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Vintage Seiko’s, like a Toyota truck (or an Isuzu Trooper for that matter) refuse to die, are easy to fix, and possess a simply ridiculous quality (what can we say, we are fond of Japanese engineering here). This full serviced 1960’s Seiko J15012E Sportsman here is one of these.


Seiko hand built these watches with robotic efficiency – which may seem non-brag worthy compared to the thought of an expert watchmaker toiling away in the rolling Swiss hills – but this same Seiko efficiency has left the world with some amazingly well-preserved pieces today. Their mechanical movements are bulletproof, and many have never been restored, yet remain running amazingly well decades and decades later.


To quote Fratello Seiko expert, Michael Stockton, interweb lore tells us “the Sportsman line was introduced by Seiko in 1960 as a budget offering with robust, but utilitarian manual-wind movements.  Seiko, along with the other Japanese brands, truly enjoyed its endless branding schemes and created names such as “Dolphin” or “Seahorse” underneath this line.”


The Seiko J15012 debuted alongside a slew of handsome Seiko dress watches - the Chronos, Marvel, and Crown lines, and others.  The friendly competition between Seiko’s Suwa and Daini was ever present during this era, and thankfully for us watch enthusiasts, it made both perform at the top of their game.  The Sportsman would remain in the Seiko lineup until the mid-1960s, with multiple waterproof and calendar variations.


This J15012 is no exception – if there’s any doubt as to the benefits of healthy internal competition, this half a century old dress Seiko easily does away with it.  Minimalism at its finest on the surface, technical prowess underneath. 


Design wise, look at the details: hour markers, case finishing, dials and hands – there’s always more than meets the eye.  Did we mention how svelte is it?  At a mere 8.5mm thick, nearly half of which is the domed crystal, its scarcely felt on the wrist - exactely as a dress watch should be.


This Seiko J15012E Sportsman comes on a stainless-steel Seiko bracelet, nylon strap, rugged travel case, and springbar tool.

1960's Seiko Sportsman J15012E Mechanical

  • DIAL: Seiko-signed silver "spider" dial, with matching daulphin minute, hour, and second hands; applied markers.


    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 38.5mm (37mm w/o crown) x 44mm stainless steel case, with matching snapback case back.


    CRYSTAL: Domed acrylic crystal, no scratches or cracks.


    BAND: This J15012E comes on a vintage stainless-steel Seiko bracelet, which will fit up to approx. 8.50 inch wrist; this watch also comes with a red, white, and blue nylon strap.


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 17-jewel mechanical hand-wind/manual movement.  We have performed a full service on this J15012E.


    CROWN: Stainless-steel crown.

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