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RockingZeebra

Sportsman and similar

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I'm pretty new to this watch appreciation lark and am discovering new favourites all the time. One style of watch has got me hooked though, not that I'm in any position to afford one unfortunately. It's the 1960's Seiko Sportsmatic, Sportsman, Champion , Skyliner etc range. I love the range of colours available, must be half man/half magpie I reckon. Every one I find on the Bay seems to be in the States, were they available in Britain when new? Has there been a previous thread on this forum covering them? Is there any similar watches that I can look out for?

Regards

Dave

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Dear Dave - and may I congratulate you on your user name - welcome to the Forum.

I have been looking at the models or model ranges that you mention, and I would suggest that these watches - not always branded with the model names you mention - are all aesthetically related and fall into a category that I would call "collectors' staples." This basic style of Seiko mechanical watch is certainly well-represented in Britain and, I suspect, all other Seiko export markets. The watches are decent quality, date to the early and mid-1960s, and represent the beginnings of effective competition from Japan against the then dominant Swiss watch industry. Today, they tend to be an inexpensive way into collecting vintage mechanical watches, and they are often still in working order, whether as hand-wind or mechanical models.:)

 

 

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Mr Levity    3,733

Hi Dave. I don't think there has been a been a specific thread on these watches recently. Looking at one of your previous posts, I think you must be looking at the horrendously overpriced examples that have repainted dials from the States. It's a minefield, and prices have risen significantly in the last few years, but you should be able to pick up a good example for a lot less than £800 !!!!! There are several Japanese sellers on Evilbay with good reputations. I know you already have an Indian sourced Seiko, but try to avoid buying from there as they are frequently (badly) cobbled together watches. If you've got a good one then consider yourself very lucky.

Out tonight, but will post some pics of some of mine in the near future.

Oh, and apologies from me also, I don't often look in the new members bit, so welcome.

 

 

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Thank you guys.

Looks like I've got a lot to learn doesn't it.

The 5 was a 60th birthday present from my son, so genuine or not, it's a keeper. As I said in a previous post I'm surprised that is financially viable to fake at that price.

As for the coloured faced Sportsmans etc in the States can I now assume they're all repaints? That would be a shame as it was the colours that attracted me to them initially.

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Mr Levity    3,733
17 hours ago, RockingZeebra said:

Thank you guys.

Looks like I've got a lot to learn doesn't it.

The 5 was a 60th birthday present from my son, so genuine or not, it's a keeper. As I said in a previous post I'm surprised that is financially viable to fake at that price.

As for the coloured faced Sportsmans etc in the States can I now assume they're all repaints? That would be a shame as it was the colours that attracted me to them initially.

The standard of living in India is so very different from here, and what we would pay for a cheap watch is probably a fortune for someone over there. You may be lucky and have a 5 that lasts for years. I started my road to WISdom (and near bankruptcy :laugh: ) by buying a few from Mr Patel and 2 out of the 5 or 6 are still running, and keeping reasonably good time, though both are showing some very funny readings on the TG !

There are a couple of US sellers who have some stunning looking watches for sale at hugely inflated prices but once you get to know the signs, you can see they are refinished or replacement dials. I was once tempted by an absolutely beautiful black dialed Sportsmatic, but a bit of research, and advice from members here and WS revealed the truth. Sometimes the seller will be honest and mention the dial, but that's not always the case ! I've reached the stage where I prefer authenticity to just looks.

 

Edited by Mr Levity

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Mr Levity    3,733

Right, as promised a few pics. Because I don't need an excuse to show them off.:)

I used to own this Sportsman from 1963, not a great example but it kept excellent time, and I only got rid of it because I snapped the crown off.:sadwalk:

8731936810_91eea630fc.jpg

 

A few Sportsmatics - in no particular order:

7619-7050 from Nov '65.

35676237863_f0ca16510a.jpg

7606-7000 from Feb '65.

35630628174_3013cf50d8.jpg

7625 (820) from June '64

36399834325_1c9bb56fde.jpg

2451 from Oct '64

35317966594_08092f8474.jpg

7625-1990 with "Mercury" dial from June '65.

35037849632_6471abf511.jpg

6619-8970 from Oct '65

34413139350_941704e9f1.jpg

6619-8970 from Jan '65

33937782774_b6b9c9e4b5.jpg

6619-8040 from Dec '65

34750900166_8c45aa4bfb.jpg

6619-9990 from July '65

34571634612_228ac3f6f4.jpg

6619-7050 from May '67

33003297601_730f9aff0d.jpg

 

 A couple of Skyliners:

6220-9970 from May '65.

29162189300_5f4eb3e871.jpg

6222-8000 from May '67

29370530671_2321d99050.jpg

 

No Champions in my collection yet.

But you might also like the Seikomatics :biggrin:
 

603 from Feb'65

23861374321_b5b2f79d54.jpg

8306-8090 from Aug '68

27443780256_660cfd63e4.jpg

This one is also a Sealion. Wait 'til you discover those !:whistle:

 

 

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That's a lovely lot. I like the pale blue 65 Mercury, was that the only model originally available with a coloured face? The Sportsmatics and Skyliners are nice too, really neat and uncluttered. As they are waterproof does that put them in the diver category or is that something else completely different? And finally is there any recommended UK dealers for these Seikos?

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Mr Levity    3,733

I'm afraid the blueness of the Mercury's dial is just a reflection of the sky.

A better pic:

9316513600_4a7a9cf7a7.jpg

It's a bit of a mystery watch. A friend on WS has one but I've never seen another. The same year saw Sony and Safir (maybe others too ?) branded Sportsmatics, so maybe they were promotional watches.

They weren't classed as divers' watches, and the Waterproof designation was changed to Water Resistant at the end of the '60s,beginning of '70s.

I haven't come across any UK dealers, only Ebayers and it's rare (though not impossible) to find one who actually knows what they're talking about. You may be better off going for a Japanese seller, though import tax is always a risk. If you find anything you like the look of, don't be afraid to ask for advice !

And of course, once you've reached 50 posts you will have access to the Classified section of the Forum. It's all downhill for your wallet from then. Ask me how I know.:laugh:

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