Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > 7A38-xxxx Model Specific Area > 7A38-724A SAA086J Two-tone (719L dial)

Seiko7A38
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Certain 7A38 models can be grouped into families, by virtue of shared common components - usually their basic watch case (albeit in different finishes). One such family group is the 7A38-724A / 7A38-7240, 7A38-725A / 7A38-7250, 7A38-726A / 7A38-7260 range. They all share one thing in common: a slightly unusual dressy 20mm lugged watch case, which is partly elliptical, rather than perfectly circular.


I'm well delinquent in creating 7A38-xxxx model specific topics (years behind). Of the above listed variants, the only one I've written up to date covers the stainless dark-grey dialed 7A38-7260 SAA097J, which is probably the most sought after by collectors. But it's not my personal favourite. This is - the 7A38-724A SAA086J. :)



October 16, 2018 at 7:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

My own story relating to this watch goes back a long way. In June 2009, thanks to a 'heads up' from Derek 'LuvWatch', I'd discovered Seiko Oceania's database. ;)

I knew I'd written this before, so here's a copy and paste of an earlier post:


Back in June 2009, Derek ‘LuvWatch’ kindly gave me a ‘heads up’ on Seiko Oceania’s database. Immediately I realized what a useful resource it was, for helping to identify all the different 7A38 variants and set about building my own Excel database from it, to assist with my future collecting activities. It took me a couple of weekends to build it, copying and pasting across all the relevant data fields.


One of the fields I'd included in that Excel spreadsheet was the dial part number - for the simple reason that the dial was sometimes the only distinguishing feature between similar models. I remember noticing at the time, whereas all the other variants in the 7A38-724x / -725x / -726x range had dial part numbers which began with 718L, the 7A38-724A had a 719L dial - which pointed to a different design.


It was another 18 months before I first saw one ! :/


October 16, 2018 at 7:43 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

It came up on eBay Italy in December 2010, listed by seller pichimmi. As you'll see from the next few posts, the occasional 7A38-724A infrequently turning up in Italy appears to a common factor, which leads me to believe that Seiko specifically targeted this model at the Italian market.


Naturally, all evidence of the original eBay listing has long since disappeared into the ether, but thanks to my amazing filing system, I've managed to recover a few basic details. 8)


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/300503339768

SEIKO CRONOGRAFO 7A38-724A.



No luck in finding the seller's description unfortunately. :( However, I do remember sending him a brief message, asking him to confirm that the dial had the number 719L printed at the bottom. I'd also remembered that I'd won the auction for what I considered a fairly reasonable 80 Euros. I really must get around to clearing out some of my old emails sometime. :P


In fact, the shipping cost ended up being slightly more than 11 Euros. The Italian seller was also listing a mint, almost NOS condition 7A38-7140. I persuaded him to sell that to me as a Buy-it-Now and he shipped the two watches together, albeit a little tardily. I found the bright yellow Poste Italiane package left on my doorstep on Christmas Eve - without having signed for it. :roll: I wrote elsewhere (on RLT forum):

My 'early christmas presents from me to me' have arrived.


October 16, 2018 at 8:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

Whereas I was really pleased with the 7A38-7140 (hence the reason I've never seriously considered buying another example since), the 7A38-724A was slightly disappointing. Its most important feature - the unique 719L dial was flawed. The sub-dials (which would originally have been an even pearlescent silver colour) were tarnished - stained in a similar manner to how you sometimes see on the white 710L dial in stainless 7A38-7190's and 7A38-7280 / -7289's. Whether this was caused by moisture ingress or fumes from a leaking run-down battery I really can't tell - the movement didn't show any evidence of either. :/


In fact, my disappointment was such, that it wasn't until August the following year (2011) that I set about fettling the watch. I generally cleaned it up, fitted a new crystal, crown and pushers and lightly polished the sides of the watch case. 



Something I'd noticed almost immediately was the similarity between the bracelet link design to that of the p/n G1105C bracelet fitted to the two-tone 7A38-7060. As the gold plated highlights on the 7A38-724A's original p/n G1334C bracelet were worn, I swapped it for a better alternative 'spare'.



Apart from their differently radiused curved end pieces (and the fact that one's fitted with a 7-hole adjustment SQ clasp versus a 5-hole) there is another very subtle difference between the G1105C and the G1334C bracelet sections - and that's their end joining links. It's just an open loop on the G1334C, which is why this bracelet is a sloppier fit ....



Whereas on the G1105C (shown below fitted to my 7A38-724A using the correct original G1334C end pieces), the part through which the spring bar passes is properly formed into a closed tube.



Here are a couple of older wrist shots that I took in April 2012 and July 2013, which I've probably already posted in the WRUW thread at the time they were taken. I can't be bothered to check. They show the extent of the sub-dial discoloration.




