Seiko 7A38 - by the numbers



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Forum Home > Non-Seiko 7Axx Discussion Area (Re-branded mvmt's) > RACER J39 by Orient Watch Co. - The Spanish 7A38 Inquisition

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Seiko7A38 at February 3, 2018 at 5:43 AM

The seller was a bit tardy posting it. He didn't send me the shipping advice until Tuesday and it arrived on Thursday. The strap fitted turned out to be the most horrible cheap and nasty plastic thing you could imagine and has already been consigned to the rubbish bin. The crystal is quite badly scratched, but the dial and hands underneath appear to be pristine and everything works, although the crown is very stiff to turn. As soon as I've finished this post, I'm going to strip and clean it.

So why was I so excited about this particular watch, given its poor cosmetic condition ? Well it's yet another previously unseen (and very subtle) variant of the Orient / Racer J39  WATER RESIST 10 BAR dial - and check out the case-back model number: J39725-70. If that doesn't ring any bells, run a search on the forum or google images and you'll see why. :D

Rather than clutter up this thread with what is basically just another strip, clean and rebuild (with a couple of extra horrors chucked in for good measure), I've written that up in another separate topic in The Workshop section.

The dial part number is almost exactly what I would have expected to find in a Racer branded version of a J39725-70 - J392725R-027.

I finished it off this morning, by fitting a 20mm 'Feiko' stainless bracelet - for want of anything more suitable. Besides, apart from being in keeping with the rest of the watch (a cheap beater), it now matches my other one. ;)

Here's a slightly different wrist shot to the one I posted in the WRUW thread this morning.

If you had bothered to google images on J39725-70, no doubt you'd have found a few photos of my Orient branded version, which I've owned for a good many years.

Since November 2011, in fact. :) In all that time, these two Orient and Racer branded versions are the only two examples of this particular J39 case model number I've ever seen - so they're both comparatively rare. The Racer version is obviously much plainer than the Orient 'Panda' dial. Even the TEAM COLLECTION script is printed in black (rather than red). Yet they share the same case number - J39725-70, rather than J39710-70, which I'd normally associate with the Racer branded version. That said, it's not the first time that Orient and Racer versions of a J39 have shared a case-back model number - the umpteen dial colour variants of the J39908-70 being the classic case in point. Whereas I have rightfully accused Orient Watch Co. of not being entirely consistent in their allocation of case model numbers in the past, there is actually some logic in this instance. Although clearly identical watch cases, the Racer J39710-70 is silver anodized (or more likely painted) - as indeed are the Puma Y19001-70 and Y19301-70 equivalents. Both the Orient and Racer J39725-70 cases are plain (uncoated) stainless steel, with a lightly polished upper surface and brushed sides.

Anorak level detail, Moi ? :P Reminds me of my boyhood train-spotting days. 

February 4, 2018 at 10:19 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Seiko7A38 at January 29, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Got a bit of a shock - they've completely re-vamped it since I last looked at it.

So I went hunting for their 'Historic' section. Found the tab:

Guess what's not too far down that page ? :D

It's the Racer J39027-70 - presumably the image is from a catalogue cover. (I've used Google to translate the original Spanish text).

It's shown on a tan 'croco' strap, same as the 7A38 / 7T32 photoshopped image was. I prefer the red-stitched black leather I've fitted.

I make no apologies for the partial quote from the top of page 3. :P

You'll see the reason why, presently. ;) Hard to believe it's been 4 years. :/

Racer's website has gone through a few more iterations since then, including a new (re-directed) URL for the Historia section:

But the content remains pretty much the same, including that catalogue cover image of the J39027-70. :)

Now whereas I was perfectly content with my J39027-70, I'm always on the lookout for better (ideally NOS) examples of Orient and RACER J39's, particularly if the price is right. Guess what popped up in my eBay saved favourite search email notifications a week ago today ? :o

Yup - a NOS J39027-70 on the original Orient 'mock croc' leather strap. Needless to say I didn't hesitate to hit the Buy-it-Now button; indeed I was so quick that I didn't even take a screen print (or bother checking all the photos) before doing so - just in case someone else had seen it and beat me to it.

Later in the afternoon, I noticed the Spanish seller was listing lots more NOS watches. So I sent him a message asking if he had any more RACER J39's he was planning to list. He replied that he did have - a J39024-50. I wrote back asking him which of the 3 dial colour variants it was (as I didn't need nor particularly wanted another NOS 'Panda' version). He sent me just this one photo:

Needless to say, I bought that one too (off eBay). :D I was a little too late to get him to combine shipment, because he'd already posted the J39027-70. That arrived yesterday. I was waiting impatiently this morning for the postman to deliver the J39024-50, but nothing came. :( Hopefully it'll turn up tomorow morning.

