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The Seiko 6139 automatic chronograph – a historical movement in its own right, like this 1972 Seiko 6139-6005 "Cevert" here, on a high quality stainless-steel H-link bracelet – was one of the first automatic chronographs created and ranks with Zenith’s El Primero and Heuer’s Calibre 11.


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.


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 the skirmish Seiko quietly created their own, beating the Swiss at their own game – the Seiko Calibre 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.


Of note, NASA astronaut Colonel Richard Covey wore a Seiko 6139 like this one during his Discovery Space Shuttle STS-51-I mission that successfully launched three communications satellites: the Aussat-1 (a multi-purpose spacecraft owned by Australia); the ASC-1 (owned/operated by the American Satellite Corporation); and Syncom IV-4 (leased to the Department of Defense).  The mission also retrieved and repaired the Syncom IV-3 comms satellite.


This Seiko 6139 Cevert comes on a stainless-steel Uncle Seiko H-link bracelet, and with nylon strap, rugged travel case, and springbar tool.

1972 Seiko 6139-6002 "Cevert" Automatic Chronograph

  • DIAL: Dark blue Seiko-signed dial, with matching minute, hour and vibrant red chronograph hands.  Day/date (English/Spanish day variants) at 3 o’clock position works nicely.  Inner tachymeter ring rotates smoothly, via crown, as designed.  Lume plots are in good condition - with correct pearly-white and sugar cube-texture we love to see on great 6139 examples - and shine following exposure to strong light.


    CASE: 41mm (w/o crown, 42mm with) x 46mm stainless-steel "notch" case with "Water 70 Resist" signed caseback.  Vibrant red and blue “Pepsi” bezel insert remains fully intact with next to zero fade, sharp case lines, and no evidence of machine polishing.  Brushed finish on top of the case remains.


    CRYSTAL: Hardlex crystal, no scratches or imperfections.


    BAND: This Cevert comes on a stainless-steel Uncle Straps H-link bracelet - a highly accurate redition of this watch's original (but even higher quality!) H-link bracelet - which will fit up to an approx. 8.5" inch wrist.  It also comes with a black nylon strap.


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 17-jewel 6139B automatic movement, manufactured in July 1972. 


    CROWN: Recessed unsigned stainless-steel crown.


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

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