Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers

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Forum Home > 7A38-xxxx Model Specific Area > 7A38-706A (SAAxxxJ sales codes unknown) Gold plated White (Roman & Arabic) dials

Seiko7A38
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And so to the third in my trilogy of topics on obscure rarer variants of 7A38-706x's - the white-dialed gold-tone 7A38-706A's. :)

Before I go any further, particularly in the light of what I've written about (the ex-SuperMario) Manuel's two-tone 7A38-706B here ....

I should state that neither of these rare 7A38's exist according to Seiko Oceania's database. All search results return 'no data found'.

In years gone by, I've possibly been a little too hasty in dismissing a small number of watches as 'Frankens', when I couldn't validate their configuration by 'consulting the oracle of Oz'. With experience, I know better now - and amazingly useful resource that it is, I've learned that just because Seiko's database implies a 7Axx doesn't exist 'on paper', that shouldn't necessarily be taken 'as gospel'.

July 5, 2013 at 3:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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It's ironic really, because when I bought the first of these two gold-tone 7A38-706A's on eBay, in November 2011, I did exactly that. :roll:

At the time, I was enthusiastically writing up my 7A38 collecting activities on the RLT watch forum. Here's the thread I wrote, entitled:

Sometimes These Things Just Gotta Be Done. Note the sub-title: A somewhat belated Heads-up on a 7A38 Franken.

With hindsight, it makes for quite an amusing read. From the strike-throughs and edits, I clearly wasn't quite sure what I'd purchased.

Indeed at the bottom of my third post in that thread, I wrote:


So, here am I thinking I'm looking at a Franken 7A38-706X made up from: The gold-tone case from a SGP 7A38-7060;

the dial / movement and Tachy ring from a two-tone 7A38-706B, fitted with the case-back from a 7A38-706A. Right ? 

Wrong ! 

Suggest you guys may want to 'refresh' your screens. I'm making this up as I go along. 


My erstwhile apparent confusion stemmed from the possibly incorrect assumption that (then) SuperMario's two-tone 7A38-706B, which I'd first seen posted on Orologio & Passioni a month earlier, was a correct bone fide configuration and the watch that I'd just bought was the 'franken'. Now I'm tending to lean very much the other way - as you'll see as this thread develops.

July 5, 2013 at 4:01 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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The original listing for item # 110781791508 on eBay Italy has long since dropped off history, but here's the basic information:


Orologio uomo marcato Seiko quartz Chronograph


 

Orologio uomo 

SEIKO QUARTZ CHRONOGRAPH 

Quadrante rotondo bianco con numeri 

Cinturino in pelle marrone 

Funzionante Con scatola


I won it for 62 Euros, with a literally last second 'throwaway' bid of 67.89, after nearly deciding to let it go (because I thought it was a franken). I'm glad that I didn't, even though it's not in exactly pristine condition, because it's still the only one that I've seen to date. :)


July 5, 2013 at 4:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Here are a couple of photos I took soon after receiving it - note DOM showing that it's fitted with an English / Italian day wheel:



The case-back stampings 7A38-706A BASE METAL ST.STEEL BACK, which cleared up my my initial confusion about its parentage.


The dial part number 7A38 - 727O (of more anon) printed at the bottom is clearly visible in these two wrist shots:




.... and a more recent wrist shot, after a second change of crystal from a Cousins' 32mm Ø 'cheapie' to a Sternkreuz p/n XMF320.927.



As you can see, from the last photo, I've still done nothing further in the way of refurbishment. I had planned (and still may well do) to get the case re-plated and fit a NOS bezel, crown and pushers, but for the time being, it's even fitted with the same strap it came on.

One thing is certain in my mind, though - I won't now be using the dial and movement to build a 'SuperMario 7A38-706B' look-alike. ;)


July 5, 2013 at 4:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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With regard to this: The dial part number 7A38 - 727O (of more anon) printed at the bottom ....

If you've read right to the end of the second page of that thread on RLT back in December 2011, you'll see that I wrote:

 

For now, one last thought about that dial - a bit of anorak-level research (nothing unusal on my part). 

 

The model number 7A38-706A and sales product code SAA084J (for the known 'sister' 7A38-706B two-tone version) ....

fall roughly into the middle of the 7A38 numbering sequence.

