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SEIKO7A38

Cheap Seiko 7a38-701b 'raf Vulcan' On Ebay ....

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As mentioned in a post (or two) in another thread in the 'General' section, last week I was fortunate to have picked one up ....

(after the hyped rumoured $1000+ prices being paid, over the last year or two, on and off eBay), for a comparitive song. :)

See: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...em=120420415704

803a_1.JPG

Yup - a mere €167.66 Euros, with postage, and PayPal currency conversion ended up almost exactly the same in £ Sterling.

It arrived safely today (he says, breathing a sigh of relief :rolleyes:) and I've been wearing it (and a big grin on my face) all day. :D

Before I go any further, I'd like to thank fellow 7A collector, Dave Swan (from oop North) for giving me the 'heads up'. :thumbsup:

Edited by SEIKO7A38Fan

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thats a wrong 'un that dude....i can tell from here :tongue2:

seriously tho......i do like those.......great find

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(after the hyped rumoured $1000+ prices being paid, over the last year or two, on and off eBay) ....

There has been some previous discussion about these allegedly 'RAF Vulcan' issued 7A38's on RLT:

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1138

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=24728

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=28740

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=20812

http://www.thewatchforum.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=35969

Much of the 'Vulcan' myth seems to have stemmed from Foggy's earlier posts, and his two websites:

http://home.earthlink.net/~nederick/SeikoChronoRevuVulcF.htm

There has also been a heckuva lot of discussion about them on other watch forums recently: MWF; SCWF and TZ-UK.

Unfortunately, RLT forum rules prevent me from posting links to the relevant threads. :rolleyes:

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Unfortunately, RLT forum rules prevent me from posting links to the relevant threads. :rolleyes:

Probably the most interesting and significant post was made by 'VulcanBob' on 27th April 2009, on MWR:

Can I destroy a myth? I flew Vulcans from 1975-84. The yellow-faced Seikos were apparently purchased by the MOD in 1983. I read that some 700 were bought. By 1983, there was only 1 Vulcan squadron left (No 50, based at RAF Waddington) with just 50 aircrew officers.

Unfounded rumour has it that the yellow-faced Seikos were purchased because they were easier to see in the dim Vulcan cockpit. The Vulcan cockpit was `jam-packed` with black instrument dials of various shapes and sizes. There was always more than enough light to see them, AND our black-faced aircrew watches.

The Vulcan came into service in 1958 and the last squadron was disbanded in April 1984. It is illogical to think that the MOD would make a special purchase for watches in the last year of the aircraft`s military life.

The explaination that there are no military markings on the watch "because they were the subject of a "local purchase order" does not ring true. Supply Officers` cash limits for local purchases were highly-regulated and very limited. The cost of 700 Seikos would undoubtedly be well-beyond any "local purchase" limits.

As to the photographs in Charlie`s message. This is a modern-day watch and, unfortunately, I do not think that it has anything to do with the military, despite the stamped numbers on the back. I see no reason why the MOD would purchase an attractive coloured faced watch such as this one. An RAF Supply Officer I know has checked for me and, apparently, there are no such watches anywhere on the MOD inventory.

Sorry folks!

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So it looks like the 'Vulcan' myth has been well and truly exploded. <_<

Further blogs, summarising posts from various other watch forums seem to confirm this, for example:

http://horologycrazy.blogspot.com/2009/05/...orce-seiko.html

But do I care ? :huh: Nope. :tongue: I've just added a rare yellow-faced 7A38 to my growing collection.

Fortunately I didn't have to pay 'silly money' to get it. :)

Edited by SEIKO7A38Fan

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And you are learning how to post without links to other forums .... a good day indeed!

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Post edited for content. I think I've wasted enough time jousting with RLT Mods for today. :lol:

Edited by SEIKO7A38Fan

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Post edited for content. I think I've wasted enough time jousting with RLT Mods for today. :lol:

Leave them alone :nono: we would not have a forum with out them :(

Intresting what you have dug up about the RAF Vulcain ;)

Mike

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Post edited for content. I think I've wasted enough time jousting with RLT Mods for today. :lol:

It's Ok we will arrange for the database to get corrupted so nobody will know you have been here at all; and I saw it before you edited the first time by the way ;)

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Post edited for content. I think I've wasted enough time jousting with RLT Mods for today. :lol:

Leave them alone :nono: we would not have a forum with out them :(

Intresting what you have dug up about the RAF Vulcain ;)

Mike

And you've put paid to my 'Kamikaze G-Shock' post- in the Sales Forum - B*****d!. And my Goering NATO stap business. Thanks, pal! :ph34r:

Thanks for a refreshing posting :lol:

Cheers

Graham

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Much of the 'Vulcan' myth seems to have stemmed from Foggy's earlier posts, and his two websites:

http://home.earthlink.net/~nederick/SeikoChronoRevuVulcF.htm

First, let's get some facts straight. The first website you link to is not mine.

