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Forum Home > Non-Seiko 7Axx Discussion Area (Re-branded mvmt's) > Some wry observations on Orient J39 pricing

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I started this thread, some 7½ years ago, protesting about unrealistic prices being asked for a couple of Orient J39x01-70 'Divers'. One of them, which first appeared on Yahoo Japan auctions on Boxing Day, 2011, particularly galled me, because it was uniquely different (in having an 'Indianapolis 500' dial logo). Although I badly wanted to add it to my collection, I simply wasn't prepared to pay anything like the YJ seller's asking price.

Just to quickly recap the details (obviously the auction item link no longer works):

★ORIENT by SEIKO-7A38ムーブメント搭載 1980年代・超レア品★

The Japanese seller 'Serena_Special' was originally asking an absolutely ridiculous ¥59,500 Yen - then equivalent to  £488 or $763 US. They subsequently dropped the price to ¥39,500 Yen, and eventually, nearly a year later, by the beginning of December 2012, the price had come down to 'only' ¥35,000 Yen. :roll:

I stubbornly sat on my hands. Some 20 months after it was listed (and re-listed ad nauseam), to my dismay, it finally sold in August 2013 for an undisclosed offer. :(

I wrote at the time:

But I'm not sure I'll see another like that, with the 1985 Indy 500 logo, ever again - not in my lifetime, anyway. It was a rare one indeed.

September 11, 2019 at 7:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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I'll admit, I'd almost completely given up all hope of finding another example. :|

As I've mentioned in a few of the Orient J39 threads, I regularly search google images on various J39xxx-xx model numbers. Although I have a number of saved eBay (and other) searches, which should find most of them, I've stumbled across quite a few more using this method. Last week, I ran a search on 'J39701-70' and spotted this new thumbnail image which I've outlined in red.

You can probably imagine my reaction. 

That quickly led me to the Yahoo Japan listing, which was a 7-day auction, with an opening bid price of only 2,000 Yen. By the time I found it, towards the end of last week, it was already 4 days old, but no bids had been placed.

Google translates the Japanese seller's description as follows:

【Product name】

ORIENT / Orient QUARTZ J39701-70 CA INDIANAPLUS 500 SA160 Watch Quartz type Operation not confirmed junk


J39701-70 CA




Quartz type

【water resistant】


【Case width】

Approximately 39cm (excluding crown)

Around the arm】

~ About 180㎜

【Belt width】

About 20cm


Junk * operation unconfirmed * scratch dirt.

We do not measure overhaul or daily difference.

It becomes an exhibition in the current situation.



Exhibits are all in the image.

Please give me the state of goods with reference to a picture.

Thank you very much for seeing this time.

Please understand well that it is second-hand goods to the last.

I need your help by a no claim no return.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Once again, I enlisted the invaluable assistance of Japanese forum member Daisuke to proxy bid on it for me. He had very little competition from other bidders, up to 5,250 Yen. The last 3 bids were in fact 'safety' bids placed by Daisuke, at my behest, but still far short of the maximum 'killer' bid figure I'd given him. 'We' won the auction early yesterday morning (UK time) for a remarkably satisfying ¥5,500 Yen - equivalent to a mere $51.15 USD / £41.40 GBP ! :D

So not only have I finally acquired what I'd thought to be an unattainable Orient J39 'Diver' variant, I've considerably reduced my average price paid once again. :P

September 11, 2019 at 8:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Seiko7A38 at September 13, 2014 at 5:58 AM

Seiko7A38 at February 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

As I said, I've collected 5 different variants of the Orient J39x01-70 Desk Diver so far. There are probably umpteen more permutations out there to be found. I did a quick calculation on the price I'd paid for each of them - converting it to dollars. The most expensive was the 'Gunmetal' two-tone J39601-70 which I bought via a fellow collector, Kurt. The cheapest was of course the 'freebee' from Wimstore. The average price I paid ? Just under $70.

Despite having somewhat exceeded my previously calculated (2012) average purchase price, in what I just paid for these two NOS examples, with the three 'cheapies' that I bought off eBay Germany in 2013, I'm still better than maintaining my average. :D

After 5 years .... I guess it's about time for a LONG overdue update, methinks. :P

Except it gets a bit scary when you start plugging the numbers into a spreadsheet and totalling up what I've actually spent on these comparatively cheap Orient J39 'Diver's over the last 9 years. My original 'back of a fag packet' quick calculation, in mid-February 2012, wasn't actually too far out at 'just under $70'. Recalculating it again, making sure to use the exact prevailing currency exchange rates, it comes out at an average of $69.04 per watch. When I wrote in September 2014, stating confidently that I was 'better than maintaining my average', it had actually come down to $65.76 per watch, by which time there were these 10 in my collection.

