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The Seiko 6139 automatic chronograph a historical movement in its own right, like this full serviced mid-1969 Seiko 6139-6000 SpeedTimer "Cevert" automatic chronograph here, on a new stainless-steel SpeedTimer bracelet – was one of the first automatic chronographs created and ranks with Zenith’s El Primero and Heuer’s Calibre 11. 


This excellent Seiko 6139 SpeedTimer example ticks all the early 6139 boxes - a serif font dial with no blemishes, a fantastic largely unblemished matte stainless-steel handset (rare unto themselves), correct "notch" case, vibrant "Pepsi" bezel colors, and a red two-piece large chronograph hand.


Back in the late 1960's, Heuer and Zenith had taken hold of the entire sports watch industry by racing to become the first to produce an automatic chronograph.  It has been widely debated who won, but in the background of this skirmish, Seiko quietly created their own at the same time, beating the Swiss at their own game the Seiko Ref. 6139.


During the early months of 1969, Seiko put the final touches on its revolutionary 6139 chronograph - in fact, the Japanese company first began putting the 6139 in automatic chronographs as early as January of the same year.


Seiko published its first advertisement for their new automatic 6139 chronograph in February 1969, easily beating the Swiss - however, the company was concentrating on the release of the world's first quartz watch, the Astron, which would completely disrupt the watch world as it was known at the time (again, much to the chagrin of the Swiss watch industry, we're certain).  We possess 6139 dials dating back to October 1968, indicating Seiko beat all other rivals to produce the world's first automatic chronograph.  Period.


Within the Road Rat automotive magazine Autumn/Winter 2018 debut edition, an article was included on the Seiko 6139 automatic chronograph – the first automatic chronograph in the world – and its connection to Formula One (F1) racing legend, François Cevert, marking the first widely(ish) publicized link between the dark blue-dialed 6139 and Cevert.  Hence the moniker "Cevert," which caught on in collector circles quickly.


But during the same era (and for long after Cevert's untimely racing death), Japanese racer Tetsu Ikuzawa - one of the most successful and prolific Japanese drivers from the early years of the nation's automobile racing history - wore one, the exact same SpeedTimer variant here, during races.  When Ikuzawa was a mere 15 years old, he began competitive motorcycle racing, switching to autos in 1963 to compete in the inaugural Japanese Grand Prix sports race. 


While continuing to compete in races in Japan, he was the first Japanese driver to regularly compete in a number of notable European championships, namely the British F3 Championship and European F2 Championship; he was also one of the first Japanese drivers to compete in the epic 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race.  Throughout his long career, he frequently drove Porsche cars, beginning in 1964 with a Porsche 904, transitioning repeatedly to eventually drive a 935.  His dedication to the company runs deep, as does his daughter Mia, a designer with Porsche.


Of subsequent note, NASA astronaut Colonel Richard Covey wore a Seiko 6139 like this one during his Discovery Space Shuttle STS-51 mission that launched the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite in September 1993.  The flight also featured the deployment and retrieval of the SPAS-ORFEUS satellite and its IMAX camera, which captured spectacular footage of Discovery in space.


This 1969 Seiko 6139 SpeedTimer comes on a new Uncle Straps stainless-steel SpeedTimer bracelet, and with a nylon strap, springbar tool, and rugged travel case.

1969 Seiko 6139-6000 SpeedTimer "Cevert" JDM Chronograph, w/SpeedTimer Bracelet

  • DIAL: This Japanese Domestic Market-only SpeedTimer features a proof-signed dark blue SpeedTimer dial - with vibrant red and blue font - and dial writing remains crisp with zero fade.  Day/date complication – with Kanji Japanese/English variants – at 3 o’clock position works as designed.  Correct early 6139 matte minute and hour hands (Seiko would switch these out in favor of the glossy handset in summer 1969), with vibrant red two-piece large chronograph hand and minute subdial hand.


    CASE: Stainless-steel "notch" case measures 41.5mm x 46mm; recessed  crown, with matching caseback.  Case lines remain sharp, with no evidence of machine polish, and the light brushed finish the watch case top left the factory with more than a half century ago remains.


    CRYSTAL: Seiko 6139-correct Hardlex crystal, no scratches or blemishes.


    BAND: This SpeedTimer comes on a high quality Uncle Straps stainless-steel SpeedTimer bracelet, which will fit up to an approx nine inch wrist.  This SpeedTimer Cevert also comes with a grey nylon strap.


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 6139A automatic chronograph movement, manufactured in July 1969.  We have performed a full service on this 6139.


    CROWN: Recessed unsigned stainless-steel crown.


    CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Chronograph pushers depress with a satisfying click, no stick, and snap back as designed to zero with no issue.

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