Seiko 6139 Helmet

Seiko 6139 Helmet

To many people, Seiko is just another watch brand - but if you’ve made it to this far, you know that nothing could be further from the truth.

For over 135 years, Seiko has been cranking out innovative and impeccably engineered watches at every price point, from the entry level Seiko 5 to the stunning Grand Seiko. Underpinning Seiko's efforts has been the production of reliable and accurate movements able to be paired with an array of case and dial configurations.  Case in point is the Calibre 6139 movement that powers this piece.  While the often Swiss get all the glory for producing the first automatic chronograph in 1969, Seiko quietly released the 6139, a simple and rugged automatic chronograph movement, as early as May of the same year.

A few years ago, it was revealed that the Calibre 6139 was the first automatic movement in space - thanks to Col. Willam Pogue - making 6139-powered chronographs an awesomely affordable entry to watch history.

Seiko produced these movements on a huge scale in a variety of distinctive dial and case designs that only they could dream up - this is the same company that brought us the UFO and the Bullhead after all - but finding them in unmolested condition has become increasingly difficult.

This particular example is affectionately known as the “Helmet” or “Vader” thanks to its large, deep case and steeply angled lugs. The case is in great shape, with correct finishes all around including a delicate radial brushing on the base of the case, and a high-polished bezel - little details that are often lost in the hands of a careless owner or watchmaker.  The dark dial features bold contrasting chronograph hands and a quick-setting day/date display with English/Arabic day wheel at 3:00.

With their unmistakable profile, these Seiko 'Helmets' are probably the most distinct entry to vintage Seiko. 

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