The Seiko 6139 "Cevert" automatic chronograph – a historical movement in its own right, like this serviced all original 1973 Seiko 6139-6005 "Cevert" here, with sharp caselines and its original bracelet – 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 awidely debated who won, but in the background of the skirmish Seiko quietly created their own, beating the Swiss at their own game – 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 $6k.
Fast forward to late 2018, and Seiko enthusiasts were treated to the discovery early 1970s famous Formula One racing bad boy Francois Cevert wore one while racing, hence the moniker "Cevert," which caught on in collector circles quickly.
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 Cevert comes with its original H-link bracelet, nylon NATO strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1973 Seiko 6139-6005 "Cevert" Automatic Chronograph, w/Original Bracelet
DIAL: Original dark blue Seiko-signed dial, with original minute, hour and vibrant red chronograph hands. Day/date - with English/Spanish day variants - at 3 o’clock position works nicely. Original inner tachymeter ring rotates smoothly as designed. Lume plots are in pearly white condition, with correct sugar cube texture, and shine following exposure to strong light.
CASE: Original 41mm (w/o crown, 42mm with) x 46mm stainless steel case with original "water 70 resist" signed caseback. Original red and blue “Pepsi” bezel insert is in excellent condition, with ever no fade evident. Case lines are quite sharp, with no evidence of machine polishing, and the brushing on the top of the case remains.
CRYSTAL: Hardlex crystal, no scratches or imperfections.
BAND: This Cevert comes with its original stainless-steel H-link bracelet; links remain tight despite age. This 6139 also comes with a gray, red, and dark blue nylon NATO strap, with stainless steel hardware.
MOVEMENT: Original Seiko 17-jewel 6139B automatic movement, manufactured in July 1973. This watch has been serviced.
CROWN: Original recessed 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.