Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers



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Forum Home > 7A38-xxxx Model Specific Area > 7A38-6000 SAA039J - Stainless small size 'Diver / Panda'

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So, let's start at the very beginning. :)

When I first started collecting Seiko 7A38's, early in 2009, I didn't so much as studiously ignore the 'Diver' variants - I simply eschewed buying them. I can remember posting elsewhere, on a good few occasions, a little catch-phrase of mine: I don't do Divers as a rule. :roll:

In doing so (or not, as the case was back then), particularly in that first year, I probably passed up the opportunity of buying a few bargains on eBay - or at least compared to the prices some of those models are now selling for, three years later. Of more anon.

It's strange how one's tastes change, and indeed, since I 'saw the light' some of those 7A38 'Diver' variants have become favourites.

However, what I did do, and later found invaluable for reference, was to right-click and save any and every 7A38 photo I came across.

It wasn't until nearly 2 years later that I added a 7A38-6000 to my collection - and even then I was a little confused when I bought it.

The first example I'd ever seen, and right-clicked and saved half a dozen photos of, belongs to a man who became something of a legend on the old Network54 SCWF - Lew Brown. He has a reputation for willingness to help fellow 7Axx enthusiasts, and his ability to resurrect seeming lost causes led to a slightly macabre, but familiar signature: 

You see, and I'm sure Lew won't mind me saying, but his 7A38-6000 falls into the category of a well-loved and modded 'beater'. ;)

Apart from being fitted with an after-market 'Pepsi' bezel insert, reamed to fit, and a non-original 'Oyster' style bracelet ....

it was how the colour of of the dial / subdials appeared in some of Lew's photos which confused me into thinking it was a true 'Panda'. 

In these latter two, it becomes clearer that the dial colour is actually pale silvery-grey with very dark navy blue subdials:

Note also the red-painted tip to the sweep second hand, which is original, but not to all 7A38-6000 production, apparently. :/

February 8, 2012 at 8:35 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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The second example of a 7A38-6000 that I ever saw (then again, only in a photo) belonged to another serious 7A38 collector.

This one appears to be fitted with the original Seiko p/n G1157S bracelet, but  the dark blue bezel insert has lost a lot of laquer:

This barely recognizable piece of junk, with an equally beat-up and also pretty rare 7A38-701A turned up on eBay in June 2010:

Not long after, in July 2010, Filipino eBay seller José Sotto (a.k.a. 'Watchcooking') offered this reasonable example on eBay, fitted with a black after-market bezel insert. Note, unlike the previous three, this one's sweep second hand doesn't have have a red-painted tip.

It also came with the original dark blue bezel insert (thoughtfully supplied loose), and still fitted with the original G1157 bracelet end pieces, and if not the complete original Seiko p/n G1157S 'Vice-President' style bracelet, something which very closely resembled it:

But I was somewhat put off by the dis-coloured and washed-out dial face, and passed.  I'm glad that I did - of more anon. :)

Whilst I'm on the subject of 7A38-6000s on eBay, there was one listed relatively recently in November 2011, that I may as well mention.



Apart from being fitted with a non-original Seiko rubber 'Dive' strap, there were a few warning signs that this was possibly one to avoid.

The Filipino seller was 'RestoredWatches', who hasn't got the best of reputations for accurate and forthright descriptions of his wares.

Note also the after-market knurled crown. The case appears to have been buffed to remove a ding in one side, and the case-back had been skimmed to within an inch of its life - presumably in attempt  to remove some deep slipped removal tool marks. :/

After 27 bids, it sold to a bidder whose eBay ID I instantly recognised, for $167.50 (approx. £105.50).

I was trading some emails with him at the end of January, this year, and I happened to mention his 7A38-6000 in passing.

