Seiko's 1960s-era J13040 line offered some of the most Bauhaus-like designs to come out of the time period, and echoes much of the minimalism Seiko brought forth in the years following. And at the forefront of this line was the Seiko Champion – like the freshly serviced, early 1960s example here, with its highly atypical mix of cursive and block letter dial fonts.
Seiko’s Seahorse subline – which resided within the storied Champion line – debuted in the early 1960’s. The Champion J13040 came in dozens of varieties during its production during this era, with later models adding additional jewels and the Seahorse name to the dial. Even the dial font went through several iterations, to include pops of blue color for the depth rating, and Seiko made these models in either non-lumed (early) or lumed (later) dial formats. That said, it is the early variants, like the example here, with a great mix of cursive and block letter fonts, that are the most desired among collectors.
The Seiko Champion J13040 bring a lot to desire to the table with it, with a domed acrylic crystal with classic angled lugs, robust Seikosha movements, and an engraved snap case back that is a sight to behold – along with thew writing typically found on Seiko case backs, the J13040 features a detailed Seahorse in the center for a classy touch.
As recently noted in Fratello, “The Seiko Champion J13040 may not have set any diving records or scaled any mountains, but it remains as a great example of early 1960’s design. There’s enough happening to make these watches interesting, but that quiet restraint makes them everlasting.”
This J13080 comes with a leather rally strap, nylon NATO strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1960's Seiko Champion J13040 Manual Wind
DIAL: Silver dial, with dauphin minute, hour, and second hands. At over five decades old, the dial features beautiful cursive and block letter script.
CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 39mm (35.5mm w/o crown) x 42mm stainless steel case, with macthing caseback; detailed Seiko Seahorse logo remains crisp on snap-on case back.
CRYSTAL: High domed (four mm!) acrylic Seiko crystal.
BAND: New 19mm brown leather strap, with cream-colored accent stitching. This J13040 also comes with a dark blue, white, and orange nylon NATO strap, with stainless steel hardware – a great complement to the sporty nature of this Champion mechnical.
MOVEMENT: Seiko 17-jewel 400 Seikosha manuial-wind mechnical movement. We have fully serviced this watch.
CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel crown.