Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > Parts Info, Tech Tips and Tinkering > Replacement 7A38-7070 bezel replacement ideas.

John
Member
Posts: 3

I recenty bought a (1987) 7A38-7070 as a 'project'. It duly arrived and to my great surprise it's nowhere nearly as badly battered as it appeared in the sellers pictures. OK, I admit the bezel insert has definitely seen better days and the 'day' part of the day/date mechanism doesn't change as smoothly as the 'date' part does. To be sorted out hopefully later. Also the ill fitting Seiko Z-283 bracelet will be changed asap.

My question is, are bezel inserts available for this model 7A38 ?  The seller assured me that "There were plenty of bezel inserts available on the internet". What he failed to mention was that none of them are or the 7A38-7070 apart from one bezel assembly complete that's priced at more than I paid for the watch in the first place.

Apparently 'after market' bezel inserts are available for the 7070 but, although I've looked pretty thoroughly, I can't seem to find anything suitable.

Can anyone advise me what will fit or be made to fit, even as a temporary measure as apart from the bezel insert the watch is actually in a presentable wearable state ?  Any help anyone can give me will be hugely appreciated.

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June 15, 2012 at 10:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

7ARCool ©
Member
Posts: 168

Hi John, I am in the same predicament, it may be a good idea to contact one or two of the phillipine 7Axx sellers as they regularly fit aftermarket bezels to the watches they repair.

Im afraid NOS bezel inserts are scarcer than hens teeth, collectors bought them all when they realised they were becoming hard to find.

Please let me know if you have any luck, I will do likewise. :)

June 15, 2012 at 11:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Apparently 'after market' bezel inserts are available for the 7070 but, although I've looked pretty thoroughly, I can't seem to find anything suitable.

Can anyone advise me what will fit or be made to fit, even as a temporary measure as apart from the bezel insert the watch is actually in a presentable wearable state ?


John, AFAIK there are no after-market bezel inserts made specifically to fit the 7A28-7040/-7049; 7A38-7070 and 7A38-7080, and I doubt that any of the far eastern repro' parts manufacturers could ever be interested in producing any. The volumes simply aren't there, to justify their tooling up, compared to the more lucrative 6309-xxxx / 7S26-xxxx Divers spare market.


You could try fitting one such insert, but  it is almost certainly going to require trimming down to fit (either inner or outer radius).

They come in 3 sizes: Large, Medium and Small. Have a look at: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/280897782729 That's a 'Large'.

It might be worth messaging the seller (his name is Edmar), and asking him what the inside / outside diameters are. ;)


June 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

 As I promised in my PM, John - here are a couple of photos for you to consider. :/


This 7A38-7070 with a battered original bezel was offered by José 'Watchcooking' Sotto in April this year. I can't find the eBay listing.

He was selling it with an after-market insert already trimmed down to fit, supplied loose, so the buyer had the option to fit it themselves:




Here's another he did back in April 2010, with such an insert already fitted (it's also fitted with an after-market 'Feiko' bracelet):



June 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Im afraid NOS bezel inserts are scarcer than hens teeth, collectors bought them all when they realised they were ....


Chris.

I thought you were aware, perhaps it was Arpad I told recently, but Seiko never offered any spare bezel inserts for any 7Axx's, AFAIK - only complete bezel assemblies. Up until a year or so, Cousins UK still had stock of the bezel for the 7A28-7040 / -7049.

I bought one ('on spec') with the original intention of fitting it to my 7A38-7070 / -7080 709L dialed Franken. When I found out that it was too shallow (by 0.2 millimetre), I considered using the insert from it in one of my 7A38-7070's. Although the bezel shells used on the 7A28-7040 / -7049 and 7A38-7070 (and 7A38-7080 and ZFM 7A38-7085) are different, they all share the same common insert.

As it was, I ended up putting the complete bezel on my 7A28-7040.


See the first few posts in this thread:

http://www.seiko7a38.com/apps/forums/topics/show/7408813-are-7a28-and-7a38-modules-interchangeable-indeed-are-all-7axx-movements-

June 15, 2012 at 4:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

John
Member
Posts: 3

Many thanks for the pictures and the information. A new bezel insert would totally transform my 7070.

