of finding something. :roll:

However, I still occasionally google the various model numbers - as I did this morning and spotted a Y19001-70 which sold on a Finnish classifieds site www.Tori.fi last month. It wasn't the best of examples, but it is another permutation I hadn't seen before ....


http://www.tori.fi/uusimaa/Puma_Cronograph_28124089.htm




The Finnish description - or at least what I could find of it from the cached google search result, translates as:

Puma clock (Puma Y19001-70 stamping) Fairly clean. The battery end. Offers received.


The only reason I thought it worth mentioning is that this watch appears to be a bit of an anomoly. I'm presently attempting to compile a database of all known Orient / Racer J39 and Puma Y19 variants - including the dial designs and colours seen within each case model number. For a self-imposed task, it's a fairly tall order. Problem is trying to fit all the information on an Excel spreadsheet. :roll:


I'd already seen this white dial with silver batons and the black dial with silver batons in the all-stainless Y19301-70. I've also got two dial variants (black and grey, with gold plated batons) of the gunmetal / gold two-tone Y19201-70 in my collection. So it seemed logical that there would be more than one sub-variant of the stainless / gold two-tone Y19001-70. Except that instead of having gold plated batons and hands, as one might have expected, it's using the same dial with silver batons / hands as the all-stainless variant. :/


July 24, 2016 at 8:28 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Something I hadn't previously mentioned (at least not in this particular thread) was the three-way connection between Puma, Orient and its subsidiary Spanish brand RACER. Unlike the Puma branded watches, Orient Watch Co. Ltd. made no attempt to hide their involvement in their manufacture; the dials may have carried the RACER logo, but their case-backs are stamped ORIENT.


Perversely, the white-dialed Racer equivalent of the Orient J39 and Puma Y19's, the J39710-70, which is predominantly all stainless, has the gold plated batons and hands I'd have expected to see in the above Puma Y19201-70 variant.




Of more anon ....


July 28, 2016 at 5:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Finally, here's that three-way side-by-side shot, showing the obvious family relationship - if not the tacit Seiko parentage. :P




Left to Right: Orient J39725-70 (on Feiko aftermarket bracelet), Puma Y19301-70 and my newly acquired Racer J39710-70.


July 31, 2016 at 6:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Unless I discover any new Puma Y19 case models, or further proof, this is likely to be my last update to this little saga of the elusive JEPIC Corporation. I'd read back through the thread a couple of times in recent weeks and found that the link I'd stumbled across on the Irish Patents Office website, to the trademark registration and licensing agreements with Orient, that I'd posted four years ago in August 2012, which conclusively proved the Orient Watch Co. / JEPIC Corporation connection, had mysteriously disappeared. :/

So I'm pleased that I had the foresight to take screen prints at the time. 8)


There is one statement that I probably need to correct however ....


August 13, 2016 at 5:22 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Seiko7A38 at August 16, 2012 at 3:28 PM

You'll notice that the date of this registration for use of the PUMA trademark on watches is April 1986 ....

and that both licencees ORIENT TOKEI KABUSHIKI KAISHA and JEPIC CORPORATION share the same registered address:

4-4, 2-Chome, Sotokanda, Chiyoda-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.

The timing of that apparent re-registration of the Puma trademark, adding JEPIC Corporation as a licencee in 1986 is almost perfect.

From what I've learned, that would appear to be the year Seiko started off-loading re-branded 7Axx movements to other companies.


(Partial quote of previous post)



The timing of Orient's re-registration of the Puma trademark was far more probably connected with Puma's company name change from Puma AG to Puma SE, when they became a public company in 1986. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puma_SE

Some of the dates shown in that Irish Patents Office link obviously lead to my earlier confusion. :roll:



That Orient Watch Co.  :P sorry JEPIC Corp. also started manufacturing the Puma Y19's in 1986 is likely more of a consequence (rather than coincidence). The fact that, unlike their Orient and Racer J39 siblings, these watches do not carry any external Orient branding (on their case-backs), may well have been be an additional stipulation of the trademark licensing renewal agreement with the 'new' Puma company. Hence the need for Seiko / Orient to effectively create a 'paper company' - JEPIC Corporation, whose marks are carried on the movement backplate and inside the case-back.




I'm not sure of the date (possibly 12/04/1999, per that Irish Patent Office link) but Orient Watch Co.'s licencing agreement with Puma has long since expired. The current licensee is the Swiss Marlox group: http://www.marloxgroup.com/content/puma-time

They may be 'Swiss' but most of the cheap plastic fashion tat they produce for Puma is clearly made in China. :roll:


August 13, 2016 at 5:30 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Seiko7A38 at August 13, 2016 at 5:22 AM

Unless I discover any new Puma Y19 case models, or further proof, this is likely to be my last update to this little saga of the elusive JEPIC Corporation.


Well almost. :P


Feeling a bit miffed that the link on the Irish Patents Office website to the Puma / Orient / Jepic Corporation licensing agreement had conveniently been removed (as incidentally had the other link I posted, dating back to 1981), I couldn't resist googling Orient / Jepic Corp. one more time. I did find something comparatively new, though not from an official source, as such.


I came across a cached google result on eBay Italy of all places, which lead me to this ....

An eBay (re)listing for a job lot of 21 NOS Orient / JEPIC Corp. quartz movements from May 2015 by a US eBay seller.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321751021126


The (unsold) lot didn't include any Y19 movements unfortunately. :(

However, intrigued as to how he might have made the Orient / Jepic Corp. connection, I messaged the eBay seller. He replied:




I followed up with this reply - effectively querying his current stated location (of Los Angeles, California).




His last brief message simply read:




So, nothing particularly significant to add, other than it seems to have been common knowledge within the watch trade. :/


August 13, 2016 at 7:39 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Seiko7A38 at July 24, 2016 at 8:28 AM

It didn't seem worth starting another thread to post this - just a very brief mention of another Puma Y19 sub-variant that 'got away'. :/

I must admit that I haven't bothered searching on eBay Germany (obviously the best place to find them) for Puma Y19's lately ....

There really is too much crap (modern Puma cheap tat, made in China) to scroll through, in the off-chance of finding something. :roll:


Famous last words. :roll:

I hadn't planned to add anything further to this thread, but it was the irony of the above statement that struck me (again).

Seems I've been falling down on the job lately - I missed spotting another Puma Y19 listed on eBay Germany at the weekend. :(


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/132116286752

PUMA CHRONOGRAPH Y19301-70 EDELSTAHL MATT MOVEMENT ORIENT, SEIKO, JEPIC JAPAN



 

PUMA CHRONOGRAPH Y19301-70 SI 002 

Sehr gut erhaltener Chronograph in mattiertem. Edelstahlgehäuse mit Originalarmband mit Faltschließe.

Die Uhr wurde kaum getragen, daher Glas ohne Kratzer und die Mattierung nur mit minimalen Gebrauchsspuren.

Batterie neu. Dies ist ein privates Angebot ohne. Garantie und Rücknahme.


It appeared to be a particularly nice example, with minimal wear. It was listed at peak time on Sunday evening and I can only assume from the low number of views the listing received (20), must have sold pretty quickly for the 99 Euros Buy-it-Now price.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/132116286752


The irony being that apart from Y19301-70, the seller also included the words ORIENT, SEIKO and JEPIC in his listing title.

So in all likelihood, he probably googled the Puma case-back model number and found this thread before listing it on eBay. :roll:


March 9, 2017 at 7:30 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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