Celebrations are in order at Seiko, where the watchmakers are reliving the glory that the Caliber 6139, by giving us two new watches – one is the Prospex collection and the other in Presage. The Caliber 6139 made its debut in 1969, which is exactly half a century ago. As the world’s first automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical clutch, it made an impact in the world of watches.
To mark the occasion, we see two references – one from 1964 and the other from 1969, being revamped and presented to us as the new Prospex – Seiko Automatic Chronograph 50th Anniversary Limited Edition and Presage – Seiko Chronograph 55th Anniversary Limited Edition. You can pick up the watches from Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers in December this year.
Commemorating the 1969 Classic
The reason why the Caliber 6139 is so revered, is that it made a significant improvement in the precision with which elapsed time could be measured in a watch. Seiko was the first one to use a column wheel and a vertical clutch, which made this improvement possible. Today, such composition is widely used, but back in the days it was an important move.
The new Prospex Seiko Automatic Chronograph 50th Anniversary Limited Edition pays tribute to this 1969 chronograph caliber and under the hood is the 8R48, which made its debut in 2014. The movement includes Seiko’s three-pointed hammer and a heart-shaped cam.
Sporting the ‘Panda’ design – signified by the two black sub-dials (the eyes of the panda) on a white dial background. In the new version, there is a third sub-dial for the time of day second hand and Zaratsu polishing on the case. The watch also hosts a box-shaped sapphire crystal and is limited to 1000 pieces.
The 1964 Seiko Crown Chronograph
As Japan’s first chronograph watch, Seiko’s 1964 Crown Chronograph was built from scratch and the one-push mechanism became the talking point. The new Seiko Chronograph 55th Anniversary Limited Edition is very much in lines with the original watch and features similar design cues.
The boxshaped crystal, sharp numerals on a narrow bezel and inwardly tilted case shape are reminiscent of the original design. Under the hood is the Caliber 8R48 with its 12-hour chronograph. It provides 45-hour power reserve and is water resistant to 10 bars. Limited to a thousand watches, the watch sports sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on the inner surface.