June 16, 2012 at 2:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

An interesting, and obviously related post was made on the UK RLT watch forurm this morning, in their Tinkerer's Corner - by 'Chris' (a.k.a. 'Service Engineer') who, funnily enough hails from the same town in West Sussex. Anybody you know, perchance, John ? ;)


http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=76054

Trimming A Skx007/9 Bezel Insert To Fit A 7A38-7070


Posted Today, 07:09 AM

A friend of mine recently obtained a Seiko 7A38-7070 but it needs a replacement bezel insert as the one that's currently fitted is badly scratched. He's now discovered that 'after-market' inserts are not available for these watches. "No demand", he's repeatedly told even though it seems that almost everyone with a 7A38-7070 or 7080 would love access to a spare insert. Or two !

 

However, the easily obtainable replacement bezel insert for the Seiko SKX007 and SKX009 can apparently be trimmed down on their OD to fit the 7A38-7070 and 7080 bezels.

 

My question is, if he were to suppy a couple of inserts and either a bezel or the exact measurements required would someone here on The Forum with the necessary precision lathe be prepared to modify the inserts to fit ? ....


Perhaps you might like to correct 'Chris'. I didn't write 'no demand' - I implied that there was insufficient demand to justify tooling up.

In fact, going back as far as 2010, I'd emailed the late Noah '10 Watches' Fuller to ask him about the possibility. He said exactly that.

June 18, 2012 at 8:36 AM Flag Quote & Reply

John
Member
Posts: 3

Yes, known as we share several similar interests.

The "No demand" comment is what we've been getting from the sellers of other aftermarket Seiko bezel inserts. Reading the RLT posting extract above I see no reference to a claim that this comment was made by you Paul so I see no need for any 'correction' to be made.

Following an excellent previous suggestion by 7Arcool we have contacted both the Phillipine watch 'restorers' as well as various insert sellers. We have yet to receive a response from a restorer but, as you found for yourself, the insert sellers say there's either no, or not enough demand.  

The RLT suggestion was as a result of a few of their members having mentioned/boasted in the past of the precision machining capabilities of their lathes. We thought that reducing a few inserts should be simple work.  Any port in a storm.

June 18, 2012 at 2:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Yes, known as we share several similar interests.


And uncannily, an almost identical taste in Seiko watches.

Apart from you both owning a 7A38-7010 (and now a 7A38-7070) both of you cite SKX007/009 as your daily wearers. :|

June 18, 2012 at 3:22 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Chris   sorry 'John' has now obviously given up on the idea. 


See: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/160895626712

SEIKO SPORTS 100 - QUARTZ - CHRONOGRAPH - MODEL 7A38-7070




Seller's description includes the following:

 

The not so good bits: Non original, but new, rubber strap. 

A previous owner has polished the case to a high shiny finish. 

The bezel insert requires replacing. (I'm assured a trimmed down Seiko SKX007/9 item fits)

I bought this watch as a project but I'm now after a different quartz divers watch instead so it's up for grabs.


October 4, 2012 at 4:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Chris (sorry John's) 7A38-7070 didn't sell on that occasion and was subsequently re-listed as a 'head only' in mid-November:


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/160921189792

SEIKO 7A38-7070 QUARTZ CHRONO



The description included the sentence: Ideally it requires a new bezel insert as the one fitted is scratched.


This time around it sold:


The sale was closely followed yesterday, by an advert placed on SCWF Trading Post:

http://www.thewatchsite.com/index.php/topic,38669.html 

WTB: Bezel Insert for Seiko 7A38-7070 (With Pic)

 

Hi guys

Looking for a bezel insert for a Seiko 7A38-7070.

This is the watch here.....




The photo being one of the two which Chris had later added to his eBay listing. ;)


November 21, 2012 at 3:50 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Funnily enough, a visitor arrived at this thread, this afternoon, from a google search on: 'dimensions of seiko 7a38-7070 bezel insert'.


Well, should you decide to revisit, and for the record - an original Seiko 7A38 bezel insert measures: 36.67mm O.D. by 30.99mm I.D.

Have fun ! 



November 21, 2012 at 4:38 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Prospex44
Member
Posts: 24

Thanks for the info Paul, it is very much appreciated!

Having tried to find a replacement insert proved to be a lot harder than i first thought. In the end i went for an aftermarket Seiko 6217 insert which is much closer in initial dimensions to the original than a SKX007 insert.

Time will tell if this is going to be a viable option for a replacement insert or not.

