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Forum Home > Parts Info, Tech Tips and Tinkering > 7A38-704x Alternative Replacement Bracelet suggestions

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 14137

So now I've just had my little rant, which I've made a new sticky topic at the top of this forum section:

The place to ask questions; hopefully get some help - and share advice ....


I'm going to take the unprecedented step of publishing not such a dumb newbie PM question from our newest member, Jeff ....


I found my old watch in a shoe box recently and I'm hoping you can point me in the right direction.

I'm looking for a replacement band for my 7A38-704B. Are there any replica parts or even some type of frankenband that will fit?

Thanks in advance, Jeff


and my reply to him earlier today:


Sorry, Jeff. Can't offer you any help really. The original band (Seiko p/n Z1147) is obsolete and NLA.

They're prone to stretching and breakage, as you know. Because of the unusal method of attachment (pin and tube), see this thread

and the dark grey / black chrome coating, it's almost impossible to find anything else that looks right and fits properly. 

A number of people have fitted them with leather straps (notched in the middle). This is a 7A38-704C:

 


  

Can't say it looks particularly good, but it'll get it back on your wrist. 

Regards, Paul.


March 12, 2014 at 12:39 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14137

After I'd sent Jeff that PM reply, I had a couple more thoughts - and I was about to send him another PM when I thought. Whoa ! 


My next suggestion was going to be that if he went for a notched leather strap in place of the original bracelet, that he should consider a better means of attachment for it. The pin and tube fixing may work fine with the original bracelet, but leather might not fare so well.

It reminded me of that tired 7A38-704A sold by Filipino watch-botcher Badingski (subsequently re-sold a year later by Timely_Classic).



I'm not sure what he'd used to hold the strap on with (doesn't look like the original pins), but it didn't look particularly secure. :/

I'd recommend using threaded screw bars. Cousins UK offer a variety of sizes / styles and lengths:

http://www.cousinsuk.com/catalog/watch-straps-bracelets-fittings/fittings-threaded-bars-end-screws




The watch case (bracelet) fixing tubes on the 7A38-704x will accept 1.2mm diameter. ;)


As stated on Cousins' page, you could also use pressure bars and rivets as an alternative fixing. In fact that might be a tidier solution.



Belated Edit:

Since I got home, I've been going through old photos I had on my PC of 7A38-704x's fitted with alternative straps. Funnily enough ....


On this tired 7A38-704A offered by José 'Watchcooking' Sotto in February 2010, fitted with a rubber strap, he'd used Pressure Bars:




But on this similarly tired-looking 7A38-704A (with a homemade pusher) on a rubber strap in July 2011, he used Threaded Bars ! :lol:


March 12, 2014 at 12:58 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14137

As for Jeff's question: Are there any replica parts or even some type of frankenband that will fit?


I gave that option some thought too. 


One other odd thing about the Z1147 bracelet fitted to the 7A38-704x's is it's width where it meets the watch case - 21mm.

Not 20mm or 22mm, but 21mm. Typical. :roll: So not only does that narrow the choices of leather straps available, but also bracelets.

It's extremely unlikely you'd ever find any 'off-the-shelf' aftermarket bracelet that would fit (the watch case tube fitting), directly ....

But with a bit of thought, and some Dremel / file work, by carefully cutting the replacement bracelet's fixing tube in the middle ....

it might be possible to get something else (other than a leather strap) to fit. ;)


How about the grey PVD 21mm? wide 'mesh' bracelet used on the Ziiiro Celeste for example ?



March 12, 2014 at 2:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

7ARCool ©
Member
Posts: 168

I have the same problem to solve as the bracelet on my 7A38-704A is broken.

I must say the original bracelet is a poor weak design considering this watch was marketed as a SPORTS watch !

I am considering using a spare strap I have from a 7A28-7079, which uses the same pin and tube fitting.

I am currently wearing the watch / bracelet combination to check comfort etc and time my pizza!  :lol:


March 12, 2014 at 3:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14137

Jeff didn't actually say in his PM that his bracelet was broken - I just assumed that it was. ;)

He may just have piled on a few pounds since he bought it 20-odd years ago and be desperately short of few adjustment links. :P

But knowing how fragile some 1980's Seiko folded link construction bracelets are, and particularly the Z1147, it wouldn't surprise me.

This thread reminded me of a tatty 7A38-704A listed on eBay in January 2010 by a UK seller.



I remember trading a few messages with the seller at the time. He even asked me if I could repair it for him at one stage. :|

His bracelet wasn't so badly stretched, but he'd caught the bracelet on something and ripped one connecting link clean out. :(

 

They do stretch though. This is the bracelet on my 'yellowed' 7A38-704C 'beater'. It's still eminently wearable, but I treat it with care.




This is the most badly stretched (and still not broken) Z1147 bracelet I've ever seen. Offered by some wishful German on SCWF. :roll:



If you can't remember where that photo came from - and you fancy a good laugh :lol: check out this old thread:roll:


March 12, 2014 at 4:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14137

Following up from Chris' statement in his post:

I am considering using a spare strap I have from a 7A28-7079, which uses the same pin and tube fitting.


