Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > Non-Seiko 7Axx Discussion Area (Re-branded mvmt's) > My newest incoming dressy Orient J39 - another minor variation

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13326

Some of you may have already read the saga of my previous supposedly 'NOS' Orient J39930-70, documented in this thread:

Question (Riddle): When is an Orient J39 not a J39 ?


To cut a long (and acrimonious) story short, in April this year, I bought a couple of Orient J39's from Italian eBay seller pinup50miss, which he'd erroniously listed as HFA's (Orient 7T32's). Not only had he swapped dials / movements between the two cases, including substituting a very secondhand Seiko 7A38 movement for the original Orient J3920, in one, but he'd also fitted a wrong case-back off a J39908-70 to the J39930-70 - and then deliberately tried to conceal his deceipt with the protective sticker ! :mad:




Neither of those watches is properly 'sorted' to my satisfaction, yet - hence the reason I haven't updated that thread.

The J39930-70, even though still currently a 'wrong un'  in my book, is stlll an attractive little watch - if you're into dressy chrono's.



December 4, 2016 at 7:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13326

Before I go any further, I need to correct something I wrote in that other thread, regarding the Orient product sales code:


Close, but no cigar. :/ I told you Orient were inconsistent. :P How about J39930-70 ? (The 'Y' suffix stands for 'Yellow' = Gold).




An incorrect assumption (about the Y suffix)  on my part - I'm still learning all the time, sometimes making it up as I go along. :P

Of course it's the second '9' in J39930-70 that designates the gold plated finish, same as it does on the J39908-70 and J39909-80.

Orient weren't particularly consistent in their allocation of case-back model numbers, but I've also previously noted that a '7' in the same position - as in Orient J39701-70, J39722-70, J39725-70 and Racer J39710-70, J39723-70 designates 'Stainless Steel'.

No, the 'Y' on that Orient product sales code label is apparently specifying the dial colour.




The dial colour is sort of a creamy / champagne colour. I personally wouldn't have called it 'yellow', but there you go. :/


December 4, 2016 at 7:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13326

The reason I know this is I've recently found another one. :)

Apart from running regular searches on the usual (auction / watch sales websites) sources, every now and then, I'll just google Orient model numbers, looking for any new images that might pop up. Sad to admit, I know. :roll:


A week or so ago, I googled Orient J39930-70 and spotted an image which led me straight to a new-ish listing on Tradera.com.


http://www.tradera.com/item/190203/269811610/orient-quartz-chronograph-j39930-70-engelsk-samt-italiensk-dag-samt-datum



Not only does this watch thankfully have the correct J39930-70 case-back, but if you look at the sales tag, it reads J39930W.

'W' in this case clearly designates a White dial (as opposed to Champagne) - hence 'another minor variation' (in the title).


December 4, 2016 at 8:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13326

I'd not personally encountered it before, but Tradera.com is the Swedish equivalent of eBay.

However, it appears to operate slightly differently and is independant of eBay, so after a little research I registered on there.

Once I'd successfully registered, I tried to place a bid on the Orient J39, only to receive an error message (in Swedish). :(

I then used Google translate to compose a message to the seller, in Swedish, expressing an interest in buying the watch ....

Only to be blocked once again ! :mad:


It appeared that the seller had set up the auction so that the item was only available to Swedish residents. :roll:

At which point, I messaged Swedish forum member, Roger (Rogart) and asked if he would act as 'middle man'. ;)

Roger kindly forwarded my message to the seller, who subsequently amended the listing, opening it up to international bidders ....

.... adding another line to the brief description, which read: For international buyers within EU: shippimg 294kr.


Throughout the week, I watched the listing like a hawk. Soon after I'd placed an initial opening bid, another Zero feedback bidder had the temerity to outbid me. At first I thought it might have been a shill bidder, became mildly paranoid, but in hindsight it may have just been another 'newbie' international bidder like myself - someone else genuinely interested in buying the watch. :/


The auction ended at 10:05 UK time this morning. I nailed it with a 'killer' manual snipe. Not too bad, won it for 1275 Sek. :D


http://www.tradera.com/item/190203/269811610

Thanks again to Roger, for all his help and advice (by PM) with my first Tradera experience. 


