Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers



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Forum Home > Bend it, Mend it - Mods & Wreckers > The mythical 7A38-705B - a charcoal black chrome custom concept

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Never heard of the 7A38-705B ?  Me neither.   But if you google it there is currently one single result returned ....

It comes from an archived thread on the old Network54 SCWF, posted way back in August 2006 by Aaron (Cobrajet25):  Whoa! This must be kind of a rare one!>>

Of course, the 7A38-705B doesn't really exist - except as a figment of Aaron's imagination. But think about it .... why not ? 

Ignoring the anomoly of the blingy US market 7A38-6109, for almost every other 7A38 'Diver' that Seiko produced in stainless, there was a black chrome coated equivalent model. The stainless 7A38-6000 had the black chrome 7A38-6010; the JDM 7A38-6040 had the black chrome 7A38-6030; the stainless 7A38-6020 also came in black chrome, albeit coated chocolate brown. The stainless JDM 7A38-6050 had European market equivalents in the burnt titanium finished 7A38-6060 and black chrome 7A38-6070. And of course there's the stainless 7A38-7070 and black chrome 7A38-7080 (and their ZFM equivalents, the 7A38-7075 and 7A38-7085).

But no black chrome 7A38-705x equivalent.  Just the two stainless models: SAA025J and SAA027J. :( 

If you expand this idea, across all 7A28 and 7A38 models (not just the 'Divers'), you'll find plenty more instances, for example the export models 7A28-7070, 7A28-7079 and 7A28-707A also had a black chrome equivalent in the JDM 7A28-7110. Disregarding the obvious fact, that the 7A38-7050 and 7A38-705A have rotating bezels, it was the similarity in the design of the main part of their watch cases, to the aforementioned 7A28's that first got me thinking. 

August 13, 2017 at 7:48 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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It started back in April this year, when I added this lengthy snippet onto the 7A28-7110 SSAY078 model specific thread ....

Originally posted by myself on April 4, 2017 at 2:31 PM (less most of the photos):

Regular readers of topics in the 7A38-xxxx Model Specific section may have noticed me mention a certain Dutch eBay seller, in a few suitably sarcastically worded posts. They trade on eBay as watch-expert-europe but are part of a much larger concern. Since November last year they've been listing quite a lot on NOS Seiko parts, including some desirable 7A28 and 7A38 parts - but often unfortunately extortionately over-priced. However, for a self-proclaimed 'expert' they do seem to make a lot of unforced errors in their eBay listing titles and descriptions - particularly in giving erroneous 'where used' information. The classic gaffes that spring to mind are their stating that 7A38-6000 and 7A38-6010 bezels can be used on a 7A38-6020 and that 7A38 dials can be used on 7A28's (and visa-versa). :roll: I suspect much of it is deliberate keyword spamming on their part, but alleged experts should not be dishing out duff parts information. Well, not on my watch anyway. I've messaged them quite a few times, trying to persuade them to correct their various mistakes, but I've given up now, as quite frankly, they only seem interested in maximizing profit. :(

I thought I'd spotted another mistake in one of their listings, but looking deeper into it, I don't think it's their mistake. :/

A couple of weeks ago, they listed a NOS AA02B bracelet for a 7A28-7110:

It's presumably black chrome coated (but also possibly might just be spray painted); has a Speedmaster clasp; is 24mm wide where it meets the watch case and appears to have the correct style ends for 'Pin and Tube' fixing as used on the 7A28-7110. It's also stamped AA02B on the reverse of the end links and comes in a packet with the part number AA02B printed on it.

Yet the style of links are nothing like those of all the original AA02B bracelets on watches which have featured in this thread.

The hinged style of links are very reminscent of those used on the black chrome coated 7A38-7080 (bracelet p/n B1242S).

Anybody else ever come across a bracelet like this ? :|

August 13, 2017 at 8:22 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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For no other reason than it intrigued me, I added it to my eBay watching page at the time. I was pondering where this 'service' bracelet, which going by all past sightings, is 'wrong' for an original 7A28-7110, might possibly be used elsewhere to good effect. Three months later, it finally dawned on me. So wincing at the extortionate asking price - for a bracelet I didn't really actually need, I reluctantly hit the Buy-it-Now button and paid 'the alleged expert' by Paypal on July 21st.

