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The Seiko 6139 automatic chronograph – a historical movement in its own right, like this full serviced 1970 Seiko 6139-7010 SpeedTimer "Iceberg Military" with Arabic dial here, only sold in Japan – was one of the first automatic chronographs created and ranks with Zenith’s El Primero and Heuer’s Calibre 11.


The best thing about these 6139-7010's?  They feature atypical Arabic numberals counting the hours - Seiko used this designed sparingly during this era, and it gives the watch a great military stance.


And it appeared the Japanese military, in the form of the Japanese Defense Forces, agreed - these were issued to the JDF navy (JMSDF) and air (JASDF) forces; issued examples are exceedingly rare, and feature military insignia on the case back and JDF in Kanji Japanese.  A 1981 Japanese TV special, "The Last Show," highlighted JASDF pilots and their U.S.-provided F-86 Sabre and Mitsubishi T-2 fighter jets - and on the wrist?  The Seiko 6139-701x, naturally.


Back in the 1970’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 one theirs at the same time, beating the Swiss at their own game – the Seiko 6139.


We all know Omega was the first watch on the moon, mostly because Omega won’t let us forget (ever).  However, the first automatic chronograph in space was the more humble and less publicized Seiko 6139, named after US astronaut Colonel William Pogue, who wore his on the 1973 Skylab 4 mission-despite not obtaining NASA authorization–to time shuttle engine burns due to his familiarity with the watch and trust in its capabilities…trusting the lives of himself and fellow astronauts to the reliability of his Seiko. 


The 6139 was the first chronograph to have a vertical clutch, a feature considered to be one of the hallmarks of a superior automatic chronograph movement.  The 6139 features an automatic column wheel timing control and an integrated chronograph, which means the entire movement was designed and built to be a chronograph, vice being an automatic movement with a mere timing module.  it also features a single register chronograph, allowing time to be measured in increments of 30 minutes.


This Iceberg comes with a stainless-steel SpeedTimer bracelet, nylon strap, hard plastic travel case, and springbar tool.

1970 Seiko 6139-7010 SpeedTimer "Iceberg Military" JDM Automatic Chronograph

Out of Stock
  • DIAL: Brilliant grey Seiko SpeedTimer-signed Arabic dial; minute and hour hands, with orange chronograph hands on main and subdial; judging by the difference in shades of orange, the subdial hand - while OEM Seiko - was likely replaced during a Seiko service over its half a century life.  Day/date – with Kanji Japanese/English variants – at 3 o’clock position works nicely.  Lume plots shine following exposure to strong light.  


    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 41mm x 44mm,  with no evidence of machine polishing.


    CRYSTAL: Seiko 6139 Hardlex crystal, no scratches.


    BAND: The 6139 comes with a Seiko-signed bracelet, which will fit up to an approx. eight inch wrist; although this bracelet is not original to this watch, it's an OEM Seiko bracelet found on the rather similar 6139-7002.  This Iceberg 6139 also comes with a grey nylon strap.


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 21-jewel 6139A automatic movement, with red accents intact, manufactured in February 1970.  We have performed a full service on this watch.


    CROWN: Recessed unsigned stainless-steel crown.


    CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Chronograph pushers depress with satisfying click – no sticking.  Chronograph main and subdial hands reset as designed to zero. 

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