Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers



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Forum Home > Non-Seiko 7Axx Discussion Area (Re-branded mvmt's) > First Orient J38 (not J39) re-branded Seiko 7A48 spotted on WUS

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I found this thread by accident, googling images on 'Vintage Orient Chronograph', earlier today - looking for more J39's, naturally. ;)


Unknown Orient Chronograph (posted February 22nd, 2012)

Hi. Is any of you guys able to identify my watch, which I have absolutely no information about? If so, it would be much appreciated.

It may be missing the date pointer (from the 12 o'clock sub-dial) and most of the centre sweep second hand, but from the dial layout, 3-pusher and crown @ 8 o'clock configuration, it's clearly a re-branded 7A48 - or in Orient nomenclature a J38 (as opposed to a J39). 

The nearest equivalent Seiko model I can think of (quickly off the top of my head) is the 7A48-7020 gold-tone:

The subdials of the J38, with their thin gold-plated rims and dense division markings bear a passing resemblence to my J39908-70:

Naturally, the case-back stampings are what you'd expect to find, except the model number begins J38xxx-x0 instead of J39xxx-x0:

June 2, 2012 at 12:25 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Forgetting for the moment the Seiko Lassale 7A54 moon-phase quartz pocket watch, and other than the Cartier Ferrari Cal. 532 ....

This Orient J38 is only the second re-branded Seiko 7A48 I've stumbled across. Makes me wonder if there are any more out there. 

One could probably make a fairly safe guess that the movement back-plate is stamped Orient J3820 (as opposed to J3920) ....

(Above photo of my J39601-70 originally supplied by Kurt), but it would be nice if the poster on WUS could actually confirm that for us.

June 2, 2012 at 1:42 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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We may not actually need that confirmation, it seems. :)

By searching on Orient J3820 (on google), I found an earlier reference in another older thread on WatchUSeek, from October 2009:

Does anyone knows more about this ORIENT watch ??

As is often sadly the case, information the OP was given was incorrect and unhelpful, so he contacted Orient direct (as I myself did). 

They wrote back:

Dear Sir,

We received your e-mail dated 02 Oct, 2009, thank you very much.

With reference to the model J38909, we would like to inform you of its details as below.

With Orient movement J3820, made in Japan

Accuracy: +-15sec./month

Battery: SR936SW / life about 2 years

Function: Date, Moon's age, Stopwatch,

Gold plating case with leather strap

Water resistant to 30m (3ATM)

We started to produce this model from Sep, 1989, and sold more or less 2 years.

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


Thanks and best regards.

Orient Watch Co., Ltd.

Note this is another J38xxx-xx case number - J38909-80, in full - slightly different to the J38901-70 which started this thread. :)

Unfortunately the original photo posted in the WUS thread has long since disappeared. :(

June 2, 2012 at 2:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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The owner of the J38901-70, Bjarte contacted me almost immediately - kindly attaching a couple of photos of the movement inside. :)

It's not stamped in quite the same manner / places as the Orient J3920 '7A38' movement ....

But then we've seen various inconsistencies before - on other re-branded Seiko 7Axx movement back-plates. ;)

Orient Watch Co. Ltd is stamped in full (as opposed to just Orient) and J3820 is stamped over the CG-M coil, rather than under CG-S. 

The two photos he'd already emailed me were more than adequate, but Bjarte just sent me another WUS PM with links to 8 more: and

 (The two photos above are #5 and #7 from that set). They're all high-res, about 4.5MB each - so if you're a 7A48 buff - click away ! 

June 2, 2012 at 2:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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As is often sadly the case, information the OP was given was incorrect and unhelpful ....

Although, in his typical manner, 'Isthmus' mis-informed the OP that his watch was a 'Seiko 7T36'  - as opposed to a 7A48 ....

I can't tell you anything specific about the watch, but I can tell you that the movement in it is a Seiko 7T36.

.... he did almost get it partly right - in his last post (#11) in that thread:

Don't let them kid you on the movement reference. Orient does not make quartz movements.

That is a Seiko caliber inside it that has not been modified. Orient simply changed the Seiko reference for their own.

Close, but no cigar, Gabe. :P

June 2, 2012 at 3:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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I've got to say, that I'm 'over the moon' with the speed of the responses that I've now received from two Orient J38 '7A48' owners. :)

You see, the earlier poster on WUS (from October 2009) 'eldonmbi' had also posted about his watch in a thread on ForumaMontres:

So I dropped him a PM via FAM (where he seemed to be more active - naturally, being French). He replied almost immediately:


.... my Orient watch is nearly the same of the Seiko of your link, but not exactly the same one, cause it was branded "Orient".

My serial number is J38909-80 CS. I have no more pics of it, but I can take new ones if you want.

Followed in the small hours of Sunday morning by:

Here are the pics, but it's late, it's the night outside, and I only have my phone to take pics.

If you want I could take good daylight and quality pics tomorrow, but you've got an outline for the moment.