Unfortunately, it seems my timing was off, because the next day, eBay deleted their account, without apparently giving a reason. Meanwhile, Matt Sijm was too busy frantically setting up (or should I say re-activating) another old eBay account, so he could continue in business, to pack up and post the bracelet I'd paid him for for ! What REALLY p!ssed me off is the fact that he re-listed the bracelet, using his 'new' eBay ID - originally showing as available quantity x2 (one of which was mine, already purchased and paid for), and later with the Buy-it-Now price typically greedily increased by $10 to $139.99. See:

and revisions to the listing, made on 26th July.

I had to chase him several times before he finally got round to posting it, sometime after 26th July. Truly appalling behaviour. 

The bracelet arrived last week, within eBay's stated delivery window too, but only after causing me unnecessary consternation.

August 13, 2017 at 8:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Readers may have noticed I've been uncharacteristically circumspect in my choice of topic title for this thread. ;)

It does not say 'my newest 7A38 Franken project'. At this stage, it is just a concept - an idea I've been toying with, that may or may not come to fruition in the longer term. I've already got far too many unfinished projects as it is. 

In the immortal words of Michael Caine: Hang on a minute Lads, I've got a great idea:P

Much depends on whether the bracelet 'works' as intended, but the plan is to spray paint a 7A38-705x watch case and bezel matt black to match the bracelet. Yes, I did say 'spray paint' - not to have it professionally coated in black chrome or any other electrostatically applied finish. I've used this little animated gif a few times before in other threads, when discussing Seiko finishes:

I'd already written in that earlier post: It's presumably black chrome coated (but also possibly might just be spray painted) ....

Sure enough - close examination of the joints of this bracelet clearly shows it's coated in nothing more than black spray paint. 

My only concerns are how well the paint might adhere and its durability, particularly on the sharp castellated sides of the rotating bezel - and how to accurately mask the bezel's acrylic inlay, also ensuring sufficient coverage of the inner stainless rim. :/

August 13, 2017 at 10:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Anyway, this morning I got my 7A38-705A out, to do a first trial fitting of the 'alternative' AA02B bracelet in place of the Z1148S.

The case to bracelet fit / alignment is absolutely spot on - if anything, I'd say it's better than the original Z1148S bracelet. :)

August 13, 2017 at 10:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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It may fit the watch case very nicely, but the actual fit on my 7¼" wrist wasn't quite so comfortable. :( How tight it was, with the clasp on the last pair of adjustment holes, can probably be better seen in this other photo which I'd previously rejected:

In the photo below, you can see where the clasp is digging in the underside of my wrist:

Quite frankly after taking those few photos, I couldn't wait to get it off my wrist. :(

I measured the inside circumference of the watch case / bracelet, using a plastic tape and it came out as only 7" and 1/8th !

I removed the bracelet and laid it against a steel rule. Please excuse the reflection from the flash.

Laid out, like that, the bracelet measures overall a shade under 6¼". Add to that the 38mm between the watch case fixing tubes and in theory it should fit my wrist easily. In practice it doesn't. :mad: This isn't the first time I've encountered a short NOS spare JDM bracelet. I had a similar problem with the titanium p/n YA22A I bought last year from that Japanese eBay seller. Indeed, checking my post in the 7A38-7030 model specific thread, that bracelet also measured only 6¼" (160mm). Fortunately, the Japanese seller kindly supplied a couple of extra adjustment links. I guess it ain't gonna be quite so easy with this obscure bracelet. :(

My first thought had been to borrow a B1242S adjustment link from one of my 7A38-7080's. They may look very similar, but they're not quite the same. The B1242S links are 2.7mm thick, whereas the AA02B's are only 2.4mm thick. They would obviously fit, but I suspect an adjustment link from a B1075S bracelet used on the 7A28-7040 / -7049 would do the job perfectly - once sprayed matt black. Except my own 7A28-7040 doesn't have any spare to offer. Assuming I do go ahead with the project, I'll probably get round this mildly annoying issue by fitting a longer 7-hole adjustment SQ clasp - in matt black chrome finish naturally. 8)

August 13, 2017 at 11:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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As I've already stated, this custom 7A38-705'B' is just a concept at the moment - not even an ongoing project at this stage. 

I'm not even sure what I'm going to base it on yet. I certainly won't be painting my only 7A38-705A. I had initially thought about sacrificing my ex-Michael Rothe 7A38-7050, but that holds too much sentimental value. So I'm probably looking for another donor.

However, if any readers who are expert in using PaintShop Pro or Photoshop would like to help it along a bit, by giving me some encouragement, it might be nice to see what the finished article could look like. 

Might I suggest the middle image (P1450006) in my penultimate post would make the best candidate for re-touching. 

In the words of Sir Michael Jagger: (I wanna see you) Paint it BLACK

August 13, 2017 at 1:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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