Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > 7A38-xxxx Model Specific Area > 7A38-6070 SAA073J - Black Chrome Coated Large 'Diver'

Iain
Member
Posts: 2

I'm quite embarrased to post pictures of my watch, the watches on here are in much better condition, clean and look fantastic, but having looked through various posts it would seem that I have quite a rare watch.

I bought this new in the 80's when I used to dive, it was a great watch for diving and general use. It has had several straps on it as they tended not to last too long in salt water and being left in my dive bag.

I now have the urge to get it working again, hopefully just a battery and strap but after speaking to Seiko, the bezel and glass is no longer available so it looks like a good polish on the glass and put up with the worn off paint. 

I don't know if it has any value at all and am not sure if I would get rid of it. I will fit a new battery and see what happens, hopefully it will tick, get a much overdue clean and live on.

Thanks Paul for your interest and advice on the battery.


June 25, 2013 at 10:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

Thank you, Iain for kindly sharing your photos with us. 

It's great to finally see an example of this 'mythical beast' at last, no matter how well worn and wabi'd it might be !

I was half hoping that you might have added your post onto the existing 7A38-6060 / 7A38-6070 topic (on page 2 of this section) ....

Looking back at it today, I wrote there, just over a year ago:

If anyone can provide photos of one 'in the metal', no matter how battered and worn an example, it would be much appreciated. 


But no matter. :) For lack of any prior evidence of the actual existence of this watch, besides those poor quality scans of catalogue images, I'd waffled on and spoiled the later part of that thread, supposedly reserved for the 7A38-6070, ending up well off topic. :roll:

Your new thread can become our model specific topic, to which end, you may have noticed, I've enhanced your original title a little. ;)

June 25, 2013 at 11:16 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

A small anorak-level observation, if I may, Iain - if nothing else to show that I've been studying your photos. ;)


Your watch appears to have two stainless pusher buttons on the right-hand side of the case, at 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock, and a black chromed pusher button at 10 o'clock. If you squint hard at that poor quality scan of a catalogue page I posted in the original thread:




Those stainless pushers are at 10' o'clock and 2 o'clock, with the black chromed button at 4 o'clock. As borne out by the parts list:



Has someone replaced the seals or removed the pushers for cleaning at some point ? :/


June 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Iain
Member
Posts: 2

Seiko7A38 at June 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM

A small anorak-level observation, if I may, Iain - if nothing else to show that I've been studying your photos. ;)


Your watch appears to have two stainless pusher buttons on the right-hand side of the case, at 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock, and a black chromed pusher button at 10 o'clock. If you squint hard at that poor quality scan of a catalogue page I posted in the original thread:




Those stainless pushers are at 10' o'clock and 2 o'clock, with the black chromed button at 4 o'clock. As borne out by the parts list:



Has someone replaced the seals or removed the pushers for cleaning at some point ? :/



I did send the watch to Seiko, sometime in the early 90's for a battery, service and reseal. I have never noticed that the buttons were swapped round; I can't remember it being any other way than how it is now. But to be fair I had never really taken any notice of it as it was mainly used for diving. I have this morning replaced the battery and it works great, I have reset the hands and will give it a clean ready for when a strap arrives for it.

It will live on and be used again.

June 26, 2013 at 7:21 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

Your incoming strap presumably being something in black with red stitching, I trust, Iain ? Might I recommend one of these, perhaps. :|


http://www.cousinsuk.com/catalog/watch-straps-bracelets-fittings/resin-silicone-rubber-watch-straps



I fitted the dark blue / white stitched version to my 7A38-6060. 22mm is about as close as you'll get to the width of the watch case lugs.

It's simplicity itself to trim a couple of millimetres off either side of the ends - reducing them down to 18mm, to fit the lug boxes. ;)


June 26, 2013 at 8:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

jair1970
Member
Posts: 169

Wow. The mythical beast lives!

To put in context, if Paul has never seen one of these despite literally years of searching, then they are up there with hen's teeth.


Bravo Iain

June 26, 2013 at 9:12 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

Chasing Unicorns pays off in the end, eh James ? 8)

Funny thing, as you know I regulary check the forum's control panel / statistics for any interesting looking incoming google searches. 