March 9, 2018 at 6:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Other than taking the obligatory wrist shot, which I'll do at some point over this weekend, there's not a lot to be gained by my taking a load more photos of the J39027-70; the seller's dozen listing images are more than adequate. There was however one subtle difference in what I received - although none is shown in his last photo, the watch did come with a case-back protection sticker attached. :)

Note that the price is also shown in Spanish Pesetas (28,995 Ptas). I thought this a little odd at first, because Spain had joined the EEC in January 1986, but checking online reveals they didn't actually completely phase out the Peseta in favour of the Euro until 2002.

March 9, 2018 at 8:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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The RACER J39024-50 arrived yesterday. Unlike the J39027-70, it came with a cardboard hang tag attached.

Inside were similar self-adhesive paper labels, again showing the price in Euros and Pesetas. However, unlike the previous one, the lower label made more sense. Still not sure of the significance of '1726' (or SIN-REF), but this one included most of the model number - J39024. :)

I haven't had time to take any more photos of the J39024-50, so here's the wrist shot I posted in the WRUW thread yesterday ....

and a slightly different one of the J39027-70, to that I posted earlier this morning.

March 11, 2018 at 6:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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I'm not about to start another 'variations on a J39 theme' thread. There are already enough such topics in this forum section. But I've just encountered another variant.

Over the last nearly 5 years of searching, I assumed I'd seen all the RACER branded dial colour variants of J39024-50 produced by Orient. There's the most commonly found 'Panda'; the all-black dial (in my previous post) and the rarer 'Reverse Panda' (per 'Tony from Móstoles' example) which has eluded me so far. 

How about an all White dial ? :|

NOS - already on the way to me from my usual source. :D

The RACER presentation box it comes in isn't technically period correct ('JAPAN' was added to their logo slightly later), but I'm not complaining. :)

April 20, 2018 at 6:34 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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The postman delivered the above 'NOS' RACER J39024-50 earlier this morning. This one is in better condition than the previous. :) Just a little dusty, with no scratches, apart from a light slipped tool mark on the case-back. As I'd written previously, the 'JAPAN' box isn't quite period correct - and it's pretty obvious, from the slight 'hump' in the 6 o'clock side of the strap, that the watch has spent most of its shelf life with that section of the strap folded back behind it, rather than lying flat in that (or any other) box.

This one's evidently come from a different source to the previous two, because the writing inside the paper hang tag is different and there's no barcode label.

I've rattled off a couple of quick 'as received' photos:

Here's the newest arrival alongside the one I received last month:

And a slightly different wrist shot to the one I posted in the WRUW thread earlier.

April 26, 2018 at 6:54 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Seiko7A38 at April 23, 2017 at 9:16 AM

Seiko7A38 at November 23, 2014 at 7:40 AM

I messaged the seller twice (in Spanish) but received no reply. So I asked David's help again - in the hope that if he could buy this one on my behalf as well, he could consolidate their shipment. Days and weeks passed. Eventually the seller responded. He would only sell it in a face-to-face transaction for cash. He wouldn't even post it within Spain !! :roll: The seller 'Tony' is in Mostoles, a suburb of Madrid; David lives in the Valencia area, some 350Kms away. So sadly, we had to admit defeat on this one. :(

To add insult to injury, after his Segundomano listing expired, Tony listed it on (using only one photo - upside down):

I expect there will be others - indeed other dial colour variations of these two versions of J39024-50.

Just so frustrating to let this one slip through my fingers, because of a narrow-minded parochial seller. 

Idly browsing the Spanish free classifieds site this lunchtime, not really expecting to find anything, I came across a new-ish listing for a reverse panda dialed Racer J39024-50 - but one which also looked horribly familiar.

Yup it's my old friend Tony from Móstoles, who's still posting photos of the watch upside down (probably taken at the same time as the previous pairing with the Seiko 5) and still hasn't managed to sell it well over two years later. :roll:

With apologies for the 'double quote' (something I usually actively discourage). :P

and a partial one liner from my penultimate post:

and the rarer 'Reverse Panda' .... which has eluded me so far.

Hard to believe it's been 3½ years since I first spotted 'Tony from Móstoles' advert for his J39024-50 on After umpteen upside-down re-listings on, it finally disappeared into the ether. Presumably sold. I'd almost given up hope of finding another one.