He wrote back:

..... and yes you were right about the 7A38-6000 too. What a pile of poo that one was - got 60% of my money back - if you remember, advertised by RW as in perfect order, "serviced at no extra cost blah blah..." pushers wouldn't work, chrono would not reset or perform 'self test/demo' I released/greased all the pushers and crown seal - also found the the 'chapter ring'? (ring under the glass?) had been broken in 2 parts and glued together (cracks at 9 and 3 can just be seen in photos with hindsight) and glued to the face which in turn is glued to the calibre (no little screws!), probably should have pushed for more than 60%! Anyhow I have yet to complete the service to the jewels on the face side but it already is keeping good time, chrono now functioning well with the odd non-return to zero of the minute register, which should be resolved when properly lubed. I keep underestimating some the damage some do to theses watches to complete a sale.

I then pointed out the after-market knurled crown, and asked him whether it had been re-lumed. The lume looked very green.

He replied:

Point taken but it is the first and only time he will get away with that with me - he did offer a total refund and return postage so I didn't think he was all bad (naive I know). The 7A38-6000 had been relumed badly and whilst I suspected the crown to be aftermarket (and now you have confirmed), it's not the worst replacement I have seen.

Should you read this, please accept my apologies for quoting your eMails almost verbatim, Bob - I have invited you to join in. ;)

I just thought this might serve as a salutory warning to those new to the perils of buying on eBay - as part of the 'Buyers Guide'.

February 8, 2012 at 8:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13329

My own example of the 7A38-6000 came not from eBay, but a Swedish online auctioneers of Jewellery and Watches -

I stumbled across it in their Shop section in November 2010. The listing is still there - I paid 1200 Swedish Krona for it (not 3500 !)


Their brightly-lit photo further confused me as to the true actual colour of the dial. Note the plain black sweep hand, without red tip.

It came fitted with a Citizen? 20mm rubber 'Dive' strap, which had been crudely trimmed down to fit the watch's 18mm lug width.

Rubber 'Dive' straps are not to my personal tastes (at all) but I did actually take a quick photo of it, wearing it as received:

As you can see from this photo, the original bezel insert is very good, but has a few light and thankfully very shallow scratch marks.

In the absence of the original Seiko p/n G1157S bracelet, I started casting around for alternatives. I did look long and hard at a couple of NOS vintage Pulsar 18mm 'Oyster' style bracelets, but I knew in my heart of hearts, that even if I changed their 'P' logo'd clasps for Seiko SQ ones, that they wouldn't be 'correct'. My first Q&D alternative solution was to buy a very cheap two-piece heavy-duty Nylon webbing strap off eBay. Not only don't I do 'Rubber', but as many readers will already know, I'm not a fan of NATOs and their ilk either.

The colour was a good compromise match between the (very) dark blue of the subdials and the deep metallic blue of the bezel insert:

About this time I started a thread (which, incidentally, has since received some 3,400 views) on the UK RLT watch forum, entitled:

Strap Suggestions for a Dinky Diver Anybody ? (in case any of this verbage looks vaguely familiar, I copied some of my text :P ;).

The 'Dinky' being a reference to small 1:45 scale 1950's die-cast toy cars produced by Meccano Ltd, under the brand 'Dinky Toys'.

Compared to latter-day normal acceptable sizes for a 'Diver', this watch is 'Dinky' - being approximately only 37mm in diameter.

I continued my experimentation with different strap options, none of which proved particularly satisfactory, including:

.... both an allegedly Navy Blue Shark leather strap, which was a total colour mis-match, and a hideous mid-Blue silicone 'Dive' strap:

I did get plenty of replies in that thread which I started on RLT - many posters touting for NATO straps, which I personally abhor :roll:

but I'm deeply indebted to 'Retronaut' (Rich) for his suggestion of fitting a 'Beads of Rice' style bracelet. I decided to go 'vintage'. :)

Although the 7A38-6000 dated from the mid-80s, I started looking on eBay for 1960's style 18mm Seiko 'Beads of Rice' bracelets.