Couple of days ago I noticed this: 1980 seiko quartz chronograph sports 150 black followed soon after by 7A38-6070 battery ....

By which time Iain had already registered on the site, but not posted anything. So I asked him the $64K question - and he did ! :)

June 27, 2013 at 6:32 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

Specification and Buyers Guide: 7A38-6070 SAA073J


Size: 42.5mm diameter (excluding crown and pushers) x 46mm measured over the lug ends x 13.5 mm deep.

The lug ends are 23mm wide, but the actual lug width / strap fixing recess is only 18mm (uses a full width notched strap).

Case material: S/Steel - Black Chrome coated. As are the crown and pusher button at 4 o'clock.

The pusher buttons @ 10 and 2 o'clock are polished stainless - same as used on the 7A38-6060 and JDM 7A38-6050.

Bi-directional 60-click bezel, with shallow knurled rim and six raised finger grips, in Black Chrome finish.

Satin black bezel insert - with 'Diver' minute scale and alternating sized numbers 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 - in Red.

Dial: Part number is 7A38605LXB19. Dial face is black with a minimal charcoal grey upper dial plate which carries the lumed batons.

The 1/10 second and 30 minute sub-dial rings are marked out in red. The minute dial ring has red marks on a black background.

Dial markings: SEIKO (printed) QUARTZ Chronograph SPORTS 150; at bottom JAPAN 7A38 605L T Suwa symbol.

Day and Date wheels: White lettering on black background. Second languages seen include: French and Italian.

Hands: Hour and Minute hands are White (with lume). Sweep second hand and sub-dial hands are orangey-red with black bosses.

Seiko crystal p/n: 300WF2FK01 - 30.0mm Ø x 3.5mm thick, shallow double-domed Hesalite - NLA; no substitutes identified at present.

Case-back markings: Double Wave Caseback; 7A38-6070 [A0] SEIKO BASE METAL ST. STEEL BACK WATER RESISTANT JAPAN A

Seiko strap p/n: ZPA22D - 'Perforated Leather Band'. Fixing by 18mm x 1.5mm Ø spring bars.

 

Production dates: The only example seen to date has a 65xxxx serial numbers - May 1986.

Geography: Nominally a (worldwide) 'export' model.

Buyers Tips: Black chrome coating is vulnerable to rubbing wear. Beware chipped bezel inserts and badly scratched irreplaceable original domed crystal. Red pigments used on dial printing and especially the minute ring are prone to fading to orange and yellow.

Price Guide: T.B.D.

Rarity Factor: 5/5 - Extremely Hard To Find. 


June 27, 2013 at 11:42 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

There aren't very many 7A38's left that I'd personally count as a true 'Grail'. The 7A38-6070 SAA073J is one of the few I still do.

An allegedly 'new with tags' example came up on eBay in Italy 10 days ago. The seller inadvertently used the 7A38 605L dial part number in his listing title, instead of the case-back number, but I knew straight away what I was looking at - and set my heart on it.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350983828530




 

MERAVIGLIOSO CRONO SEIKO AL QUARZO NUOVO CON CARTELLINO, DA VERI AMATORI E COLLEZIONISTI. FUNZIONA PERFETTAMENTE ED È CONSERVATO IN MANIERA ESEMPLARE. È UN MODELLO PIÙ UNICO CHE RARO. IL CRONO CONTA ANCHE I DECIMI DI SECONDO E HA IL GIORNO E LA DATA. PER ALTRE INFO O FOTO NON ESITATE A CONTATTARMI, GRAZIE AMEDEO.

P.S. PER LE SPEDIZIONI INTERNAZIONALI CHIEDERE IL PREVENTIVO.


The seller's listing included only the one photo. It wasn't particulary clear, but it was obvious (to me) that it wasn't fitted with the original Seiko p/n ZPA22D perforated leather strap and that the minute markers had faded from red to yellow. Although the seller wrote in his description that other photos were available on request, none were forthcoming, despite my various attempts to contact him. 


I saw the listing after it had been live for about an hour or so and placed the first bid. Another forum member started bidding later:




Although we are still at loggerheads over a couple of issues, I emailed him asking him not to bid against me, for two reasons:

1) This had been a 'Grail' for me for many years. Whereas in my eyes, to him this was just another Pokemon (Gotta catch 'em all).