So you can imagine how pleased I was to receive an email yesterday evening, from my usual source, with these 3 photos attached. :)

Again 'NOS' - and on it's way to me from Spain as I type this. :D

April 28, 2018 at 4:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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That 'Reverse Panda' RACER Orient J39024-50 arrived in this morning's post. :) Whereas I'm really chuffed to have finally filled that void in my collection, I'm a little disappointed in its received condition. Some 'NOS' watches lie gathering dust on a shelf in a jeweller's shop stock room for years on end. I guess others, like this one, may have been touted around dealer's trade stalls, chucked in and out of boxes with other assorted watches, because for a 'new' watch it's picked up numerous light scratches and scuffs. :(

Anyway, I've just rattled off a few very quick 'as received' photos:

It really is an attractive dial - more so, I think than the 'Panda' version. Like that one, the batons aren't lumed, but silver painted, outlined in gold.

The slightly tattier hang tag on this J39024-50 indicates it came from another different store. Once again, the price is shown in both Euros and Pesetas.

The black leather 'double jonc' strap is the same as the one on my original NOS Panda dialed version and stamped with the same Orient part number EU0685

Here's a slightly different wrist shot to that which I just posted in the WRUW thread.

Apart from the overall light scuffing to the sides of watch case and bezel, there's an annoying little scratch on the crystal, just above the 8 o'clock baton - which is more visible in this wrist shot. So at some point, I'll probably swap the watch case for that of my second 'NOS' Panda version, which IIRC is in better condition.

May 5, 2018 at 5:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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Seiko7A38 at April 23, 2017 at 8:56 AM

Jose's parcel containing the Racer J39907-50 arrived earlier this week, with the hands still in the same position (as his photo) and the date still showing SAT / 20. Initially it appeared to be as dead as a dodo, but with a fresh battery fitted, I reset the chronograph hands and confirmed they functioned correctly. I noticed the constant seconds hand was twitching slightly, so I wound on the the hands and quickset the day / date. It started running, so this morning I took a wrist shot and posted it in the WRUW thread.

Two hours later, it had ground to a halt again, so clearly needs a strip, clean and re-lube. You can't win 'em all. :roll:

Nor, more frustratingly, can you always catch them all - no matter how clever you are at International Logistics. :(

This afternoon, I got a stark and frankly annoying reminder of that fact ....

One year on - and then some, that RACER J39907-50 is still running, but only sporadically. It's joined an ever growing list of 'round-tuit' jobs. :roll: Though since yesterday, it has dropped down the order of priorities.

Reason ? :| I've got a new J39907-50 (meaning NOS) coming to replace it. :D

.... Courtesy of my ever-willing Spanish RACER detective / distributor. ;)

June 29, 2018 at 6:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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I'd intended to write this post yesterday, but the forum went down mid-afternoon. :mad:

The postman delivered the parcel containing the RACER J39907-50 about 10:00am. As Victor had already pre-warned me, it needed a new battery fitting. Quite honestly, with any NOS watches, I'd rather receive them like this, still with a pristine unmarked case-back, than have someone else ruin it, for the sake of fitting a cheap or frequently incorrect size battery. As you can see in the shot below, the bezel has picked up a few light swirlies and the strap is a little scuffed. If that Oxblood coloured 'double jonc' strap looks familiar, it's almost identical to the one that came on my first NOS Racer J39908-70 nearly 5 years ago. Except this one is only 18mm wide instead of 19mm. It's stamped with Orient Watch Co. Ltd., in an identical manner, but this one has the part number EU0270 rather than EU0284.

Oh, Yes - same cardboard consistency too. :roll: The paper hang tag label on this one doesn't tell you much - the price is only marked in Spanish Pesetas.

Here's a slightly different wrist shot to the one I posted in the WRUW thread:

July 6, 2018 at 7:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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I'm not sure I should even admit to this ....

But I've got another blingy NOS RACER J39907-50 incoming. 

Exactly the same as my last one. :roll: Same usual source as before, but as part of a 2 watch 'job lot' package deal. :/ It seems my Spanish supplier has been reaching out to other dealers, in his search for J39's on my behalf. Last Monday, he sent me this rather poor camera phone photo - obviously taken by somebody else.

I wasn't really keen on buying another J39907-50 (NOS or otherwise), but I was most certainly interested in the watch on the left. Upside down or not, I instantly recognised it as another previously unseen variant of J39725-70. Initially I told him I was only interested in the watch on the left, but it seems they came as a pair. :/

He received them on Friday and sent me some better photos:

Apologies for the mis-orientation of a couple of them. Blame PhotoBucket ! :mad:

Same case model as my white-dialed 'beater' at the top of this page, but with a black dial and presumably the original Orient bracelet (per the clasp logo). :)

July 23, 2018 at 6:25 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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RACER J39725-70. I'll write up the verbiage later. ;)

July 29, 2018 at 9:10 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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