Of course when you look at a watch, the dial is what catches your eye. I spent a long time trying to find a replacement 719L dial (NOS or used) without success. :(


October 16, 2018 at 9:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

So I kept on looking out for another 7A38-724A. It was well over 4 years before I saw another example ! It was listed in May 2014 by another Italian eBay seller - with Zero feedback. The alarm bells should already have been ringing. :roll:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271478097572

Seiko 7A38 Cronograph Vintage



The seller's photos weren't great, but it was clearly in better condition than the one I already had. So naturally I wanted to win the auction. True to form, it was shilled in the best Italian tradition (as only they know how). In desperation, I bid it to well over 200 Euros and still lost. :(


I emailed Italian forum member Fabio, asking his help with an exact translation into Italian of shill bidding (and something else). He replied:


I'm afraid that "shill bidding" is something that you can't easily translate in Italian, you can say "vendita gonfiata artificiosamente" but it's not exactly the same.

The second part is much easier, you can translate "shove it" in "puoi ficcatelo su per il culo" but it's really unpolite LOL. That said, I'm sorry for the auction gone bad, unfortunately it happens. Have a nice Sunday anyways.


I can't remember the exact chain of events now, or what I actually wrote to him in disgust, but it was no surprise when I started receiving messages from the seller, asking me if I'd still like to buy it. This is the last one in that string.


As you can see, he subsequently offered it to me as a Buy-it-Now for 100 Euros + 8.50 Euros postage. So I wan't going to tell him where to shove it, now was I ? :P


October 16, 2018 at 11:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

Although it was a little grubby, after a good strip and clean, this 7A38-724A turned out to be a much better example than the previous one. From memory all it needed besides cleaning, was to fit a new replacement crown (the original was badly worn). Here are a couple of photos I took at the time:



I know I've definitely  posted this wrist shot in the WRUW thread before. 



Here's another shot, taken a few seconds later, which I hadn't.



October 16, 2018 at 12:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

The only thing that lets it down slightly is some minor loss of gold plating from the rim of the bezel. I've got that covered now. :) At the end of March, UK eBay seller schillachi61 listed a couple of NOS Seiko p/n 82343101 bezels. Much as I loathe paying his sometimes extortionate asking prices, they were a reasonable £24.99.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/372265427842



Must get round to fitting it one of these days. :/


October 16, 2018 at 12:44 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

Speaking of spare parts for the 7A38-724A - specifically the unique p/n G1334C bracelet, I'd written something relevant, in the stainless 7A38-7260 SAA097J thread. For cross-reference purposes, here's a copy and paste of that post.


Originally posted by myself on November 30, 2014 at 10:19 AM


A slightly unusual listing for a stainless 7A38-7260 appeared on eBay Italy yesterday evening. Were it not for for the existence of this model-specific thread and the possiblity of how it was created, under normal circumstances I'd probably be posting this in the ....

Yet another 7Axx on an undisclosed non-original bracelet thread


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151495734046



The watch's components may well genuinely be NOS, but sure as eggs is eggs, this ain't how it left the Seiko factory. Seiko may have created a few special 7A38 models for the Italian market, but there's no way that they'd have fitted a mis-matched two tone bracelet to an all-stainless watch head. If you look up 7A38-7260 SAA097 on Seiko's database (as I did, as a quick sanity check) ....



.... You'll see there was a B version. However, just like the normal J versions, its parts list calls up p/n BRA35S black leather strap.


Without needing to study the eBay seller's photos too closely and even without sight of the reverse of the bracelet end pieces, I think I can confidently state that this watch head has been fitted with a p/n G1334C bracelet off a 7A38-724A SAA086J - a two-tone variant using the same basic watch case, which appears to be unique to the Italian market.


I believe what we're now looking at are the unsold residuals from a successful sale by an obliging Italian Seiko dealer. Customer comes into the shop - likes the 7A38-724A (which didn't have a leather strap option) and says he'd like to buy the watch, but on a leather strap. Quick swap. Sale made. G1334C bracelet chucked on the stockroom shelf and left there gathering dust for 25 years.


October 16, 2018 at 1:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

While I've been composing what is effectively a lengthy preamble, this afternoon, I suspect the few of you who've been reading while I've been typing, have already guessed what actually prompted me to start this thread. ;)


Yesterday evening, a 7A38-724A (now only the third example I've seen in 9 years) was listed on eBay by the Italian eBay seller 18hobbyman13. In fact he listed it twice within the space of a couple of minutes. Firstly, as a 7-day auction, with an opening bid price of 1 Cent (0.01 Euros):


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263991515391


.... and in parallel, as a Buy-it-now for 188 Euros.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263991518730


.... which he revised this afternoon, dropping the BIN price by 50 to 138 Euros.



I haven't bothered comparing them word for word, but it's probably safe to assume that (before he revised the B-I-N listing) both listings originally shared the same set of photos and description.