2) I told him that if we both bid on it in the final seconds, one of us would probably end up paying way over the odds for this watch. 


The auction ended 25 minutes ago, at 1000.67 Euros (approx. £828.32) after 8 bids; the last two bids coming in the final 10 seconds.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/350983828530


Sold again to The Lowest forum member from Down Under, who feeds off the information I post on this forum like a parasitic leech


February 4, 2014 at 4:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

bmwboris
Member
Posts: 60

I feel for you Paul.

I've missed out on a few recently also, and whilst none were my "grail", I can only imagine your disappointment - especially when you post so much information on this forum for our benefit (and protection) and it gets used against you.

Con

February 4, 2014 at 6:13 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

Thanks, Con. ;) You have NO idea how p!ssed off I am. :(


I see there's a thread started about it over on SCWF this evening:

http://www.thewatchsite.com/21-japanese-watch-discussion-forum/80610-rather-expensive-7a38.html


February 4, 2014 at 4:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

akiskx
Member
Posts: 1

Hi Paul,


I'm sorry you ''lost'' your grail i'm pretty sure you deserve it more than anyone-i first read about this rare bird in this forum from you!

I hope you catch a good one soon so we can see some nice pics here! :)

I also saw the auction from the first moment but it was at 396€ from the first day so i stayed back.


Cheers, Theodoros.

February 5, 2014 at 2:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

This morning, and over the last hour I have received a total of 5 unsolicited emails from Australian 7Axx collector Stuart Lennard  

a.k.a erstwhile forum member 'ginny' and eBay user ID rubyginny - n***b (86) - the winning bidder of that 7A38-6070 'Lost Grail'. 

They are absolutely riddled with profanities. 


I'm considering publishing some further choice quotes, in another thread, but presumably with regard to the 7A38-6070, he wrote:


I ONLY BID ON THAT HOLY GRAIL YOU WANTED GUST TO GIVE YOU THE SHITS FROM THE SHIT YOU GAVE ME.

So there you have it (as writ).  


May 3, 2014 at 8:06 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

Well perhaps these things aren't quite so rare after all. :/ A used example of a 7A38-6070 was listed on eBay Italy earlier this evening.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271490041596


Vintage divers Seiko chronograph PVD 7A38-6070 anni 70

Orologio cronografo subacqueo d'epoca Seiko 7a38-6070,originale anni 70

grande cassa in acciaio nero PVD massiccio,diametro da 43 mm. escluso corona,fondello a vite,

quadrante nero originale,

vetro in cristallo bombato originale,ghiera girevole bidirezionale,

movimento Seiko 7a38,perfettamente funzionante in tutto e tiene molto bene il tempo,

cinturino in gomma nera traforato non originale ma nuovo,

orologio usato ma ancora in ottime condizioni.

Impermeabilità non garantita.



 

It has wear to the black chrome coating on the bezel, particularly the finger grips and is fitted with a non-original rubber 'Diver' strap.

Athough the minute marker ring has faded to yellow in a similar manner, the red pigments of the dial and hands appear to be slightly fresher than those of the NOS example which appeared on eBay Italy in February.


May 14, 2014 at 6:06 PM Flag Quote & Reply

mrwozza70
Member
Posts: 13

Good luck if you are going for it this time Paul... 

May 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Brad .... But I think I'll probably give up on the idea of trying to win this one. :/




The Lowest form of life from Down Under has decided to intervene. He's obviously decided he needs two of these. :roll:


http://offer.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBids&item=271490041596


May 16, 2014 at 6:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

fmc000
Member
Posts: 54

Ah, ok. I thought about putting some Euros on this but after having read this I'm probably going to change my mind.

--

My Seiko chronos: SPV002 - SDX008J1 - SFA005J1 - PSZ006P1

May 16, 2014 at 6:15 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

That eBay auction for the 7A38-6070 ended 12 hours ago: yesterday evening, just before 10:00pm @ 300 Euros after 20 bids.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271490041596



I won the auction. :) Thanks to everyone who provided encouragement, moral and other 'behind the scenes' support. 


