Seiko's 6139 automatic chronograph - like the all original early 1971 Seiko 6139-7002 variant for sale here - was a historical movement in its own right, as it was one of the first automatic chronograph movements created, and rightly counts itself within the ranks of the first automatic chronographs, like Heuer's Calibre 11 and Zenith/Movado’s El Primero movements. Back in the 1970’s, Heuer and Zenith had taken a strong foothold in the sports watch industry by racing to become the first to produce an automatic chronograph. It has been a feat debated who really won between the two, but in the background of this skirmish, Seiko quietly created one to call their own – the 6139 automatic chronograph.
The 6139 was the first chronograph to have a vertical clutch, a feature considered by many to be one of the hallmarks of a superior automatic chronograph movement. The 6139 also features an automatic column wheel timing control, vertical coupling mechanism, and is an integrated chronograph – the first in the world – which means the entire 6139 movement was designed and built to be a chronograph, vice being an automatic movement with a mere timing module added.
With this movement, Seiko set the standard, which was followed by the Swiss watch industries 20 years later. The same movement configuration was adopted by Rolex when it made its own in-house movement for the Daytona in 2000, 30 years after Seiko released the caliber 6139 and 6138. This particular Seiko 6139, the 7002 variant, represents yet another variant of Seiko's famed 6139 automatic chronograph line.
This 6139 comes with a leather rally strap, NATO strap, springbar tool, and Pelican travel case.
1971 Seiko 6139A-7002 Automatic Chronograph
DIAL: Original blue water resist-signed dial, with original minute and hour hands. Day/date complications – with Roman numeral/English variants – at 3 o’clock position work nicely.
CASE: Original 41.5mm x 44mm stainless steel case; crown is recessed. Caseback is water resist-signed, which, along with the same signed dial and the early 6139A movement, indicates this 6139 was a transitional 6139 between water proof and water resist.
CRYSTAL: Hardlex crystal, no scratches.
BAND: This 6139 comes with a light brown leather rally strap, as well as a dark blue and gray NATO strap, both with stainless steel hardware.
MOVEMENT: Original Seiko 17-jewel 6139A automatic movement, manufactured in March 1971.
CROWN: Original recessed unsigned stainless steel crown.
CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Chronograph pushers depress with a satisfying click and reset is ever so slightly off, each time (per picture three).