The incorrectly allocated dial reference number on Seiko's database 720LXSX19 comes towards the latter part.

 

However, if you run a search on 7A38 on Seiko Oz's database, and then sort the 310 lines on (Descending) dial numbers:

 


 

Had it been correctly entered, the 727O (presumably also XS1x), would have been the (highest) last dial number allocated. 

Just a thought. 


But was it actually the highest or last 7A38 dial part number allocated ? 


July 5, 2013 at 5:35 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Even after more than 4 years of scouring the Internet, I'm always on the lookout for previously unseen variations of Seiko 7A38. 

So you can imagine my initial reaction when this turned up in a world-wide search on Seiko Chronograph on eBay on 17th May. 


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/321127187629



The Romanian seller's description made no mention of '7A38' and read as follows:


Men's Watch SEIKO QUARTZ Chronograph, perfect condition, works perfectly , SEIKO mechanism with 15 jewels.

It has 3.7 cm (without crown). 

Please check the scans to judge yourself the condition. 

VERY ATTRACTIVE PRICE !


It didn't take too close an examination of the seven photos included in the listing to clearly see that wasn't in perfect condition, mostly because of the worn gold plating, and their asking price for the apparent condition of $299 (approx. £199) was borderline ridiculous.

But I knew what I was looking at this time: another 7A38-706A variant, and made up my mind I would have it - one way or another. 


July 5, 2013 at 6:39 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Sub-titled: One way to circumvent a greedy eBay seller: by currency conversion – and with a little bit of help from a forum member. ;)


So what do you do when you see a 7A38 which you’d like to buy listed on eBay, but that in your opinion is grossly over-priced – both for the model (desirability factor) and condition ? Me ? I’ll usually dig my heels in and not budge either, no matter how badly I want it. 

Maybe I'll have a bitch about it on here, in one of the pricing threads the eBay forum section. Call it ‘sour grapes’ if you like. 

But sometimes, when necessary, I will look for a workaround solution. 


Some of you may have seen the eBay listing while it was live - from 17th May through 16th June. I know for certain, that right up until the last couple of days, I was the only person watching it. (A recently added eBay feature enables users to see the total number of watchers on listings by business sellers). I'll admit that wanted it pretty badly, from the moment I saw it – both to fill a gap my collection, and to make a pair with my existing Arabic number dial version of the 7A38-706A; despite the worn gold plating (the bezel looked like it has been polished). But I was damned if I was going to pay anything like the seller’s stupid asking price, especially in that condition. 


I'd mentally noted the seller’s stated location – Timisoara, Romania. That rang a bell with me immediately, as also being the home town of recently joined forum member d2ok13 – George. Unfortunate timing though, because I also remembered that George had written he was getting married on the 18th May, and that he would be away for a month after. The eBay listing was 30 days duration. Oh well. :/


However there was something else. Looking at the photos the seller used in their eBay listing, I noticed they’d all been edited slightly.

There were small white rectangles in the top left and bottom right corners, where something had been cut out. A water-mark perhaps.




It took a few hours before it clicked, but then it dawned on me – the photos were lifted from Okazii.ro – Romania’s equivalent of eBay.

Here’s the same photo (also auto re-sized to 700x679) from the Okazii.ro listing showing the water-marks:


 


Once I knew where to look, it didn’t take me long to find the listing (since amended twice and now ended):

http://www.okazii.ro/ceasuri-barbatesti/ceasuri-seiko/ceas-seiko-quartz-chronograph-cu-15-rubine-a126583805


There the price was 650 RON (Romanian New Leu), equivalent to approx. $195 at the time, compared to the $299 asked on eBay. :o

So, I swiftly dashed off a message to the eBay seller, pointing out the discepancy in pricing. Their reply came back the following day:


I am ready to sell it to you with $260, because of the fees and the Customs taxes.

This is all I can do for you, to have a little profit too.

If you want it, tell me to put the new price before you bid.

If you do not want it, I am sorry, buy it from Okazii.


Needless to say I passed on their offer, not even bothering to counter. 

In frustration, I attempted to register on Okazii.ro, but that's easier said than done if you’re a foreigner, even using Google to transate. Among other validation checks (or at least as far as I got into the registration process anyway), it requires a Romanian phone number.


Before I forget ....