Second, I have always referred to the "Vulcan" Seiko as fabled. I did not create the myth, merely reported the information known at the time.

I seem to be getting a lot of blame across various fora for starting this story which is simply not the case. To this end, I intend to kill the article on Seiko's and the RAF on my website. It's also posted somewhere here on the forum, so I'd ask if a mod could kindly delete from here too.

I'll leave finding the truth around these watches to the peolpe who clearly know better .

Thanks

Foggy

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Done Ian.....

Ian, you are immensely respected across many many fora for your knowledge on mil watches ( and watches in general) your sites are a great resource and give a point of view, the fact is no one knows for certain , thats why there are all these discussions, your point of view is just as valid as anyone elses in my opinion and I and thousands of others have enjoyed your website for its Seiko content, it would be a shame to delete it, its part of the story.....

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So it looks like the 'Vulcan' myth has been well and truly exploded. <_<

Further blogs, summarising posts from various other watch forums seem to confirm this, for example:

http://horologycrazy.blogspot.com/2009/05/...orce-seiko.html

But do I care ? :huh: Nope. :tongue: I've just added a rare yellow-faced 7A38 to my growing collection.

Fortunately I didn't have to pay 'silly money' to get it. :)

That blog does not explode any myth at all, the conclusion was 'who knows' there are lots of words like 'doubt' 'rumour' etc... Not exactly definative....

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So it looks like the 'Vulcan' myth has been well and truly exploded. <_<

Further blogs, summarising posts from various other watch forums seem to confirm this, for example:

http://horologycrazy.blogspot.com/2009/05/...orce-seiko.html

But do I care ? :huh: Nope. :tongue: I've just added a rare yellow-faced 7A38 to my growing collection.

Fortunately I didn't have to pay 'silly money' to get it. :)

That blog does not explode any myth at all, the conclusion was 'who knows' there are lots of words like 'doubt' 'rumour' etc... Not exactly definative....

Just makes me wonder why people would pay a huge premium for a seiko without checking any rumors etc. My Father flew Vulcans at RAF Scampton 40 years ago .And he never had a "yellow" seiko. In fact he had a OMEGA .

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Thanks Jase

I appreciate your kind words. I've taken quite a lot of, IMHO unfair, flak over my article for some time now.

What I do know is this.

All of the yellow dialled Seiko's that I am aware of (granted, not many) came from MOD stores. Mine did, along with a large bunch of gen 1 RAF issue. Then there are Anchor supplies who deal with military surplus - they had at least one one. Another came from an airbase in Germany. Another came from an MOD store in Plymouth.

Petew on the seiko forum has shown a Seiko catalogue with them pictured and has stated that becasue of this they could be bought from a jewellers at the time - I've asked on many fora for somebody who has bought one privately, new from a shop, to come forward and reveal themselves - so far, nobody has done this. I find that a little odd.

Granted, the Vulcan bit is probably a myth (hence my use of the term fabled) but I am certain there is a link with the MOD and these watches. One day, maybe, we'll find out.

Cheers

Foggy

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My Father flew Vulcans at RAF Scampton 40 years ago .And he never had a "yellow" seiko

Um, 40 years ago. I make that 1969. There were no quartz issued watches in 1969, so hardly surprising :huh:

Cheers

Foggy

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Oh dear!!

Foggy you have made my day :D

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Interestingly out of 310 7A38 variants on the Seiko database not one indicates a yellow dial :huh:

In fact the model number for the watch in question indicates it's a brown dial on the database.

Fascinating stuff, where's that time machine when you need it :sadwalk:

Derek

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well

whoever they were designed for/by or their pedigree, the yellow dialled ones are gorgeous and deserve to command the high prices that they do...

love the date layout too :thumbup: :thumbup:

john :)

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To add a little more, from another thread elsewhere, posted by a good friend of mine who has served in the UK forces for many years

I was offered a yellow faced Seiko at HMS Heron RNAS Yeovilton, back in 1988/9 ish for £30. The watches (amongst others ROLEX MILSUBS) were being backloaded at that time for disposal. So the FAA had some for sure. Other than that I know nothing.

I did meet a Coast Guard Helecopter pilot some years ago who had one and said it had been issued. I supposed it was issued in the Coast Guard (Not military in the UK but a Govt Agency) and not his previous military service.

Cheers

Foggy

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Interestingly out of 310 7A38 variants on the Seiko database .....

Thanks for that interesting little snippet, Derek. :thumbsup:

I've spent some considerable time over the last few days analysing their 7A38 data. Those '310' variants (the number of SKU Model codes) actually represent something more like 80 real permutations (of watch case / bracelet / finish / face / hands). I've found that one can effectively ignore the extra J1/J8/J9 suffices on the end of the SAAxxxJ SKU codes.