Truth is, I came perilously close to walking away from it. I'd had a snipe set up in Auctionsniper from about the third day. But I'd been agonizing about it all week. I'd switched it off and re-entered it again. Yesterday evening, about 9:00pm I made a decision to let it go. 

I tried to sign into Auctionsniper to cancel the snipe again and couldn't. :mad: This is the error message I recieved:




I suspect it may be connected with the recent hacking of eBay which they're keeping very quiet about. 

So the automated snipe went off - and I won (as originally planned).

 

Apart from the fact I'd been studying the Italian eBay seller's photos and finally convinced myself that an example in less-than-ideal condition wasn't worth paying that kind of money for, no matter how badly, or for how long, I'd wanted one .... earlier in the evening, 

I'd googled 7A38-6070, purely on the off-chance, and found this listing on Subito.it from last month:


http://www.subito.it/hobby-collezionismo/orologio-chrono-seiko-sports-150-pavia-89700238.htm




Talk about taking edge off it eh ? :roll: Now I know I paid far too much for my 'Grail'. :(


May 22, 2014 at 4:57 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
Site Owner
Posts: 12279

I picked up the package from Italy containing my long-sought 'Grail' watch late on Friday afternoon. Initially I was pleased, having finally managed to secure an example of this 'rare beast'. I was at work most of Saturday, supervising some contractor work; although I killed time posting on the forum, it wasn't as easy to tinker with my 'new toy'. So it wasn't until this morning I really had a chance to examine it closely. I wouldn't say that my joy has since turned to complete disappointment, but as I wrote in my last post, the edge has definitely been taken off it, particularly in view of the price I paid on eBay, compared to what it was previously advertised for on Subito.it. :/


The wear on the edges of the bezel is as bad as it looked in the seller's photos, though thankfully all the metallic candy red numbering and graduations are intact. But the wear to the black chrome coating of the watch case is slightly worse than shown. The crystal has a number of light scratches on it, which isn't an insurmountable problem. ;) The pushers all have that lovely 'like new' clicky feel to them; however when operated, the chronograph is suffering from a somewhat recalcitrant sweep second hand. It never hesitates and moves off the mark immediately, but sometimes (not always) resets to 4 or 5 seconds before Zero. Very odd - and frankly bloody annoying. :mad:


Then there was the strap it came fitted with. You may have noted from this sentence in the Italian eBay seller's description:

cinturino in gomma nera traforato non originale ma nuovo, that it had been fitted with a new rubber dive strap. 

Yeah, but it was a horrible design  and worse, although the correct 18mm lug width fitting, hence not only straight and narrow ....



..... but way too thin in section and totally at odds with the chunky proportions of the watch case. So that had to go straight away !

Can I interest anybody in a new unused 18mm rubber dive strap - free to a good home ? 



Earlier in the week, I'd had a quick look on WatchBandCentre's website for something else in Black and Red silicone and found this:

http://www.watch-band-center.com/watchstrap-p22493h470s1479-Watch-strap-22mm-bla.html


But as I'd recommended to Iain in an earlier post that he fitted one of those Cousin's cheapie 22mm silicone straps to his 7A38-6070




I'd have been a bit of a hypocrite to go a fit something different myself. In fact I'd ordered a couple of them on Friday afternoon. :D

They arrived on Saturday morning, while I was at work. A few deft nicks with a new scalpel blade (taking off 2mm from each side) ....




.... and 5 minutes later it was on there:



After I'd fitted the new strap, I posted this rather flattering wrist shot in the WRUW thread this morning.




It was the 'best of three'. :P Here's the other two I took. Doesn't look quite so good in the harsh light of day, does it ? :/



June 1, 2014 at 8:58 AM Flag Quote & Reply

mrwozza70
Member
Posts: 13

Ah Paul... You got your grail and as I've discovered it's sometimes ok to secure a tatty one so that when you eventually hook a beauty you appreciate just how lucky you are. Having said that you've certainly improved the wearability with that strap. I'd have the bonetto cinturini off you but it would look as out of place on my only 18mm lug Chrono - the PRS17c ;)

 

June 1, 2014 at 3:19 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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