An outline was all I needed to see, because I already had a pretty good idea what it was going to look like, from the model number. 8)

In case that doesn't look even vaguely familiar to any readers, here's my Orient J39909-80 (the 7A38 equivalent of his watch):

June 2, 2012 at 8:14 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Should any other owners of Orient J38's reading this thread, require any further convincing of the Seiko 7A48 connection ....

May I recommend Simon's excellent 7A48 movement strip-down thread in the Workshop section:

Apart from the obvious similarities of their shared movement components, there is one subtle difference between these particular Orient J38's and most other Seiko 7Axx's - the construction materials of their watch cases. You'll notice that the case-backs of the gold-plated Orient's featured in this thread are stamped: GP STAINLESS STEEL (BACK).

Compare that to the Seiko 7A48-7020 in the first post, which is stamped: SGP ST. STEEL BACK.

Most gold-plated Seiko 7A38's I have encountered are stamped: BASE METAL ST.STEEL BACK.

The reason is simple. They may feel like it, but these Orient watch cases are not metal. They're an injection moulded plastic or resin, covered with a metallic coating and then gold plated. My Orient J39908-70 most certainly is anyway, because the coating was chipped off in a couple of places, exposing the neutral-coloured resin underneath. I have also stripped my Orient J39909-80 down to the empty watch case, and although I didn't actually weigh it, it also felt noticably lighter than an equivalent gold-plated base metal watch case.

One other point to watch is that the crystals in these cases are glued in, rather than being the usual press-in tension-fit with gasket.

At some point in the not to distant future, I plan to write up another topic in this section, documenting the Seiko 7A38 / Orient J39 / Puma / JEPIC Y19 connection. Obviously this could be applied to the Orient J38's and any other 7A48's discovered in the interim.

But, in the meantime, if any Orient J38 owners need further convincing that their watches were actually made by Seiko ....

May I suggest they take a close look at the bottom of their watch's dials, either side of the 6 o'clock baton / subdial.

Here's the dial / movement removed from my Orient J39908-70 '7A38' (it was undergoing restoration at the time):

The markings will be fairly similar, except they'll include J382 rather than J392 (some might be hidden beneath the dial ring spacer).

One thing common to all Orient J39 dials I've seen is 'S I' - usually found to the right of the subdial. It stands for Seiko Instruments. ;)


June 3, 2012 at 5:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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A two-tone version of the J38 which started off this thread, but model # J38001-70, came up in my eBay saved searches this morning:

Schöne ORIENT Chronograph(Mondphase) Herren Quartz Uhr


The seller doesn't mention the J38 case model number in their description and obviously hasn't made the 7A48 connection:

Wunderschöne original ORIENT Chronograph MONDPHASE Quartz

Herrenuhr aus dem Hause Orient ,Die Uhr befindet sich in einen gebrauchten Zustand,

gehäuse : Edelstahl/vergoldet - geschraubter stahlboden

leichte kratzer auf dem glas-S.Bild !!

Neu schwarzes Armband..

schöne hell-farbene zifferblatt (Mondphase) - Chronograph..

Werk : Quartz Uhr - Läuft einwandfrei..

Gehäusemaße: ca.39 x 40 mm

gehäusehöhe: ca. 10 mm

Not exactly in pristine condition, but certainly a lot rarer than some of the more common-or-garden Seiko-badged 7A48 variants.

October 31, 2012 at 8:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Here's an Orient J38 / Seiko 7A48 Franken, using the same off-white J38 dial, which appeared on eBay in Italy a couple of days later: (since re-listed 'a few' times) (current listing in August 2013)


The case (including minute chapter ring) and bracelet are from a Seiko 7A48-701A. Note the larger 'gap' around the edge of the dial.

November 3, 2012 at 8:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Here's something I spotted this afternoon, listed recently on eBay in Italy - possibly of interest to the lunar-ticks amongst us.


If one assumes this is a genuine Orient J38xxx-xx model (as opposed to the Orient J38 / Seiko 7A48 Franken in my previous post) ....

this again demonstrates the Orient Watch Company's use of the same watch case in multiple applications - and as we already knew, the direct interchangeabilty of 7A38 and 7A48 modules. Or in this case, should I more correctly say - of J3820 and J3920 modules.

If you're not following my drift, may I suggest you go back and re-read the first half a dozen posts and study the photos carefully. ;)

Despite the poor-ish photo, the watch case of this Orient J38 '7A48' bears an uncanny resemblance to that of my Orient J39908-70 '7A38'. If Orient consistently followed the same model numbering methodology, that they used for the other J38 sharing a J39 case,  this could likely be an Orient J38908-70. Purely in the pursuit of research, I may just message the eBay seller and ask the question.

January 8, 2013 at 12:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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I just received a reply from the eBay seller: il numero è: J38910-70 cs. Close but no cigar. Perhaps it's a two-tone, rather than GP. :/

January 9, 2013 at 4:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Blinking typical ! :roll:

Now I've 'uncovered' the existence of these Orient J38's (7A48's), I keep stumbling across them when I'm searching for J39's (7A38's). 