Problem was, I've kind of splurged this year. In the Spring, there were those 5 NOS J39x01-70's I'd bought from the Lebanese eBay seller @ $99 apiece. More recently I allowed myself to be suckered into paying $275 for that allegedly 'military issued' (BAF) J39701-70 (see bottom of the previous page). I felt certain that would have blown my previous average price paid out of the water. Not quite, it seems. :)

Calculating the present average on the same basis (i.e. the $ equivalent of the price paid for the watch), I'm now at a shade under $82 per watch - $81.99 to be precise. Even if I remove the two 'parts watches', which I bought in 2017, from the equation, it still comes in at just under $87 per complete working watch - $86.98:)

Thing is, after you've added on the postage costs, Paypal's extortionate exchange rates and other incidentals*, those prices creep up slightly - hence the extra column on the right, which gives the 'worst case scenario'. Taking the £ Sterling sum total from that, converting it to $ USD at today's lousy exchange rate and dividing by 19, comes out @ $91.56 per watch. So I'm still well under $100 average per watch. :D

*Anyone curious enough to zoom in, or right-click and save the screen print of my speadsheet, may be wondering why I appear to have paid Wimstore £24.78 for my 'Freebee'. They indeed very generously offered to supply the watch at no cost, but quite reasonably wanted 8 Euros for its postage. They didn't accept PayPal, Bank Transfer was (and still is) too costly and TransferWise was then only 6 months old and unbeknown to me. So I did what I usually did, back in the day, and went to my local Post office to draw cash Euros. Only the day I went, they were completely out of stock of lower denomination notes. So I sent Wimstore a €20 note (by recorded mail). Seemed like fair deal to me. ;)

September 18, 2019 at 7:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Before I go any further, I want to thank Japanese forum member Daisuke, once again, for his selfless assistance in helping me to secure a long term 'grail', in the form of that rare variant of Orient J39701-70 with the 1985 Indianapolis 500 logo.

Before he packaged it up, in his customary 'bulletproof' manner, Daisuke emailed me a few photos of the watch. This one was a little disconcerting, I must admit. 

In his accompanying email, Daisuke wrote that he thought it might be rust creeping from under the bezel on the 12 o'clock side. Thankfully it transpired it wasn't - just accumulated unidentifiable gunge, which I removed by gently dabbing away at, with some paper towel soaked in cold soapy water.

I collected Daisuke's package from the local Royal Mail sorting office depot on Tuesday morning. The Yahoo Japan seller had typically described the watch as 'Operation not confirmed junk', so naturally it came with a flat battery. First thing I did was to unscrew the case-back, to see if there was any sign of battery leakage.

It was pretty clean. Something I noticed was how shallow the ORIENT stamping was - barely legible. The dead battery was SEIKO branded, but I don't think it was original. It did come fitted with a case-back gasket, but oddly it was the flat section type, like you'd expect to find on a Seiko 7Axx, rather than the correct O-ring section normally used on Orient J39's, so it came off with the case-back, rather than staying put in its recess, as they usually do.

While I had the case-back off, I popped the dial / movement out, to see what other possibly different part numbers might be hidden underneath the Tachymeter ring.

Not the best of photos, I concede. In fact, the main dial part number is J392 0017 - exactly the same as all the other J39x01-70 'Divers' that I've checked. Where this unique Indianapolis 500 logo'd dial differs (and I'd already sussed, from zooming in on photos) is that the suffix is 902, rather than the usual 001 or 002.

The weather in UK has been extremely variable (read crap) this week. By the time I'd re-assembled the watch, it was chucking it down again. I took this Q&D almost 'as received' wrist shot the following day, between showers.

The difference being that although I still haven't given it a proper strip and clean, I'd wiped away most of that unidentified gunge from the top end of the watch case - and fitted a spare bracelet adjustment link, so I could get it on my wrist. I'd already counted up the number of links in the bracelet from the YJ seller's photos and was relieved that it was only one link short of its full original complement. As 'NOS', an Orient p/n SA160 bracelet comes with 23 links in total (12 on one side of the clasp, 11 on the other, with 9 removable adjustment links (5 one side and 4 on the other). In 'as new' unstretched condition, that is a close fit on a 7½" wrist. The links are alternately plain / with a polished or gold plated central bar. Unfortunately whoever removed that link had taken out one with a polished bar from the middle of the removable link section on the shorter 6 o'clock side - and all I had in my spares to replace it with, was a plain link. Still, at the price I paid, I can hardly complain. :P

One other difference with the bracelet fitted to this particular watch - although it's stamped with p/n SA160 on the fixing tubes, like all the variants, regardless of their finish, it doesn't have the usual ORIENT logo'd short clasp closer (like this, on one of my recently acquired NOS J39701-70's).

