The Seiko 6139 "Pogue" automatic chronograph – a historical movement in its own right, like this freshly serviced, all original and approaching near NOS early 1971 Seiko 6139-6002 Aussie Pogue here – 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.
Here we have an example of the rare "Aussie Pogue," which earned its sobriquet due to the fact it only sold in Australia area and its unique use of the black tachymeter chapter ring usually seen on the Pogue's brethern, the so called blue-dialed "Cevert" 6139. Aussie Pogue's feature several unique characteristics (aside from the most obvious, the aforementioned black chapter ring), namely "Chronograph Automatic" and "Water 70 Resist" on the dial and English/Roman day variants - all aspects the example here posesses. While the Aussie Pogue is more often seen than the ever elusive "True Pogue," the Aussie is certainly more rare than other more common Pogues.
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.
This Aussie Pogue comes with a leather strap, nylon NATO strap, springbar tool, and Pelican travel case.
1971 Seiko 6139-6002 "Aussie Pogue" Automatic Chronograph
DIAL: Brilliant original gold sunburst dial - no imperfections or blemishes whatsoever; original baton minute and hour hands, with original red chronograph hands on main and subdial. Day/date – with Roman/English variants – at 3 o’clock position works nicely. Original black inner tachymeter ring, with zero fade, rotates smoothly as designed. Lume plots look good and shine following exposure to strong light.
CASE: Original 41mm (w/o crown, 42mm with) x 46mm stainless steel case in excellent condition, albeit with several small nicks on the lower part of the case - each measures one or two milimeters. Original red and blue “Pepsi” bezel insert.
CRYSTAL: Seiko 6139-correct Hardlex crystal, no scratches or blemishes.
BAND: The Pogue comes with a dark brown leather strap, with red and blue accent stitching to match the Pepsi bezel insert - a nice compliment to the sporty nature of this Pogue. It also comes with a dark blue and gray nylon NATO strap.
MOVEMENT: Original Seiko 17-jewel 6139A automatic movement, manufactured in March 1971. This watch, with its far less common 6139A movement (made only from 1969-1971), received a full service in late 2019.
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.