They are there to be had - not in great numbers, but the asking prices for NOS (and used) examples are bordering on extortion. :(

Here's one, currently listed on eBay, with a Buy-it-Now asking price of $199:

After considering a few, which ranged in prices from $100 upwards, I got, what can only be described as, extremely lucky. :)

I found a 1960's vintage Seiko Sportsman 17J watch fitted with an original Seiko 'Beads of Rice' bracelet in very good condition:

It cost me only $45, and I subsequently sold the watch head for £15 - without the lovely Beads of Rice bracelet, needless to say.

The bracelet end pieces were actually 19mm wide; had 'double-skinned' edges, and also a slightly different radius of curvature:

A couple of hours work later, with Dremel, jeweller's files and Wet and Dry paper wrapped around a suitable sized ½" drive socket:

At that stage, I still had a little more trimming to do on the 12 o'clock side bracelet end piece, to achieve a better fit.

Here's a couple of (flash-lit) Q&D wrist shots I took under the tree, on Christmas Day morning in December 2010. How sad is that :roll:

Much as I love my 'Dinky Diver' on it's non-original Seiko Beads of Rice bracelet, I haven't really taken very many photos of it. :(

At the time I acquired it, and was fitting the bracelet, it was the middle of Winter, and there wasn't much natural light available.

Here's one I took by flash around the same time, which purely by luck, captured the dial and sub-dial colours almost perfectly:

February 8, 2012 at 8:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
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Specifications and Buyers Guide: 7A38-6000 SAA039J

Size:  37mm diameter (excluding crown and pushers) x 11mm deep - 18mm lug width fixing.

Case appears to be a scaled down version of that used on the 7A38-706x family, with a flange to adapt the rotating bezel.

Case material: Stainless steel - not coated. Top of case (lug area) is (rotary) brushed, case sides polished with a swage line.

Bi-directional 60-click bezel with enamelled deep metallic blue bezel insert and conventional 'Diver'  ▽ | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | scale.

Dial: Part number is 7A38600LX997. Seiko's database shows no dial colour. It is a matt pale silvery-grey with very dark blue subdials.

Dial markings: '12' at top of dial; SEIKO (printed) QUARTZ Chronograph SPORTS 100; at bottom JAPAN 7A38 600L T Suwa symbol.

Day and Date wheels: White lettering on black background. Second languages seen include: Spanish and Arabic.

Hands: Main handset is all black (with lume). Sweep second hands may have a red-painted tip. Sub-dial hands are silvery-white.

Seiko crystal p/n: 285W26GN00 - 28.5mm Ø x 1.85mm thick, with polished bevel - obsolete NLA; no substitutes identified at present.

Case-back markings: Double Wave Caseback; stamped 7A38-6000 [A0] SEIKO STAINLESS STEEL WATER RESISTANT JAPAN S

Seiko bracelet p/n: G1157S - 'ears' of  bracelet end pieces are stamped G1157. Fixing by 18mm x 1.5mm Ø spring bars.

Clasp is 'standard' brushed finish - 16mm x 35mm long, with 7 adjustment holes, stamped SEIKO SQ.

Production variances: Examples seen both with and without red-tipped (black) sweep second hands.

Production dates: Examples seen have serial numbers beginning 49xxxx through 4Dxxxx (Sept. - Dec. 1984) and 52xxxx (Feb. 1985)

Geography: Seem to turn up pretty much worldwide - particulary in Europe. No obvious trend seen to date.

Buyers Tips: Original Dark Blue bezel insert is irreplaceable - buy the best you can. Beware of non-original bracelets.

Price Guide: $150 - $500 dependant upon condition.

Rarity Factor: 3/5 - Moderately Hard To Find.

February 8, 2012 at 8:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13329

Although I'm quite content with my own example, especially on its non-original Seiko 'Beads of Rice' bracelet ....

it doesn't stop me looking around for better examples - not neccessarily to buy - just to see what else is out there.

To that end, I not only spend a great deal of time searching eBay, but I regularly run google searches on 7A38-xxxx model numbers - which incidentally was how I stumbled across my own on Kaplans' auction website.