Here's the original larger sized images (1000x971) from the Okazii.ro listing, which now seems to have disappeared into the ether. :/


You barely need to zoom in on these to read the 728O dial number, which follows on logically from the 727O Arabic numbered version.


Goes without saying, I looked at them dozens of times in the last month or so .... agonizing.

A week after they'd first listed it on eBay, the seller subsquently added a (make a) Best Offer button:


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemRevisionDetails&item=321127187629

I resisted the temptation - almost to the very end of the 30-day eBay listing, knowing the futility. Their Buy-it-Now asking price on eBay remained constant at $299 for the duration, but incredibly, the seller dropped the price on Okazii.ro from 650 RON to 450 RON !! :o



That was equivalent to 'only' $135 ! 

Seeing that, I relented and made an offer of $166 on their eBay listing in the last 12 hours, only to have it automatically declined ! :mad:

http://offer.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewBidsLogin&item=321127187629



I managed to contact George a few hours after the eBay listing had ended on 16th June, and asked him if he'd be prepared to buy it off Okazii.ro on my behalf. He kindly agreed to help, and the next time I looked at the listing, it had been further reduced to 420 RON !

 

George had made an even lower offer - for those of you without calculators handy, that's equivalent to only $126 - they accepted ! :D

As the old saying goes, it appears there is indeed more than one way to skin a cat. 


July 5, 2013 at 7:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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The logistics didn't turn out quite as simple and straight-forward as I'd anticipated. The seller had stated their location (both on eBay and Okazii) was Timisoara (the third largest city in Romania, where George lives), but in fact they were in Caransebes, a small town 105km away, so it was a few days before George received it. It was a pleasant relief to see this photo of the watch in his hand:




We had a small issue (2 illegible digits) with the Poșta Română  tracking number which George had given me, that caused a sleepless night or two. Then ParcelFarce got involved. Romania joined the EU in 2007, so why the package was ever entered into UK Customs is a mystery known only to ParcelForce. Three hubs, two misdirects and another 4 days later  supposedly their 24 Hour service ! :roll:




Imperfect specimen it may be, it was a blessed relief (after a long wait for me, effectively since May 17th) to finally get it on my wrist. :)

With many thanks to George for his invaluable assistance with this acquistion. 


July 5, 2013 at 7:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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It was far too warm to even think about working on watches yesterday, so I just rattled off a few more photos in 'as received condition', though by the time I got around to it (late afternoon, despite the time the watch is showing), the best of the light had already gone:




I already had a few minor concerns about the watch (apart from the worn gold plating). It had obviously been messed about with by somebody. To me, the most attractive and important thing about this watch was its dial. I'd noticed the bit of what looked like 'foreign matter' on the dial between XI and 65 on the Tachymeter scale in the seller's listing photos. There was another grubby mark under II and a bit of black near 47 on the constant seconds sub-dial. Athough you couldn't easily tell from their listing photos, I knew something wasn't quite right with the crystal either. When I received it, it was obvious that a cheap replacement that had been badly fitted. That's what I tried to capture in a couple of the above photos. It hadn't even been pressed in level - it was proud of the bezel on the 9 o'clock side, but flush on the 3 o'clock side, with the black nylon gasket protruding above it ! I suspect what may have happened (and would explain the excessive wear of the gold plating on the top edge of the bezel), is that they first tried to polish the original crystal, in situ, using a buffing wheel. When that didn't achieve the desired result, they stuck in whatever came to hand. 'Stuck' being the operative word. It was an under-sized mineral glass measuring 31.90mm Ø x only 1.05mm thick - which had been glued into the nylon gasket.


While it was still relatively cool this morning, I popped out the movement and cleaned up the various bits of detritus off the dial using Rodico. The photos below show I missed another tiny bit between 7 and 8 on the seconds sub-dial, but I'll get that later when I next pop the movement out to correctly re-postition the sweep second hand. I deliberately left it alone this morning. I was almost  tempted to fit my spare NOS bezel, but looking at the plating wear on the lugs (nearly as bad as my other gold-tone 7A38-706A), it would have been pointless, apart from the slight colour mis-match. Both watches need to go away for replating ! Despite being glued in place, the cheap under-sized crystal almost fell out when I applied the press. It took me a while to clean their glue off the crystal gasket, before pressing in a Sternkreuz p/n XMF320.927 crystal, with that polished bevelled edge which almost matches the original Seiko p/n 320W40GN00.