December 4, 2016 at 8:48 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13326

The Swedish seller, Mattias, posted the watch from Gothenberg (Göteborg) on Tuesday and amazingly when I came home from work on Thursday evening, there was a card pushed through my letterbox saying the postman had tried to deliver it. Pretty impressive, particularly for this time of year, seeing as it was only sent by normal Recorded mail. I collected the package from the Royal Mail sorting office on Friday morning, unpacked it when I got home, but didn't have time to do anything with it over the weekend.


It's always nice to get the full set, box and tags, etc. This one included not one, but two Italian language guarantee cards.

Underneath the green one visible in the seller's photos, was another, with a returns address address printed at bottom.




Presumably this is the same company, Labortempo S.r.l., still in business today: http://www.labortempo.it





The watch could almost be described as genuinely 'New Old Stock', except some miscreant had removed the case-back stickers.




But what annoyed me, particularly as the seller made no mention of the fact in his description, was that it came with a flat battery.

Normally changing a battery on a 7A38 is a two minute job (for me). This one took slightly longer ! The case-back was on 'murder' tight, but unscrewed easily enough, once I'd given it a squirt of aerosol freezer. But could I get the old battery out ? :mad: I've encountered this problem before with Energizer batteries. This one had a UCAR #394 fitted, another U.S. made brand (Union Carbide) which I've not come across before and was an even tighter fit ! Usually I can get Energizer cells out by loosening the two screws on the battery positive plate, then working them out gradually with the point of a wooden cocktail stick. The only way I could get the UCAR cell out was by completely removing the anti-magnetic backplate - and even then the bloody thing didn't want to let go ! :o




Here's the dial / movement removed from the watch case:




As you can see, the dial identifier / part number is J3929307-A08 - exactly the same as the champagne coloured version.

And here's an underlit photo of the white dial, showing the same herringbone pattern as the champagne coloured version.




Movement back in the case, fitted with a new Seizaken #394 battery - which fits properly !


December 13, 2016 at 9:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13326

So I guess all that remains is for me to post a couple of side-by-side shots of my two Orient J39930-70's. :)

Not quite so easy, because the strap on the white dialed version had been wrapped around its case holder for 25 years and wouldn't lie flat, whereas that on the champagne dialed version had been folded (flat) back on itself. Plus the available natural light today was typically crap, so once again, I had to resort to using flash. 




The two wrist shots I posted in the WRUW thread earlier today show the detail / true colours of the two dials better.




And I still prefer the champagne coloured dial, Don. :P


December 13, 2016 at 12:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Many22
Member
Posts: 18

Hello. I have a clock just the same as, but it's black. What value does my watch have? And how old?

April 17, 2019 at 12:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13326

EXACTLY the same with a black dial ? Is it gold plated all over, or perhaps two-tone palladium / gold plated ? Is the dial branded ORIENT or RACER ? What is the part number stamped on the case-back - J39028-70, J39029-70 or J39930-70 ?


Incidentally, I've no reason to doubt that an all-over gold plated Orient J39930-70 with a black dial might exist. Orient made so many different variations. Just that I've never personally seen (or heard) of one before. Here are photos of some other permutations using the same watch case (but in two-tone Palladium / Gold finish):


My original RACER J39028-70:



RACER J39028-70 with black dial:




RACER J39029-70 with another different black dial:




The value of your watch very much depends upon condition. A photo would help. These watches date from the late 1980's to the early 1990's.


April 17, 2019 at 12:46 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Many22
Member
Posts: 18



The quality of the pictures is not so good. You can tell me what it is worth?


April 17, 2019 at 4:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13326

Thanks for uploading those photos. Hmm, interesting. It's not an Orient J39930-70 as you initially inferred, because zooming in on your case-back photo reveals it's actually stamped J39031-70 - which would be the next logical number in that model sequence. The watch case is the same gunmetal coated / gold plated two-tone finish as my RACER J39029-70, but fitted with a black version of the J3929307 dial previously seen in the J39930-70. I'll get back to you with a value tomorrow. ;)


Belated Edit: Something I noticed later, was that although the black dial of Mihai's J39031-70 appeared to be identical in design / layout to those of my J39930-70's, zooming in on his two photos of the bottom part of the dial revealed the dial part number to be J3929307-A09 (as compared to J3929307-A08). So yet another example of inconsistency by Orient Watch Co..


April 17, 2019 at 6:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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