I ran a search on 7A38-6000 again in late June 2011, and chanced across this thread on the Spanish watch forum

The watch looked a very nice example, with an almost unmarked bezel insert and on the original Seiko G1157S bracelet:

Like myself, the owner of the watch (although he has the original G1157S bracelet) had experimented with other fittings:

He also seems to prefer wearing his watches on NATO straps - might just be something to do with those very hirsute wrists. ;)

I contacted the owner through ForodeReloges - my Spanish is virtually non-existent - thankfully his English is excellent.

We also have something else in common - he also bought a NOS 7A38-7270, from that batch which turned up in Israel.

He's a member of this forum too, needless to say. Over to you, Julio .... ;)

February 9, 2012 at 9:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
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In the meantime, I'm moving on to start work, tomorrow, on the next thread in the (numerical) sequence - the 7A38-6010. :)

Here's a photo of my 7A38-6000 on Beads of Rice, next to my current example of a 7A38-6010 in one of my collection boxes:

February 9, 2012 at 5:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 41

Remarkable post for a truly beautiful watch, Paul, probably my favourite of them all, thanks man! You have my word I will add the only two cents you have left to be added the soonest. I'll do my best and... no straps, no natos, you have my word on it. :)

February 9, 2012 at 5:37 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13329

C'mon Julio - tell us about your 7A38-6000 then. ;) I've been saving this especially for you. :D

 .... and on the basis that .... in the meantime, here's a few more of mine:

February 9, 2012 at 5:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 41

After a few attempts, we got to some decent photos, here they are, with its original bracelet, as Paul likes it:

Thanks for watching, and thanks to Paul for sharing this space with us.

March 18, 2012 at 8:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13329

This more recent example of a 7A38-6000 to sell on eBay, in June 2012 is worthy of mention ....

not for its condition, because it was far from original, but for the comparatively remarkable price that it achieved:



Here's a Seiko Speedmaster quartz Chronograph, 7A38-6000....37mm


DIAL: Original dial in good condition. Relumed hands. Farci/English wheel. All functions work.

CRYSTAL: Original glass.

BEZEL: Aftermarket insert.

CASEBACK: Unpolished case......49......September 1984.

MOVEMENT: Overhauled 3 weeks ago.... watch keeps time.

BRACELET: Nylon strap.

Not only was it fitted with an aftermarket bezel insert, missing the original p/n G1157S bracelet, replaced by a cheap NATO strap, but

the hands were supposed to have been re-lumed, and the red-painted tip of the sweep second hand had been partially re-painted.

Despite all the foregoing, it still made $255 (approx. £166.27) after 16 bids; the auction receiving 701 views during the 7-day listing. 

June 4, 2012 at 6:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 41

Hehe, I had been lurking around expecting some comments on your behalf, particularly about the bezel issue. The plain "aftermarket" statement sounded somehow misleading to me, particularly because this one is not so often seen. It may give the impression that an actual 7A38-6000 replacement had been used, when in fact that insert belongs in some other watch.

At all events, I am glad to see your hawkeye is still watching. Abrazo!

June 6, 2012 at 4:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13329

Ever vigilant, Julio. 8)

So it would be very remiss of me, not to mention these two 7A38-6000's,

which are poles apart in terms of condition, that were both listed on eBay last week, within a matter of only hours of each other ....

Seiko Quartz Chronograph sports 100 watch

Seiko Quartz Chronograph Sports 100 Watch.

Working condition.

Bezel show signs of wear and tear over all excellent condition.

Although not stated in the seller's description, it was fitted with a non-original rubber dive strap, instead of the p/n G1157S bracelet.

The 7-day auction listing ended a matter of moments ago, with the watch selling for only $124.19 (approx. £80) after 14 bids. Looking at the bidding history, it appears to have been won by the losing bidder ID (who bid $250) on the previous 7A38-6000 on June 3rd. :)

July 11, 2012 at 6:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
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The other 7A38-6000 - a NOS with tags example, has in fact already been mentioned in the 'Crazy Prices' thread in the eBay section.



Seiko chronograph new and never worn. Seiko coming from my private collection.