The strap it came fitted with wasn't bad quality - it was a Condor 20mm. But it was just too thin for the watch. Needed something a bit more padded. In the above photos, the watch is fitted with a Taikonaut Frog grain from Stella / Tungchoy that I had in my strap drawer. Not sure that quite 'works', so I also bought an 'Atlas' in tan from TSS Watchworx, shown fitted in this wrist shot I took this afternoon:


July 7, 2013 at 8:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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So I guess all it needs to finish off this topic (for now, at least) is a side-by-side shot, or two, of my two 'Ugly Duckling' 7A38-706A's.




Interesting point to note is both are fitted with English / Italian day wheels, and both were manufactured in December 1988. 

What's more, I think I'm gradually coming around to these Faux Frog grain straps. 


July 7, 2013 at 9:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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See also my updated comments (as of today) on the 7A38-706B two-tone versions with both 727O Arabic and 728O Roman dials:

http://www.seiko7a38.com/apps/forums/topics/show/9100797-7a38-706b-saaxxxj-sales-codes-unknown-two-tone-etc.

August 1, 2013 at 12:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Time for a long overdue update to this thread, which has been languishing for years at the bottom of page 2 of this section. :)


If you've read my pre-amble at the top of the page, then you'll possibly understand why, when I'd first clapped eyes on that gold-tone 7A38-706A on eBay Italy, back in November 2011, I had severe doubts about its parentage. In short, because it looked kinda fugly and wasn't documented on Seiko's database, I'd initially assumed it was a cobbled together Franken - and nearly didn't buy it.  :roll:


One way of verifying its authenticity, as a genuine (but undocumented) 7A38 model would have been sight of another example ....

But of course I haven't seen another like it since - not in nearly 5 years. That was until yesterday, when I updated this other thread.


In closing, I wrote:

As a sanity check, I just ran a Google image search on Seiko 7A38-706A. Loads of photos of stainless 7A38-706A's (many with their dials looking deceptively black rather than dark blue) and a few of my fugly Italian market gold-tone with the white Arabic number dial.


But scrolling further down that Google image search result, I spotted a small thumbnail which wasn't one of my own photos.



May 6, 2016 at 4:17 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Following the link from that thumbnail, I found the original advertisement on the Italian free classified site Subito.it.

It was placed a week or so ago. From the seller's photos it looks like a mint (if not NOS) example of the same gold-tone 7A38-706A.


http://www.subito.it/abbigliamento-accessori/orologio-seiko-7a38-706a-con-cronografo-l-aquila-154751236.htm



Nice. But at 400 Euros I think I'll pass. :/ At least it's helped ratify the bone fide existence of this hererto unidentified model. :)


May 6, 2016 at 4:50 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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It's been more than 3½ years since I last updated this thread, which has languished neglected at the bottom of page 2 of this forum section. The fact that I haven't had any reason to update this thread before, should be a pretty good indicator as to the comparative rarity of these Italian market 7A38-706x variants. Finally, earlier this afternoon, a gold-tone 7A38-706A, with the less attractive Arabic numeral dial, was listed by an Italian eBay seller, as a 7-day auction, with an opening bid price of 197 Euros. The black leather strap fitted isn't original - the buckle looks like a Morellato.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/283731006308



Vendo causa inutilizzo Seiko Quartz Chronograf, orologio di Lusso periodo anni ’80.

L’orologio è un regalo di cresima, utilizzato pochissimo ma è perfettamente funzionante (batteria da cambiare).

Orologio con cinturino in pelle, tachimetro, cronometro (anche con tempo intermedio), e resistente all’acqua. 

La scocca e il vetro sono perfetti e senza danni, nessuna riga sul vetro. 

Purtroppo non conosco la composizione del materiale. 

Sul retro riporta il seguente codice: 7A38 - 706A.


