The Seiko 6139 "Silver Pogue" automatic chronograph – a historical movement in its own right, like this all original 1972 Seiko 6139-6002 for sale – was one of the first automatic chronographs created and ranks with Zenith’s El Primero and Heuer’s Calibre 11. 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 a feat debated who won, but in the background of this skirmish, Seiko quietly created one theirs at the same time – the 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 6139-6005, 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! When asked about his 6139, Pogue confirmed the story and sold his in a 2008 charity auction for an amazing $6k!
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. The 6139 movement features a single register chronograph allowing time to be measured in increments of 30 minutes.
1972 Seiko 6139-6002 "Silver Pogue" Automatic Chronograph
DIAL: Brilliant original silver sunburst dial; original baton minute and hour hands, with original red chronograph hands on main and subdial. Day/date at 3 o’clock position works nicely. Original inner tachymeter ring rotates smoothly as designed. Lume plots shine, following exposure to strong light.
CASE: Original 41mm (w/o crown, 42mm with) x 46mm stainless steel case in pre-loved condition - no scratches. Original red and blue “Pepsi” bezel insert.
CRYSTAL: Original Hardlex crystal, no scratches.
BAND: The 6139 comes with its stainless-steel "H-link" bracelet, this 6139 also comes with a nylon NATO strap - a nice compliment to the sporty nature of this 6139.
MOVEMENT: Original Seiko 17-jewel 6139B automatic movement, manufactured in 1972.
CROWN: Recessed original unsigned stainless steel crown.
CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Chronograph pushers depress with satisfying click – no sticking. Original red chronograph main and subdial hands reset as designed to zero.