Instead, it's just plain, but rather than being brushed stainless steel finish, it's spray painted silver to match the finish of the bracelet ....

(That minor difference was already clearly visible in the YJ seller's photos.) ;)

September 29, 2019 at 8:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Seiko7A38 at December 26, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Incidentally, that Indianapolis 500 logo on the dial would seem to be 'period correct' for the watch.

Since 1980, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has changed its logo for the '500' race every year.


The Orient dial logo appears to be a black and white depiction of the 1985 Indy 500 logo:

That 1985 race being memorable for the Andretti / Sullivan 'Spin and Win' incident:

Going back 7 years or so, from first seeing Yahoo Japan seller serena_special's grainy photos, I'd sussed the watch's dial carried a black and white depiction of the 1985 Indianapolis 500 logo (albeit somewhat simplified). Though my efforts to find a better (read larger) image of it online (let alone one in black and white) had failed. That small image from the Johnsonindy500trackforum website measures a mere 254x154 pixels. But I think I now know where they got it from. 8)

While I was waiting for the Yahoo Japan auction to end, I'd been googling (as you do) and running a few searches on eBay, looking for 1985 Indy 500 memorabilia.

There's lots of stuff on eBay, including some pricey pin badges, programmes and loads of patches (I'm dubious about some of their alleged originality). I did stumble across a grey V-neck sweatshirt, which carried this slight variation of the logo (with the date underneath), silk screen printed in navy blue:

Then I hit paydirt (or so I initially thought) and ordered one of these:

1985 Indianapolis 500 Sticker Sheet (45 Race Logo Stickers)

The US eBay seller imsmuseum is apparently an official sales outlet for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. Unfortunately, despite Indy's worldwide renown, they're incapable of posting even a sheet of stickers outside CONUS and cancelled my order ! :mad: The wording on their eBay profile almost beggars belief:

So once again, I had to avail myself of the most excellent US forwarding service, forum member 'Paul in Vegas' (PHK), who kindly shipped them on to me. Paul's suitably re-addressed package arrived yesterday morning. Although the package was a bit soggy (the post lady who delivered it was absolutely soaked to the skin) after I'd left it to dry out in the airing cupboard overnight, the contents were fine.

Once again it's been a really miserable day, weatherwise, but during a couple of brief spells of sunshine, I managed to rattle off a couple of half-decent shots this morning (please excuse the variations in natural light) ....

September 29, 2019 at 10:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Something of a belated postscript to that Orient 1985 Indianapolis 500 logo'd J39.

Needless to say, while I was still waiting for Daisuke's package to arrive, I did my usual thing and googled it compulsively, in the hope of learning more about it.

Unfortunately, TAG Heuer's saturation online marketing makes it almost impossible to filter out any other meaningful results. :roll: The original Heuer company may have supplied watches to selected individual Indy 500 drivers like Mario Andretti back in the 1960's, but TAG Heuer (which wasn't actually formed until 1985) didn't become an Indianapolis 500 sponsor, official timekeeper and supplier of watches until 2004.

Prior to that, from 2001 to 2004 the official supplier of watches was Maurice Lacroix.

I did search elsewhere (including the Heuer dedicated Calber11 website), but the earliest TAG Heuer branded Indy 500 watch I've been able to find was that fugly specially produced 1991 75th Anniversary watch, based on their 2000 Series diver, mentioned in the Mario Andretti OTD article (and here on the Caliber11 forum).

In this OnTheDash article, on vintage Autavia / Heuer chrono's, there's a section entitled Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which includes the intriguing statement:

We believe that the Autavia chronographs were ordered by Tony George, the owner of the Speedway in the 1960s, and given as gifts to his friends and business associates. With respect to the Carreras and the stopwatches, we do not have any evidence suggesting that these timepieces were awarded as prizes to racers or entrants in the Indianapolis 500 race, or otherwise presented to VIPs. My best guess is that these timepieces were ordered by the gift shop at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and sold to members of the public.