Vendo bellissimo e raro orologio-cronografo marca SEIKO modello CHRONOGRAPH DAY-DATE con numero di referenza 7A38-724A A6 funzionante completamente e perfettamente-il crono parte e resetta correttamente ed il giorno e la data cambiano come si deve.La cassa misura 38,86 mm e da ansa ad ansa per il verticale misura 41,42 mm.La cassa e tutta in acciaio massiccio in condizioni molto belle con presente qualche normale lieve segno del tempo come da foto.Il quadrante originale color grigio con i tre contatori a V-molto bello e molto pulito come da foto.Ha una carica a quartz JAPAN calibro 7A38A e monta 15 rubini-carica e tiene il tempo molto bene.Il suo vetro presenta normali lievi segni di usura del tempo come da foto.Il fondello e in acciaio massiccio con la chiusura a vite con presente qualche normale segno di usura come da foto,ed il suo bracciale e originale SEIKO e veste un polso larghissimo in quanto presenti tutte le sue maglie(8 pz.).La corona e sua originale(un po consumata) come anche i 3 pulsanti.Il orologio si trova in bellissime condizioni(un po meno il vetro) ed e ancora piu bello che nelle foto,carica e tiene il tempo molto bene.Il orologio e originale a 100% e non e mai stato lucidato.Viene venduto da come descritto e da come presentato nelle foto-senza scatola e garanzia,ma se avete qualche domanda non esitate a chiedere e non dimenticate di guardare le mie altre inserzioni.Grazie!Auguro buon asta a tutti e che vinca il MIGLIORE!!!


October 16, 2018 at 1:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

Couple of extra points:-


Although the seller claims in his description that everything works properly, I somehow doubt that - unless he's since rectified his self-inficted fault. Check the penultimate image of the movement, showing the deftly deflected finger tension spring, bearing on the side of the axle of the centre seconds chronograph wheel. The mark of a truly incompetent bodger. 


For reasons best known to him, the seller is blocking all bidders from UK (even though we're still part of the EU). I did message him politely (in Italian) asking the reason why. He replied simply 'No ty'. Well I don't personally need another, so to conveniently borrow Fabio's earlier translation: Puoi ficcatelo su per il culo.


October 16, 2018 at 2:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 11896

Well that was a little strange. Very early yesterday morning, some 13 hours or so before the parallel running 7-day auction listing was due to end, the Italian seller ended the Buy-it-Now listing, because of an error. The error must have been in his judgement, because at that time, bidding on the auction had only reached 47.50 Euros. Presumably he expected it to exceed the reduced Buy-it-now price. :/


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263991518730



Unfortunately for him, it didn't. The auction ended yesterday evening, with the 7A38-724A selling for a very reasonable 122 Euros after 63 bids.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/263991515391


October 23, 2018 at 6:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 11896

Seiko7A38 at October 16, 2018 at 8:12 AM

As you'll see from the next few posts, the occasional 7A38-724A infrequently turning up in Italy appears to a common factor, which leads me to believe that Seiko specifically targeted this model at the Italian market.


Adding more weight to my earlier assumption, another 7A38-724A was listed on eBay late last night by another Italian seller. It's a 10-day auction with a somewhat over-optimistic opening bid price of 220 Euros. The seller describes it as 'ottime condizioni'. I'd be inclined do disagree. It's just in average worn condition. Note the obvious wear and grazing to the gold-plated bezel. Another reason to avoid it is that payment is only by Bank Transfer - no PayPal offered nor returns accepted. Then there's the multi-coloured raft of T&C's !


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/283433379863



Cronografo Seiko Quarzo

Acquistato nel 1982.

Perfettamente funzionante.

Originale al 100 %

Tasti a pompa ben funzionanti a piena corsa.


La spedizione verrà effettuata dopo aver ricevuto il pagamento.

Si accetta pagamento con bonifico bancario.


March 29, 2019 at 4:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 11896

One other point of interest - purely for the serial number anoraks amongst us. 

The seller erroneously states in his description: Acquistato nel 1982.

Which translates as Purchased in 1982. Obviously that's wrong, because Seiko didn't release any of the 7Axx's until 1983. Plus his watch has a case-back serial number 734517, indicating a manufacturing date of March 1987.




Interestingly that's only 7 units before the example sold by Italian eBay seller 18hobbyman13 last October, which was case-back s/n 734524.



The first one that I bought (with the discoloured sub-dials) from Italian eBay seller pichimmi, back in December 2010, has a case-back s/n 734326 (the lowest seen to date, for this particular model).



The second, much better condition example, which I bought in May 2014, has a case-back s/n 734587 (the highest seen to date).



So they're not just all 73xxxx serial numbers, but 734xxx, with a spread across these 4 examples, seen to date, of less than 300 units. It reminded me of those unique Italian market 7A38-706x variants that I've documented elsewhere in this forum section, which all have 8Dxxxx serial numbers. Food for thought. 


March 29, 2019 at 5:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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