I haven't received the watch yet, but the more i look at the pics, the more the wabi'd insert is growing on me!! :)


November 22, 2012 at 2:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Welcome aboard, Chris - small world, isn't it ? ;)


It'll be interesting to see how well the 6217 bezel insert works as a replacement, compared to the usual choice of a cut-down SKX007.

For those readers not familiar with the 6217 Diver, it is better known as the 62MAS. 

November 22, 2012 at 3:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

nova
Member
Posts: 109

maybe I'm wrong

It seems to me that a 62mas bezel size 37,00 / 31,75 is OK

but not plain enough to fit.

and i'm missing the triangle around the dot.

November 22, 2012 at 3:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Prospex44
Member
Posts: 24

Nova - can i ask what you mean by "not plain enough to fit" please?

Yes, i do know what you mean regarding the triangle. I have ordered both the 6217 and the regular 007 inserts, so it will be a case of experimenting with both when they arrive - and of course, when i receive the watch!

I am still undecided, i may well keep the existing insert in place for now, need to wait till the watch arrives.

November 22, 2012 at 5:34 PM Flag Quote & Reply

nova
Member
Posts: 109

The shape of the bezel

62mas bezel looks a bit domed

7A38-7070 have a flat crystal and bezel


November 23, 2012 at 3:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 14020

Thanks for the explanation, Andre.  I'd suspected you'd meant to write 'plane' (meaning flat), rather than 'plain', as in your post. ;)

No matter. If these after-market inserts are made in the same material as the original Seiko 7A38 component - i.e. very thin (hence relatively soft) aluminium, they should be fairly easy to mould to the correct profile to fit the 7A38 bezel, with gentle finger pressure.


By the way, the caption in that photo (from an eBay listing in February this year) is slightly misleading. That fingernail slot is for bezel removal. Once you've removed it (from memory), on the underside of the bezel you'll find a cut-out machined in the insert mounting flange, measuring about 3 or 4mm long. This slot is presumably meant as an aid for disassembly of the bezel / insert. I would be wary of simply inserting a screwdriver into it to prize out the old insert (if you possibly intend to re-use it). It is all too easy to kink these soft aluminum inserts. Instead, when I popped one out myself (last year, in order to measure the insert diameter), I pressed it out by hand, using a suitable-sized nylon die from my crystal press, held in a soft cloth. A better way to apply the load, without risk of bending it. 8)

November 23, 2012 at 4:27 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Prospex44
Member
Posts: 24

Thanks Nova,

Yes, i think the 62MAS insert may well have an incorrect "slant" to it, but perhaps, as Paul stated, it might be possible to bend/flatten it into the correct shape for the 7070. Time will tell i guess.

Was hoping to receive the watch today, but didn't arrive. Must resist from becoming a Postie stalker! :P

November 23, 2012 at 7:10 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Prospex44
Member
Posts: 24

Hi guys

 

Just wanted to give this thread a quick update on my progress with a viable 7070 replacement insert.

As mentioned previously, i did buy a few different bezel inserts to see what would would be best suited to replace the original one.

As has been seen many times before, the usual 007 insert which has been "cut down" to fit is not to my tatse. I think it looks reasonably ok from a distance, but pretty horrid up close!

 

I did also purchase an aftermarket 62MAS or 6217 insert to see if this would possibly fit.

As with the 007 insert, the 6217 insert is too large, so it too would need trimmed - it would need trimmed enough as to encroach into the numerals as well. The 6217 insert was also missing the lime pip triangle as well, so this was not to my liking either!

After looking at bezel insert dimensions, i remembered about the Seiko Arnie or H558. The insert dimensions are very close the 7070. I ordered one and it arrived yesterday.

It is not a perfect substitute, as the Arnie insert has a very steep "gradient" in it, as would be correct for the Seiko Arnie model. The insert is also one of thickest i have seen - much thicker than the standard 007 inserts.

So, after some flattening and some extensive sanding to reduce the thickness, it is now fitted to the 7A38-7070.

Perhaps not a perfect replacement option, but one which i think can be achieved with some effort. While it is not 100% accurate to the original 7070 insert, i think this is currently the best replacement option i have found so far.

Here is the watch with the original insert still in place.

 

 

 

And here it is with the modded H558 Arnie insert fitted....

 

 

 

 

 

December 23, 2012 at 9:23 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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