Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > Bend it, Mend it - Mods & Wreckers > To mod, or not to mod, that is the question ....

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14428

.... and thereby risking the proverbial Slings and Arrows of fellow 7Axx enthusiasts. 


As some of you will have gathered, I'm not averse to modding the occasional 7A38. I've built half a dozen and more 'Frankens' to date.

Usually, it's been where I've got (at least) two of the same model, and rather than sell the 'spare' one back on eBay, I've customised it, using other Seiko 7Axx components. In some cases, I think I may have managed to improve on Seiko's original design / configuration. 


But what if you've only got one example of a particular 7A38, and it's in close to mint condition ....

Yet there's something that has always bugged you about this model, almost from the day you got it.


Leave it as factory standard, or modify it ?    

April 5, 2012 at 5:09 AM Flag Quote & Reply

JSS
Member
Posts: 32

I definitely say ‘leave it as is’.  I would never buy a watch I didn’t really like, and I can’t see why any casual buyer would.  I can understand how a true collector, who likes to have all the different versions of a certain model, may end up with some they don’t personally like, but I would have thought they would still want them all to be totally original.

April 5, 2012 at 7:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14428

Indeed, John.

Anyway, it was yesterday, when I was fitting a replacement crystal to my recently acquired steel 7A38-7130, and generally giving it the good clean-up that it needed, that I was reminded how much this 'anomoly' in the factory spec. of a similar model had bugged me.

Here are some recycled wrist shots that I've posted in the WRUW thread recently, to help explain what I'm referring to:


7A38-7120 SAA044J  (Titanium):



7A38-7130 SAA092J (Steel):



7A38-7130 SAA046J (Titanium):



April 5, 2012 at 7:26 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14428

The top two have gloss finish cream coloured dials, with a matching cream plastic dial ring spacer - Seiko part number 84313702.

Yet the same component is used in the Titanium 7A38-7130, which has a matt dark metallic coloured dial (which Seiko call 'BLACK').

Here's a couple of photos I took of the same watch, a little while back - I don't think I've posted them on here before:




They weren't taken in ideal lighting conditions, but that cream dial ring spacer, when used in this watch looks distinctly 'plasticky'. 

April 5, 2012 at 7:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14428

Yet Seiko appeared to have had the solution in their own parts bins, all along - Dial Ring p/n 84313703.


This dark brown, almost black, plastic dial ring spacer was fitted to the stainless 7A38-7120 SAA091J (and also to the almost 'mythical' 7A38-713A SAA104J, which I've never seen), but oddly not the Titanium 7A38-7130 SAA046J above, which has the same colour dial.

 

Here's an example of the stainless 7A38-7120 SAA091J, belonging to another 7A38 collector:



This photo may not show the watch in its best light, but externally it is all stainless. The hands and batons however are gold plated.

They're a comparatively rare 7A38 variant, if not particularly desirable; certainly less commonly seen than the Titanium 7A38-7120 and Titanium 7A38-7130, anyway. I've had a tatty example, quite frankly well beyond restoration (and still in pieces), since November 2010.




Didn't pay a lot for it, but it was never going to become part of my collection. A couple of weeks ago, found a rather better example. :)

So the first one is going to get broken up for parts - and will be donating its dark brown dial ring spacer to my Titanium 7A38-7130. ;)


April 5, 2012 at 8:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14428

Though you might not think it's a better example, judging by this wrist shot. Doesn't say much for the first one I bought, does it ? :roll:



August 28, 2012 at 11:29 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14428

My how time flies. :/ When I started this forum / blog, nearly 4 years ago, I was full of good intentions. :roll:

My primary aim had been to write 80+ individual topics in the 7A38-xxxx Model Specific Area covering all the different variations.

I guess I got side-tracked along the way. :P


Whether I would have written individual topics on the different variants of 7A38-7120 and 7A38-7130 (Steel / Titanium, Cream and Black dialed), or combined them into one topic (because of their similarity / cross-commonality of components) remains to be seen.


However, like many other 7A38 models where I've failed to start the dedicated model specific topic, I've usually written something about them somewhere on the forum. So, for want of anything better, I'm going to tack a postscript or two onto this existing thread for now.


Some models, like the extremely rare 7A38-713A , have only received the briefest of mentions on this forum. Remember this ? ....


November 28, 2015 at 6:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14428

Seiko7A38 at April 5, 2012 at 8:01 AM

Yet Seiko appeared to have had the solution in their own parts bins, all along - Dial Ring p/n 84313703.


This dark brown, almost black, plastic dial ring spacer was fitted to the stainless 7A38-7120 SAA091J (and also to the almost 'mythical' 7A38-713A SAA104J, which I've never seen) ....


Up until last week, I'd still never seen a 7A38-713A SAA104J - anywhere. It didn't worry me too much, because I knew what it was and had I really wanted to, I could probably have cobbled one together. Interrogating the parts lists on Seiko Oceania's database shows that it's effectively the same silver anodised watch case with notched bezel and p/n B1355E bracelet from the 7A38-7130 SAA0092J, fitted with the black (actually dark brown) 7210XB14 dial (and matching dark brown dial ring) from the 7A38-7120 SAA091J.


It never became anything approaching a grail for me, but I always keep a watching eye on eBay for anything unusual.


This tatty looking 7A38-713A - ironically missing its p/n 84313703 dial ring, was listed on eBay Italy a week or so ago:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Seiko-7A38-713A-/281858533084



The Italian eBay seller's description: 


Rarissimo esemplare seiko 7A38-713A in perfetto funzionamento, cassa e vetro senza alcun graffio. Manca solo l'anello di plastica distanziatore nel quadrante comunque si evince dalla foto. Bracciale in pelle nuovo, ma dispongo e cedo insieme all' orologio anche il mezzo bracciale suo originale e in perfetto stato. Non so se l'orologio è in acciaio o in titanio.


.... translates as follows:


Rare example Seiko 7A38-713A in perfect operation, case and glass without any scratches. Missing only the plastic dial ring spacer, can be seen from photo. New leather strap, but I have and I give together with the clock also means the original bracelet and in perfect condition. I do not know if the watch is steel or titanium.


It's most definitely Steel. 8) Good job I never did get around to fitting that dark brown dial ring to my Titanium 7A38-7130. ;)


November 28, 2015 at 6:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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