Living in Denmark, vintage Seiko and Citizen dive watches are definitely NOT something you stumble over every day. Should you find one of these watches, it will in 99% of all cases be the commonest model 7S26, and will be ridiculously overpriced as well as underserviced. Here, in the desolate wastes of West Jutland, grail Seiko divers are just not going to happen. Ha!
Coming back from lunch in the canteen last Tuesday, I picked up the Danish equivalent of “The
Tradingpost” to look for motorcycle parts. Browsing the Watches column, I noticed an ad, someone wanting to trade “a jumble of” automatic wristwatches for pocket watches. Mmm. I have a pocket watch that has been lying in my drawer for at least five years.
Called the number, and it is only 50km away – an elderly man with a collection of 800 wristwatches and some 150 pocket watches, as well as a “jumble” lot of automatic watches from the 40s – 70s. Nope, no divers, and so we chatted away for a bit, I agreed to send him the pocket watch on trust, when he suddenly says, “Uhm, well I think I have a big Seiko diver somewhere” (“Big” was said in a condescending way, as others would say “smashed”).
“Would you look?” say I (with a faint quiver). “
Just a second” says he, leaving me to wait in silence. Outside, a plane droned by, and two ants busied themselves scurrying along my window. Time dragged on, then suddenly: “Yes, well, I have it here, there seems to be a fish on the back…”
“Nnnnngh! A dolphin!!?”
“Uh, yes – and a number (time stands still, heartbeat hears clearly) – 6217-8001 SS Waterproof. It seems to be in good shape but isn’t running…” "Well, send it along, I'll have a look"
Send the pocket watch, waiting for my parcel. The two ants on my windowpane are now five. Good job there'll be frost next week.
This is it – parcel arrived. Unpacking starts:
Ah! Nice packing!
Yes – well, lets get on with it!
Ooooh! Just LOOK at that genuine bezel insert!
Wow! Very minor buffs, one or two minor scratches on the highly domed acrylic crystal. Lumes brightly for 60 seconds and then dies – some of the lume has disappeared off the minute hand, and is nowhere to be seen. Dial clean and virginal. Wrong strap. Very few indications of wear, most of which have probably come from sitting in a drawer…
Original crystal and crown – the fine-toothed bezel is bidirectional, no clicking and so very sixties.
Caseback in great shape, opening indentations pristine, serial number identifies this as a ´67
model, man, I was like three years old when this watch was made. HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY!!!
OK, lets get dirty here – movement seems clean, check out the detailing on the rotor! Some wear
on the screws, somebody has been here before us! Check out the scratches on what I think is the main spring barrel. Anybody care to diagnose the reason for the stoppage? Date and hands set fine via the crown, so no blockage of the gear train apparent. Rotor turns 360 but "hangs" a bit – perhaps because the spring is wound fully- perhaps I should try unwinding the main spring. Balance turns to and fro a few times and then stops. I need to look at this under the stereo microscope at work, for hair on the balance spring etc., any pointers would be welcome.
Sooo – what to do!? I have an original Grail which could be running quite easily, I think (at the
worst, a replacement movement from a ´64 - 68 Worldtimer?) Do I keep it or trade it? If I trade it, it would probably be for a restored original 6309, I have two and cannot get enough of them. Or a
´64 black dial Worldtimer. Or a ´64 black dial SS Omega Seamaster. If I keep it, and I probably will(I would really like a diver from ´64 but this 62MAS is just so sixties so I am really tempted to keep it and use it as a "dress" watch for meetings at work, business trips etc. So I would have to get another strap, and a Bond as well as a black NATO appeal to me right now, as I could change the
straps at whim, and the Bond NATO is as Sean Connery as you can get!
Blasphemy? Let me know! Should this watch go to someone else, so I can increase my 6309 collection…I KNOW I will NEVER see one like this again, though. Well, I would love some input, let me close off by giving you all an idea of the arm presence of this watch:
I was worried it would wear small, but no, its GREAT, and looking at the dial I can't help reminiscing...suddenly, new memories flood back and hey! thats what this is all about - the quiet appreciation of a byegone age....and - what? - oh, I gotta get back to washing the dishes...so, looking forward to all comments and suggestions! Have a good Sunday, and.....yes, dear, I´m on my way already, I just...