Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > Non-Seiko 7Axx Discussion Area (Re-branded mvmt's) > JAZ Paris N8YZ669 and N8YZ63

Seiko7A38
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Posts: 13327

I thought I'd start a little topic on the under-appreciated JAZ Paris N8's. I've always had a soft spot for the two-tone Panda model # N8YZ669. This lunchtime I replaced the batteries in two of mine - which is what prompted this bout of keyboard bashing. Here's a slightly different wrist shot to the couple I just posted in the WRUW thread:




While I was at it, I thought I'd take a group photo of my 3 examples of this version.




Only the watch in the centre is fitted with (what I've assumed to be) it's original JAZ Paris branded leather strap. It's a lightly padded glossy finish 'Mock Croc'.



The one on the left, which was the first example I bought, back in February 2011, came fitted with a horrid Speidel FixoFlex stainless bracelet (or something similar). I replaced it with a Yema strap, black with white stitching, which seemed appropriate. The one on the right came fitted with a brown leather strap branded 'Beverly Hills Polo Club'. I replaced that with the slightly used heavily padded black leather strap you can see in those photos - particularly the wrist shot at the top. I can't remember what it came off, but It works quite well with the bulbous watch case lugs, IMHO. :)


A couple points to note from my 3-way group shot photo. The plastic Tachymeter ring of my first example has yellowed badly with age / exposure to sunlight. You'll often see the same thing on dressy Yema N8's. Similarly, there can be variations in the intensity of the black dial printing. My best example, in the centre, has noticably darker / heavier printing. I don't think this is due to fading, more likely variations in the dial manufacture tampo process. Again, you'll see this with white Yema N8 dials.


February 4, 2020 at 9:30 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13327

Unfortunately, none of my own watches, of either version, have come supplied with their original boxes. However I believe I know what the correct style of JAZ Paris presentation box for this watch may have been. One was included with a N8YZ669 listed on eBay in the States, back in January 2013:



I was going to bid on it, but as I wrote in the Yema N8's spotted thread at the time:


I was going to have a punt at it myself, but then I noticed someone had already placed a bid on it (thereby removing the Buy-it-Now option for $150). I recognized the bidder's ID immediately, as one belonging to a collector who regularly bids on 7Axx's, but doesn't often have much in the way of luck - until recently. A man I know simply as 'Don', from trading the odd eBay message with him. It was he who had first told me of the existence of the JAZ '7A38's a couple of years ago. So it seemed the decent thing not to outbid him. Fortunately nobody else did. :)


However looking again at a second photo of the box (which I'd saved, but hadn't bothered to upload to my post), the label shows a totally different model # 2020H and a price of 'only' $450, which I suspect is rather too low for the time, when most Yema N8's were retailing for $600 - $800.



I've certainly seen this exact same style of presentation box with numerous JAZ Paris ladies' watches. It's very 1980's - a sort of beige / light grey alcantara with velour interior. Rightly or wrongly, last July, I finally caved in and bought myself a couple of them off eBay in the States.




I just hadn't got around to putting one of my JAZ N8's in and taking a photo before:



February 4, 2020 at 11:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13327

I've never seen any old advertisements for these particular JAZ Paris watches, which might have indicated their retail price. If I'm honest, I haven't really looked that hard in recent years. I did spot this one, listed on eBay in the States way back in February 2011 (around the same time as I bought my first N8YZ669 and briefly started researching them):



It's a similar looking non-chrono' design - a three-hander with date @ 6 o'clock.

According to my image caption, the full-page advertisment was published in the September 1985 issue of Esquire men's magazine.


February 4, 2020 at 11:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13327

Back in the day, JAZ was a mainstream French watch manufacturer, ranking along with the likes of Yema, etc. They were probably best known, certainly in the 1950's 1960's and 1970's as a maker of alarm clocks. For anyone interested there's a dedicated thread on the French watch forum Forumamontres: La boîte à JAZ


As can be seen from a later post in that thread, the decline of JAZ as an individual brand started in 1983 when they were absorbed, along with Yema and Framelec, into a consortium owned by Matra Holdings. Yema had already been producing JAZ branded watches since 1982. The JAZ Paris brand was then used specifically to target the US market (much to the chagrin of the Forumamontres thread author).