Here's another two-tone J38001-70 on a slightly incongruous looking 'rallye' type strap:



March 18, 2013 at 12:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Perhaps I need to be a little more circumspect in my 'off-the-cuff' identification of Orient J38's.

It seems I may have guessed another model number incorrectly. In the previous post, where I wrote:

Here's another two-tone J38001-70 on a slightly incongruous looking 'rallye' type strap ....

I based my assumption on the fact that this watch appears to have the same two-tone case and dial as the one sold on eBay Germany last October. In that listing, the seller didn't mention the case-back number in his description, but he did include a very clear photo of it.

The US seller hasn't had any luck selling his, and it's been re-listed a good number of times. The current listing ends in 8 hours or so:

You'll see why, presently (in another topic I'm currently writing), but I somehow had a nagging doubt about my earlier assumption. 

This seller hadn't included the case-back number in his all-too-brief vague description, and there's only the single front view photo.

So this evening, I messaged him and asked the question. He replied saying that it was J38911-70. A bit different to J38001-70, eh ?

August 15, 2013 at 5:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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That Orient J38's case-back may have been stamped slightly differently, but the J38001-70 and J38701-70 variants are turning out to be relatively common (certainly more plentiful than their J39002-70 '7A38' equivalent anyway). I've stumbled across a few others on eBay recently, which I haven't bothered to mention here - and ordinarily I wouldn't have bothered with this one, listed on eBay Italy:

Apart from the fact that it's well over-priced, it isn't in exactly the best of condition. Check the number of small dings in the bezel.

At first I thought it was a two-tone, that was either well worn, or its bezel and crown / pushers had been stripped of their gold plating.

But then I looked at the second case-back photo - can't quite make out the letters stamped above STAINLESS STEEL - TPDP ? :/

Apart from being a slightly different (case finish) variant, the other reason I'm mentioning it, is I thought I'd return the favour. :P

The seller's description reads:

Orient J38701-70 08 Chronograph very elegant and classic with date and moonphase, made in Japan from '80. It has a new high quality leather strap and costs alone more than 20 euro. the glass is new and perfect. the steel case is in good condition with minor wear signs.

It works perfectly. It's equivalent of Seiko 7A48.

Below you can find some link about this watch branded by Seiko (the model branded Orient is less common).


Pity he didn't research a bit deeper and link it to the 'correct' thread - i.e. this one, eh ? :lol:

January 18, 2014 at 7:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Seiko7A38 at January 9, 2013 at 4:38 AM

I just received a reply from the eBay seller: il numero è: J38910-70 cs. Close but no cigar. Perhaps it's a two-tone, rather than GP. :/

Or perhaps that one was just suffering from very well-worn gold plating. :/ Funnily enough I just spotted another on eBay Italy:

orologio da polso orient perfettamente funzionante. cinturino non originale

funzioni,crono,fasi lunari,data. 

diametro 39.03 mm 

se acquisti più oggetti paghi una sola spedizione

I could almost be tempted to buy it myself, for a watch case donor for my original J39908-70 'beater', but it seems a shame. :/

April 28, 2014 at 1:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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It's a good thing I'm not into non-Seiko re-branded 7A48 moonphases. Here'a another Orient J38 I just found on eBay Italy:

The description is in both Italian and English:


Chronograph, Calendar, Moon Phases

Seiko Quartz Movement "J3820"

Stainless steel goldplated, diameter 38.5 mm, screw back, crocodile leather strap, white dial, gold counters

Excellent conditions, Fully functional,


It is sold at auction with the formula "AS SEEN AND LOVED IT"

As can be seen from the case-back stamping, it's a model # J38909-80 - in rather better condition than the example in an earlier post.

April 28, 2014 at 2:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Spotted this attractive two-tone Orient J38 listed on eBay Italy, yesterday evening - NOS with tags, and unusually on a bracelet:

Looks like it's since been snapped up - possibly by a forum member. 

June 27, 2014 at 12:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Thanks Paul !  For the heads-up on the ebay listing in Italy.  The Orient J38 / Seiko 7A48 arrived today. 8)  The seller initially wanted $93 :o  for shipping to US and I eventually talked him down to $27.  :roll:  The watch is indeed NOS. :)  Paul how scarce is this Orient ?

July 14, 2014 at 8:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Follow up photo of my new Orient J38---It does not get any better than this :D .

July 14, 2014 at 9:51 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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Glad you're pleased with it, Don. ;)

Going by past appearances, I'd say it's a pretty rare variant. Since I started this thread 2 years ago, I've tried to post a photo of every different Orient J38 variation that I've encountered. Yes, we've seen a few with this 'short lug' style case before (same as used on the Orient J39002-70 '7A38') - but never one fitted with a bracelet, nor with a silvery grey dial.

I'm relieved you picked it up. I must admit, I was initially tempted - but it was far too nice just to break up for the case and bracelet. :P

For the record - as Don forgot to mention it in his excitement :roll: - this one's case-back appears to be stamped J38003-70.

July 15, 2014 at 4:06 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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