Box / tag all original Seiko.

The Italian eBay seller 'angeli_65' is asking $1500 (or best offer) - or approx. £968 to the impecunious UK buyer. :(

The would-be seller also has it listed on eBay Italy Classifieds, with two slightly different photos:

There, the asking price is 1200.00 Euros (equivalent to approx. £947).

I was tempted to make a sensible low offer, but instead I cheekily messaged the seller, asking if they could send me the original high resolution photos from the eBay listing (with the intention of posting them in this thread). They very kindly emailed me 6 different ones:

Production dates: The few examples seen have serial numbers beginning 4Oxxxx through 4Dxxxx (Q4 1984) - (Now edited accordingly).

Note that this particular example has a 52xxxx serial number - and so a later production date than previously seen - February 1985. ;)

July 11, 2012 at 6:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
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That eBay listing for the NOS 7A38-6000 was originally scheduled to run for 30 days:

.... but it was ended early on the 25th July - for that all-too-frequently-seen reason:

Looking at the history:

The seller angeli_65 declined an offer of $800 the previous day, 24th July. So presumably it was sold off eBay for at least that figure.

August 13, 2012 at 3:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
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Apparently it can't have sold, as I'd assumed, because this evening it was back on eBay, relisted using another eBay ID strega_68 

- obviously exactly the same watch, serial number 528139, now being offered by the other half of this Italian husband and wife team:





This time around, their asking price is reduced to $1000. Perhaps they would have done well to accept the previous offer of $800. :roll:

October 20, 2012 at 6:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Indeed that would seem to be the case. This time around the best of 3 offers they received (and naturally declined) was only $250. :(

Incidentally, that listing received 549 views over the 30 days. It was re-listed this morning:

November 20, 2012 at 5:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13329

A passable looking 7A38-6000, but fitted with a black aftermarket bezel insert and leather strap, was listed on eBay last weekend:





Authentic Seiko Chrono Mens Watch, japan made. original gray dial and hands, day and date (arabic and english), hardlex crystal, SS bezel, aftermarket ring bezel, case and back case are stainless steel, aftermarket leather bracelet, quartz movement movement.

See pictures for best descriptions. Sizes are approximately 37mm excluding crown x 43mm lug to lug, up to 7.00 inches wrist. 


1. no polish.

2. Machine cleaned and oiled two weeks ago. No Water test

3. Watch keeps time. Full functions 

Other Features

Easy day and date adjustments

The auction ended 20 minutes ago at $160.99 (approx. £99.84) after 21 bids. The listing received 241 views over the 7-day period.

January 13, 2013 at 5:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
Posts: 13329

This time around, their asking price is reduced to $1000. Perhaps they would have done well to accept the previous offer of $800. :roll:

Indeed it seems they would have. Having re-listed it twice more again, the seller finally caved in yesterday and sold it for only $600 !

January 16, 2013 at 10:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Site Owner
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Another Filipino eBay seller, clm1002, followed up with a very similar offering to the previous one, only a week after that listing ended.

Once again, his was fitted with a black after-market bezel insert and a leather strap, though possibly this one had been polished more:


The auction ended earlier this evening at £88.00 (approx. $139) after 17 bids. The listing received 548 views over the 7 days.

January 27, 2013 at 2:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Italian eBay seller Strega_68 listed this used 7A38-6000 about an hour ago, with a typically over-optimistic Buy-it-Now price:







I say 'typically over-optimistic', because if you remember (or scroll back up through this thread), you'll see that Strega_68's 'partner in crime', Angeli_65 (they are actually husband and wife) listed a NOS 7A38-6000 back in July 2012, originally asking a whopping $1500 for it, which they finally sold in January this year for 'only' $600.

The other thing to be wary of with this example is the bracelet fitted - it's NOT the original Seiko p/n G1157S band. Compare it with the photos of the NOS example in their previous listing. Not just the end pieces, but the profile of the link sections are completely different.

December 15, 2013 at 7:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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