There's also a JAZ website: http://www.jazwatch.com/chrono-jaz-aiment-vaincre/


February 4, 2020 at 12:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13327

Unfortunately JAZ's decline as an individual brand didn't end there. In 1988, Matra Holdings effectively sold out to Seiko France, forming the new larger consortium, C.G.H. (Compagnie Générale Horlogère).



From 1988 onwards, JAZ became just another albeit ostensibly French sub-brand of Seiko (C.G.H), using Hattori quartz movements in their watches, as dictated by their Japanese owners. Hence fortuitously the existence of the JAZ N8 '7A38'. :)


February 4, 2020 at 12:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13327

It's not as if these are a new discovery. Over the years, apart from posting a few wrist shots in the WRUW thread, I've written about various eBay listings for JAZ Paris N8's in the Yema N7's and N8's spotted... thread, on at least half a dozen occasions. One common factor stands out. They almost always turn up, listed on eBay in the States, which is what initially convinced me that they were specifically manufactured for and targeted at the lucrative US export market. However, there was one notable exception - a N8YZ669, which was listed by a German eBay seller in February 2017. You may recognise it from the photo below as one I bought. The full details of the listing are at the bottom of page 22 of the aforementioned thread.



Apart from being a nice example, I wanted it for the Instruction manual / Warranty booklet that came with it. The cover states 'Caliber V906', which powers it, of course being the Shimauchi Ltd. re-branded version of the Seiko 7A38A movement used in all C.G.H. produced 7A38's: Yema; Jaz, Kamatz, Loris Azzaro, Fred Force 10, etc.



No great surprise that the contents of the manual are in the usual Seiko format:



On the last page of the manual is a list of COSERV service centres .... 



The complete absence of any European service locations confirms my earlier assumption that these watches were only ever intended for the US market. 8)


February 4, 2020 at 11:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13327

When writing about these dressy Jaz N8's, I'll often use the word 'little' in describing them. It's just a bad habit of mine and not strictly true. :roll: They're not much smaller than your average Seiko 7A38, being 37.9mm diameter and a shade over 10mm deep, with 18mm between the lugs. What gives the impression of being smaller is their crystal, which is only 27.5mm in. diameter. The reduced viewable area of the dial plate is achieved by using a much smaller diameter Tachymeter ring:




From inside the watch case, everything else is standard 'Seiko 7A38' (apart from the re-branded Shimauchi Ltd. V906 movement back-plate and the blank battery positive plate - as found in all C.G.H. / Yema N8's).




For what appears to have been intended as a dress watch, they're quite chunky. The complete watch on it's original JAZ branded strap weighs 60.8 grammes. Of that total, 35.0 grammes is accounted for by the bare empty watch case (with pushers). I believe that the watch case is brass, or an alloy of it. I'd originally thought that the N8YZ669 was chrome plated, but from what I've since seen on some dressy Orient J39's, I believe it's actually Palladium, which is just as shiny. There's nothing on the case-back to indicate the actual watch case material:




Just STAINLESS STEEL BACK and BASE METAL BEZEL. Incidentally, the 6 removal notches on Jaz N8's are very shallow (compared to Seiko 7Axx's), so it's rare to see one without the usual clumsy slipped tool marks on the highly polished case-back. :(


March 21, 2020 at 9:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 13327

Did I also mention that Jaz N8's can sometimes be picked up very cheaply ?

I spotted this non-running example listed by a US eBay seller, last week, as a 5-day auction, with an opening bid price of only $15. I must admit that on this occasion, I deliberately elected not to post about it in the Yema N7's and N8's spotted thread, so as not to draw any unnecessary unwanted attention.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254538826409


Vintage Jaz Paris Quartz Men’s Wristwatch Chronograph. It is not running, so it needs a new battery. Shipping is $4.


There were only two photos, but in the second one, you can just see an inverted S on the right hand side back of the strap. If I'm not mistaken, this watch is still fitted with it's original JAZ PARIS branded leather strap:




Though what condition it's in remains to be seen. :/ This was ashamedly another case of me really not needing another, but I never could resist a bargain, so I nailed it (3 times, for good measure, to make sure) for the opening bid price of $15. :D


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254538826409


March 21, 2020 at 10:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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