Allow me to refer readers back to this thread Different Methods of Bracelet / Strap Attachment, where I wrote:


However there is another sub-genre of 7Axx which uses a different method of bracelet attachment, which I call ‘Pin and Tube’.

This group includes the: 7A38-6020, 7A38-6109, 7A38-704x family and related JDM 7A38-7110, the 7A38-705x’s and 7A38-714x’s.

Off the top of my head, it’s also used on the 7A28-7070; 7A28-7110 (which use the same lower case design as the 7A38-705x) and the slightly quirky-looking 7A48-701x.


Looks like I failed to include the 7A28-7079 - but I did list the equivalent 7A28-7070. :P I followed that general statement later with:


Note: these are the parts* for this particular case model - different lengths and diameters are used on other 7A's besides these p/n's.

*Pin and tube part numbers. So it does not necessarily follow that every 7Axx 'pin and tube' watch case / bracelet are interchangeable.


Chris's combination of using the bracelet from a 7A28-7079 on his 7A38-704A may indeed work. I'll be interesting to see his photos.

One enterprising, less-than-scrupulous UK eBay seller fitted a p/n Z1148 off a 7A38-7050 to a 7A38-6020 last year. See this thread.


Incidentally, this is where you sometimes have to be a bit careful in taking data from Seiko Oceania's database as written.

Because I didn't know the part number for the bracelet used on the 7A28-7079, I looked it up.

It shows as: 4GF6ZY LEATHER BAND/STRAP in the parts list - which is clearly incorrect ! :o The 7A28-7070 shows p/n Z1045S. :)


However, I suspect most owners of 7A38-704x's with broken Z1147 bracelets probably won't be in the same fortunate position as Chris, owning another alternative Seiko 7Axxx 'pin and tube' bracelet that they can fit.

So we need to look at other possible alternatives. Hence my tongue in cheek suggestion above of the ZIIIRO Celeste bracelet.


For those not familiar with the 'pin and tube' method of bracelet attachment, here's a few close-up photos of my 7A38-704C beater.



The overall width across the watch case to bracelet 'hinge' is almost exactly 21.0mm.


The central tube which is part of the watch case is exactly 10mm wide, approx. 2.5mm Ø O.D. and 1.2mm Ø bore.



The radiused recesses either side of it have diameters of approx 2.7mm (maybe 3mm absolute max.) - not that easy to measure.


The folded tubes that form the Z1147 bracelet's attachment points are approx. 5.5mm long and 2.6mm Ø O.D. with a bore of 1.5mm Ø.



This is the pin Seiko p/n 81601169, whose shank measures 1.15mm Ø, with its serrated split collar / tube / pipe, Seiko p/n 81180189.


March 12, 2014 at 7:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14137

The radiused recesses either side of it have diameters of approx 2.7mm (maybe 3mm absolute max.) - not that easy to measure. 

The folded tubes that form the Z1147 bracelet's attachment points are approx. 5.5mm long and 2.6mm Ø O.D. with a bore of 1.5mm Ø.


What the dimensions I gave above should tell you, is that even if you decided to try modifying an aftermarket bracelet (by removing the central 10mm of its fixing tube), you are still restricted for choice by the limitations imposed by the radiused recesses in the watch case.


Out of interest, I did a reverse look up (i.e. asked where used) on Seiko Oceania's database on Bracelet Fixing Pin, p/n 81601169 ....

On the basis that any model # including this p/n uses the same method of bracelet attachment. Amazingly, it returns 369 results ! :o

Apart from the 7A28's, 7A38's and 7A48's I would have expected, the search result also returned various other Cal. / case models:

1F20, 5E20, 5G23, 5H23, 5J22, 5M22 (lots), 5M42 (lots), 5Y89, 7M22, 7N32, 7N42, 7N43, 7T32, 7T62, 7T92, N945, V701, etc., etc.

Sadly, very few lines included a thumbnail image, but the majority of the Kinetics which did had semi or fully integrated bracelets.

I did spot one or two vague possibilities, but nothing much other than the 7A38-704x's showed BCRP in their Case Material field. :(


So over to you, Chris .... ;)


March 13, 2014 at 7:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

7ARCool ©
Member
Posts: 168

Here is a pic of the 7A28-7079 bracelet fitted to my 7A38-704A.




As can obviously be seen, the bracelet is currently too wide, I will need to re-taper the bracelet.

As I intend to keep this one, I am going to sand/bead blast the case and bracelet to match.

I am reading the current thread on sand blasting with interest.

Should make an interesting Franken.  8)


March 15, 2014 at 8:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14137

Is that the Sea Life tower just about discernable in your photo, Chris ? :P

March 15, 2014 at 9:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

7ARCool ©
Member
Posts: 168

Yes, Have you been in it?

March 15, 2014 at 12:32 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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