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The Seiko 6139 automatic chronograph – a historical movement in its own right, like this full-serviced Japanese Domestic Market (JDM)-only 1973 Seiko 6139-7060 SpeedTimer automatic chronograph here, on an original Seiko-signed bracelet – was one of the first automatic chronographs created and ranks with Zenith’s El Primero and Heuer’s Calibre 11.

 

Back in the late 1960'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 this skirmish, Seiko quietly created their own at the same time,  beating the Swiss at their own game – the Seiko Ref. 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 November 1968, indicating Seiko beat all other rivals to produce the world's first automatic chronograph.  Period.

 

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 - it also 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 (**cough cough** such as Heuer's Calibre 11).  It also features a single register chronograph allowing time to be measured in increments of 30 minutes.

 

This near emerald 6139 comes on an original Seiko-signed bracelet, and with nylon strap, rugged travel case, and springbar tool.

1973 Seiko 6139-7060 SpeedTimer Automatic Chronograph

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  • DIAL: Brilliant emerald blue-green SpeedTimer-signed dial in great condition, with correct minute, hour, and chronograph hands.  Day/date – with Japanese Kanji/English language variants – at 3 o’clock position works nicely, and the inner tachymeter ring rotates smoothly as designed.  Lume plots shine following exposure to strong light.

     

    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 41mm x 44mm, with no evidence of machine polish. 

     

    CRYSTAL: 6139-correct hardlex crystal, no scratches.

     

    BAND: This emerald green/blue 6139 comes on it's original SpeedTimer-signed bracelet, which will fit an approx. 7.25 inch wrist (or an eight inch wrist, if the included clasp extender is used); it also comes with a black nylon strap.  While the Seiko-signed bracelet is not original to this Seiko 6139-7060, it is indeed an authentic Seiko bracelet from the same era.

     

    MOVEMENT: Seiko 6139B automatic movement, manufactured in December 1973.  We have performed a full service on this Seiko 6139. 

     

    CROWN: Recessed unsigned stainless-steel crown.

     

    CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Chronograph pushers depress and with a satisfying click – no sticking - and chronograph hands reset to zero as designed. 

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