January 3, 2020 at 11:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Checking my eBay watching page, this morning, I was both disappointed and annnoyed to see that the Italian eBay seller had ended his 7-day auction listing for that 7A38-706A just after Midnight, allegedly because of an error in the listing.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/283731006308



January 4, 2020 at 5:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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I was angry that the auction had been ended that way, because my immediate suspicions were that it had been 'back doored' by that loathesome profiteering Italian eBay re-seller Simone Pratissoli (simone00simone). It's his favoured modus operandi. Anyway, this morning, out of morbid curiosity, I sent the seller a message asking him if my assumption was correct. Indeed, it transpires he had received a message from 'a certain Simone', asking for a 'private negotiation', but thankfully ignored it and hadn't responded. The actual reason he withdrew it, is that he was selling the watch on behalf of his cousin, for whom it had been a confirmation gift. He'd simply changed his mind and decided to keep it.


As he hadn't included one in his eBay listing, I asked the seller if the watch was still in his possession, if he could send me a photo of the case-back. He kindly obliged. I'd expected it would have an 8Dxxxx prefixed serial number, as all these Italian market variants invariably do .... but how about that for (4 x 4) a number ! :)


January 5, 2020 at 6:46 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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In not updating this thread in 3½ years, I had omitted to mention something ....

Remember that almost NOS condition gold-tone 7A38-706A that was listed on Subito.it, back in May 2016 ? I have an admission to make. A year later, in May 2017, I finally caved in and bought it - although I paid rather less than the Italian seller's asking price - closer to 300 Euros. I had subsequently posted a couple of wrist shots in the WRUW thread too. :roll:



January 5, 2020 at 7:42 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Nearly forgot to add this onto the thread, too. Last week, a keyword spamming Italian eBay seller listed a gold-tone 7A38-706A with the alternative (and IMHO rather more attractive) Roman numeral dial, as a 7-day auction, with an opening bid price of 150 Euros and the option to make an offer.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254482254964


Seiko Quartz Chronograph 7A28 Vintage. Usato.


The 7-day auction ended mid-week, with the 7A38-706A selling for the opening bid price of 150 Euros.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254482254964


January 24, 2020 at 5:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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Judging my the paucity of updates to these threads, it should be obvious that these Italian market 7A38-706x variants are comparatively rare - certainly outside Italy. So it's highly unusual to see two listed on eBay in consecutive months. This gold-tone 7A38-706A, with the 728O Roman numeral dial, fitted with an inappropriate NATO strap, was listed by a keyword-spamming* Italian eBay seller, yesterday evening as a 7-day auction, with an opening bid price of 1 Euro.


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254511562481

 

OROLOGIO SEIKO 7A38 

IL PRIMO CRONOGRAFO QUARTZ DELLA STORIA MONDIALE 

SEIKO 7A28 JAMES BOND. SEIKO 7A38. SEIKO 7A48. 

RICERCATISSIMO DAI COLLEZIONISTI 

FUNZIONA MOLTO BENE in tutto 

MANTIENE PERFETTAMENTE IL TEMPO 

CRONOGRAFO FUNZIONA E AZZERA PERFETTAMENTE 

CASSA MISURA 38 MM SENZA CORONA di CARICA 

FONDELLO SERRATO A VITE 

VETRO MINERALE IN ECCELLENTI CONDIZIONI 

QUADRANTE PARTICOLARISSIMO COLORE BIANCO, NUMERI ROMANI, LOGO SEIKO ORE 12. DAY DATE ORE 15. 

CINTURINO NATO IN BUONE CONDIZIONI. 

da segnalare che raramente si blocca il pulsante ORE 16 quello che azzera il CRONOGRAFO, necessità di una leggera lubrificazione. 

Consiglio questo BELLISSIMO seiko 7A38-706A

FUNZIONANTE, QUADRANTE CON NUMERI ROMANI MOLTO DIFFICILE DA TROVARE. 

Astenersi dall'asta utenti con meno di 5 feedback. 

Spedisco in ITALIA EUROPA. Asta CHE PARTE da 1 EURO. 

SPEDIZIONE TRACCIABILE. PAGAMENTO SICURO.


*For obvious reasons I haven't bothered copying and pasting the last paragaph of the seller's description. :roll:


February 14, 2020 at 11:30 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Seiko7A38
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The above 7-day Italian eBay auction for a gold-tone 7A38-706A ended a few moments ago, selling for 151 Euros after 43 bids. I you check the bidding history, it's obvious that it was blatantly shilled, throughout the week, in the best Italian tradition, by two bidders (one with Zero feedback and 100% bidding activity with the seller), who between them placed a total of 31 bids out of that 43. 


http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/254511562481


February 20, 2020 at 2:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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