Of course, any original period information on the Internet, about watches or for that matter, any other subject, prior to 1990 is pretty scarce, because the World Wide Web, as we know, it didn't start till then. So when all else (including Google) fails - try searching eBay. It's surprising what other old crap you can find. :P

During September, I ran a few additional random worldwide eBay searches on 'Indianapolis 500 watch'. One of them turned up this unbranded LCD chrono' with an Indianapolis 500 dial logo. The styling is distinctly 1980's. It may be the complete antithesis of what I was actually looking for, but it does have some relevance. ;)

RARE Vintage estate found Indianapolis 500 LCD watch & winston cup racing watch

Having re-listed it a couple of times, the eBay seller subsequently ended it as NLA.

It might not be immediately obvious, but like the black and white 1985 Indianapolis 500 logo on the Orient J39, it turns out the gold logo on that LCD chrono' is actually a much simplified depiction of the 1988 Indy 500 logo. With thanks once again to:

The fact that the LCD watch had TM after the logo turned my thoughts to Licensing.

So I headed for what I thought was then the official Indianapolis Motor Speedway website and found this page (which since appears to have been deleted in its entirety and not replaced on their current website):

(Just to show I'm not going senile, here's a screen print of cached Google results.)

Apart from a section on Jewelry Licencees (which naturally included Tag Heuer), there was also a sub-section entitled 'Become a Licencee', which included what turned out to be a defunct contact email address (*****

To my surprise, a couple of days later I received a reply from a lady named Nicole Garside (whose email address was ******** Turns out she was the Director of Licensing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and is now Senior Director, Consumer Products at IndyCar.

In answer to my specific question:

Did Indianapolis Motor Speedway have a licensing agreement with the Orient Watch Co. Ltd. (Japan) in 1985 ?

On September 11th, Nicole wrote back:

Let me do some digging. We had an agent in Japan representing us at that time so it is very possible. I didn’t start here until ’99 so I may or may not be able to find this information. But I will try.

October 18, 2019 at 1:45 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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I have a confession to make. Last month, I bought yet another two-tone Orient J39001-70 and in doing so, paid way over the odds (and my self imposed limits) for a watch in such poor condition. It was briefly listed on eBay Germany, in fact for less than half an hour, before I saw it and too hastily hit the Buy-it-Now button.

Orient J39 Quartz Chronograph, Seiko 7A38 Movement, bicolor, works good


Orient J39 Quartz Chronograph mit Seiko 7A38 Werk. Deutlich getragener Zustand mit Kratzern und Goldabrieb.

Glas nicht original. Armband an der Schliesse modifiziert damit es schliesst.

Original Armband mit einer geschlossenen Länge von 19,5cm.

Drehbare Lünette. 

Alle funktionen der Uhr arbeiten einwandfrei. (Uhrzeit, Chronograph inkl. Reset auf 12 Uhr alle Zeiger)

Großer Reset (Drücker unten rechts 2 Sek.) natürlich auch mit einer Zeigerdrehung der großen,-kleinen Sekunde und kl. Minute auf 12 Uhr. 

International bidders are welcome. Shipping worldwide insured and trackable.

Please feel free to ask me any question about the watch. 

Bitte bedenken Sie, dass es sich um eine gebrauchte Uhr handelt, welche nicht auf Wasserdichtheit getestet wurde.

Auch bedenken Sie bitte, dass es keine neue Uhr ist und über die viele Jahre getragen wurde (nicht von mir) welches sich auf den allgemeinen Zustand auswirkt d.h. Kratzer an diversen stellen Gehäuse (auch Goldabrieb), Boden, Lünette, Armband (auch stretch an diesem).

Versendet wird ausschließlich mit DHL als Paket mit Sendungsverfolgung.

Kein Versand and DHL Packstation. 

Da es sich hierbei um eine private Auktion handelt, übernehme ich keine Garantie und Gewährleistung. Ein Umtausch ist nicht möglich.

It was clearly well worn and messed about with. Instead of making the seller a much lower offer, waiting for a counter-offer, I panicked and hit the Buy-it-Now button. :roll:

I didn't actually want it for its own sake, but to break up for parts. So far it has yielded a decent grey dial / Orient J3920 movement and a full complement of bracelet adjustment links, which I needed for other watches in my collection.