Still not quite sure of their actual significance, but it may just be a different (second) language on the 'Day' wheel. :unsure:

.... not one indicates a yellow dial :huh:

In fact the model number for the watch in question (7A38-701B = SAA005Jx) indicates it's a brown dial on the database.

That's not the only mistake on that database, Derek. :rolleyes:

They appear to be slightly colour-blind. For reasons best known to themselves, I havent yet managed to find any Seiko 7A38's listed with a 'WHITE' face either (nor Off-White, nor Cream, which both definately exist). Sometimes there's just a dash (-) in the dial face colour field. Other times, the particular SKU Model # (and it's associated B.o.M. / Parts List) for the white-faced version is simply missing. :huh:

There are a number of other obvious ommissions too. Whereas they've got data for the (albeit wrong colour face) 7A38-701B 'Vulcan', there's no mention (at all) of the 7A38-701A (very similar watch with the 'gridlines' on the dial face, and orange or yellow hands).

Still - I can't complain really. Having employed a few temps myself, in my time, to assist with Parts / B.o.M. database clean-ups - I know how easy it is for data to get corrupted. Particularly when data such as this is 25+ years old.

Fascinating stuff, where's that time machine when you need it :sadwalk:

Very useful tool, all the same.

I've almost finished compiling my own little '7A38' Database (in Excel), which should assist with my future collecting. :)

If any other 7A collector is interested, I'd be happy to share it with them. ;)

Edited by SEIKO7A38Fan

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From 'Vulcan' to 'Stealth' ....

It seems the Seiko 7A38 may have another somewhat dubious connection with pilots of military delta-wing aircraft. :huh:

Some years ago, a good friend of mine acquired an all-black Seiko 7A38-7290 (the last model in the 7A38 range).

It came with a 'story' attached:

The watch was previously owned by a Lockheed technician who attended the Blackbird SR-71 display aircraft at the RAF Fairford International Air Tattoo in 1989. These watches had allegedly been secretly issued to USAF Blackbird SR-71 pilots and selected ground crew, the previous year – late in 1988. Allegedly, the Seiko 7A38-7290 was specifically selected by the USAF (and personally approved by Clarence 'Kelly' Johnson of Lockheed Skunk Works) for the following reasons:

The early 'Stealth' design of the lozenge-shaped watch case gave a negligible radar signature to any enemy radar penetrating the SR-71's cockpit.

The loose fitting links of the B1615F bracelet allowed for expansion in high temperatures when flying at Mach 3.2+.

The non-reflective Black Chrome plating was virtually invisible (in the pitch dark) to enemy ground observers while flying at 80,000 Feet, and also resistant to JP-7 Aviation Fuel.

The SR-71 Blackbird was retired by the US government in 1990. Some SR-71 aircrew were subsequently redeployed to the F-117A 'Stealth' fighter, and the USAF 37th Tactical Fighter Wing. It is alleged that more than one Seiko 7A38-7290 later saw action in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War on the wrist of an ex-Blackbird pilot.

And if you believe any of the foregoing, I'm open to offers (in excess of £1,000) for my pre-owned 7A38-7290 'Blackbird' stealth chrono'. :tongue: Slight wear of the bracelet coating where it may have rubbed against the joystick of an F-117A. LOL ! :lol:

7A38-7290-Blackbird.jpg

Edited by SEIKO7A38Fan

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From 'Vulcan' to 'Stealth' ....

The early 'Stealth' design of the lozenge-shaped watch case gave a negligible radar signature to any enemy radar penetrating the SR-71's cockpit.

The loose fitting links of the B1615F bracelet allowed for expansion in high temperatures when flying at Mach 3.2+.

The non-reflective Black Chrome plating was virtually invisible (in the pitch dark) to enemy ground observers while flying at 80,000 Feet, and also resistant to JP-7 Aviation Fuel.

7A38-7290-Blackbird.jpg

Oooh, nice! didn't know the enemy (Russia?) could detect a piece of metal around 45mm max dimension on radar at 80K feet in the 80's. won't be able to sleep at night now :yes:

and comforting to know that Sergei on the ground couldn't see something reflecting at the same height at night/ Do you think the Stealth pilots were warned not to wear these watches face down on the wrist in case Sergei spotted them through the bottom of the aircraft? :ph34r:

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Oooh, nice! didn't know the enemy (Russia?) could detect a piece of metal around 45mm max dimension on radar at 80K feet in the 80's. won't be able to sleep at night now :yes:

and comforting to know that Sergei on the ground couldn't see something reflecting at the same height at night/ Do you think the Stealth pilots were warned not to wear these watches face down on the wrist in case Sergei spotted them through the bottom of the aircraft? :ph34r:

And if you believe any of the foregoing ....

Nice to see you actually read it, Mel. ;) :D :lol:

Edited by SEIKO7A38Fan

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