November 22, 2019 at 6:22 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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I've almost caught up with my 3-day backlog. :) Here's something else I'd missed posting about earlier this week. This well worn J39701-70, fitted with an ill-matched two-stitch bund strap, was listed at the beginning of this week, by an Austrian eBay seller, as a 7-day auction, with a risibly over-optimistic opening bid price of 220 Euros. But perhaps it might come a LOT cheaper. Unfortunately, the Austrian eBay seller's command of English isn't quite what it should be. :roll: See the last sentence of his description ! :lol:


Vintage Orient Chrono 

It is like the Seiko 7A38, probably same movement? 

Ivdid not find many with the ref, seems like quite rare ;)

Bezel does not rotate, maybe with force, but i dare not to try harder! 

Glass is scratched 

Lugs 20mm 

The strap is for a smartwatch, bought it over amazon in august, cost me 30€, if you do not want it, i ship just the watch for free ...

Had to be done, but I think my tongue in cheek message was lost in translation. :roll:

November 22, 2019 at 6:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Needless to say, with that ludicrous opening bid price, there were no takers. :roll:

I hadn't bothered posting any updates before, but the deluded Austrian eBay seller continued to re-list his well-worn Orient J39701-70 into December, with a similar fairly predictable outcome.

In the first week of December, he tried a slightly different tack, as a 3-day listing:

Then back to another 7-day auction listing, with an opening bid price of 180 Euros:

January 12, 2020 at 9:23 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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In case you hadn't noticed, that well-worn Orient J39701-70 is back on eBay again, re-listed this lunchtime, as a 'Head Only' with a 'pie-in-the-sky' Buy-it-Now price of 125 Euros and currently no option to make an offer. Must resist. Must resist. :P

Orient Chrono J39702-70 WATCH ONLY. 

Very rare Orient Model in trasition when Seiko took over the company

Seems to be a 7a38 movement, classy! 

Bought it with a lot, no time for repair. But this model is worth it.

To do: Bezel stuck. Glass scratched. 

So I sell this watch as TO REPAIR. 


Note that he's got the model number wrong in both his title and description. 

Have to say it looks a little more worse for wear than it did in his earlier photos.

January 12, 2020 at 9:43 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Sometimes one's pre-conceived opinion of what might constitute a 'sensible' price and self-imposed guidelines goes out of the window. I'm talking about a 39th storey window here. Yesterday evening, I spotted another Orient J39701-70 with the 1985 Indianapolis 500 dial logo, listed on Yahoo Japan. At that time, there were less than 18 hours of the 4-day auction left to run. Bidding had already reached 11,000 Yen - double what I'd paid (5,500 Yen) for the white dialed example, which I'd acquired thanks to Daisuke's selfless assistance, last September.

The difference with this one was it was almost NOS and had a black dial - and there was evidently far more interest in it (the auction already had 20 watchers). Perhaps it was because the seller had used the word SEIKO in their title, rather than ORIENT. :/ Funnily enough, I'd actually ran a search on Yahoo Japan on Orient クロノグラフ (chronograph) on Monday, but of course that didn't find it. :roll:

Google translates the seller's formatted standard template description as follows:

The 4-day Yahoo Japan auction ended this morning; the finishing time having been automatically extended by a total of 20 minutes, due to late placed bids. It finally sold for ¥31,500 Yen after 25 bids, equivalent to approx $286.45 USD / £220.75 - a relatively hefty price for an Orient J39, but still a lot cheaper than all but the tattiest examples of the Seiko 7A38-7070 equivalent.

February 12, 2020 at 7:17 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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That black dialed Orient J39701-70 with the 1985 Indianapolis 500 logo eventually arrived from Japan yesterday. The first thing I did was replace the two adjustment links, which thankfully came supplied with it, restoring the bracelet to its original full length, so it fits my 7½" wrist comfortably. Here's a slightly different wrist shot to the one I posted in the WRUW thread this morning:

It's in almost NOS condition, but has evidently been worn sparingly. The case-back still had a protective film in place. On top of that was a small round sticker, with the word ORIENT surrounded by what look like asterisks. In fact, it's probably better visible in the Yahoo Japan seller's photo.

I've not seen this type on any other NOS J39 before. Usually they have the oval (Seiko) JWCII inspection sticker, or the similar oval ORIENT hologram sticker. Anyway, I popped a new battery in it and despite presumably being left unused since it was purchased in 1998, it fired up immediately, with full functionality. :)

A few more gratuitous photos:

I tried that same shot using my 1985 Indianapolis 500 sticker sheet, but it didn't work out quite as well as I'd hoped, because of relections in the crystal. :roll:

This one's better:

Although I had a pretty good idea what was contained inside that little Indianapolis 500 logo'd cardboard sleeve, which came with the watch, it had intrigued me from the moment I saw it included in the Yahoo Japan listing - and I was eager to find out. In fact I'd opened it yesterday evening, before I even tackled the watch.

The sleeve measures approx. 2½" x 1¼". Inside it, as I'd expected, was a tightly folded instruction sheet. Once opened out it measures approx 14½" x 10", which I assume equates to Japanese paper size B4.

Unfortunately it's almost completely in Japanese (apart from a few odd words in the Water Resistance table). I was hoping there might be a smattering of English, with possibly some reference to a licensing agreement between Orient Watch Co. and Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Nada. Here's close-ups of the bottom three sections.

The last one looks like a list of service centres (in Japan only) with phone numbers.

オリエント時計会社 in the bottom RH corner translates as Orient Watch Company.

The fact that these versions of the J39701-70 have English / Kanji day wheels (rather than English / Spanish) and the instruction sheet is also in Japanese, leads me to question my earlier hypothesis - whether these watches were ever actually intended for the US market. 

February 26, 2020 at 9:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Earlier in this thread, I'd written the sentence:

The Orient dial logo appears to be a black and white depiction of the 1985 Indy 500 logo:

Prophetic, eh ? 8) Here's a couple more side-by side shots I took this morning:

The white dial works better on that sticker sheet background ....

Getting back to the original thorny subject of 'pricing'. It's not lost on me that I've just paid nearly 6x as much for this black dialed Indianapolis 500 version (5,500 Yen for the white dial, versus 31,500 Yen for the black dial), but then the white dialed one was something of a bargain. :D But that's still only about $10 bucks more than the $275 that I paid for the 'BAF issued' version last September. One thing's for certain - I've well and truly blown my self-imposed '$100 average per watch' limit ! :lol:

February 26, 2020 at 11:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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I trust readers will permit me the small indulgence of rambling slightly.

Athough it's absolutely nothing to do with Orient J39 'Diver's (or their pricing), it is connected with the 1985 Indianapolis 500 logo used on those particular J39701-70 variants. Late last night, after a glass or two of wine, I was browsing Yahoo Japan and spotted these two NOS Orient C27 'Divers', which were listed last weekend, by the same YJ seller otsumarting007, who listed my recently acquired J39701-70. You see, I think I may have stumbled across a couple of clues as to their origin.

Both listings shared the same pastel hued formatted description:

You can tell I was more than slightly under the influence of alcohol at the time, because I actually bid 500 Yen on both of them (total £7 Quid). Purely in the interests of research, naturally.  I was pleasantly relieved when outbid notices arrived in my email inbox late this morning. The second auction ended on schedule about 10 minutes ago, with the black dialed C27, which I thought might have been the more desirable, selling for 510 Yen after 4 bids. I guess I had a lucky escape. :roll:

The first auction for the gold dialed version, actually ran 10 minutes into 'overtime', due to a late bid. It ended a few moments ago, selling for 670 Yen after 15 bids.

So where am I headed with this ? :| My NOS Indianapolis 500 logo’d J39701-70 may have come with an instruction booklet, but it was far from being a full set. The packaging it came in may have been branded SEIKO, but it looked more like it was meant for holding CD / DVD’s than a watch box. Nor were there any tags or labels, either. Which is quite possibly the reason why I didn’t find what I was looking for.

These fugly little Orient C27 ‘Divers’ have the same simplified depiction of the 1985 Indianapolis 500 logo printed on their dials. Unlike my J39701-70, they also have it engraved on their case-backs, which also carry that same unusual round ORIENT sticker. One of them came with an instruction booklet, whose outer cardboard sleeve is virtually identical to mine. They also came with hang tags (two each).

And that’s where the first clue is. Check out the third photo of the second listing.

The back of one of those labels reads: 



Both these watches came in anodized aluminium (or tin) sunglasses style boxes. The seller doesn't state in their description that it was the original packaging, but from the comparative cheapness of the watches, and they're both the same (other than colour finish) I'd suspect they are. Both are stamped: LIBRE REAL TIME.

I've googled them briefly, but not managed to come up with anything so far. This raises another question (or two): Who initiated and held the licensing agreement with Indianapolis Motor Speedway ? The distributor, LIBRE REAL TIME, or the manufacturer ORIENT WATCH CO., Ltd. ? In signing up to the agreement, were they not aware that IMS changed the logo for the '500' on an annual basis ? :/


February 27, 2020 at 7:49 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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