I have here an early Seiko automatic from the 1960s. The first widely recognised Seiko automatic watch was a Gyro Marvel, which I believe was a modular construction with the automatic module added on to a handwinding base, resulting in a somewhat thicker than necessary movement. The Seikomatic, on the other hand, is Seiko’s second automatic watch range, but uses one of Seiko’s first integrated automatic movement.
The Seikomatic series was produced between 1960 until 1967. Multiple movements have powered the Seikomatic series, including the famed 62 movement, which eventually formed the basis for the first automatic GS.
Below is a list of Seiko’s vintage automatic movements taken from a now defunct Japanese website.
|Manufacturing date||Model Name||abbreviation||CAL No.||Number of stones||series|
|Aug-55||Seiko 11 type automatic winding||–||11A||17, 21||–|
|Jul-59||Gyro Marvel||GM||290||17||55 series|
|Apr-60||Seikomatic||MA||603 (6201 B)||17, 20||62 series|
|Jun-60||Seikomatic 30 stone||MA||603 (6201 B)||30|
|May-62||SEIKOMATIC SELF DATA||MAS||394 (6205 B)||24||62 series|
|Nov-62||Sportsmatic Calendar||SMAC||790||17||66 series|
|Jan-63||Seikomatic self data regulation is included||MASK||395 (6219 B)||39||62 series|
|May-63||Sportsmatic Five||SMA5||6606 (410)||21||66 series|
|Jun-63||Sportsmatic Calendar 820||SAC82||7625A||17||76 series|
|Aug-63||SEIKOMATIC WEEK DATE||MAW||400||33||62 series|
|Aug-63||Seikomatic slim||MAM||830||30||83 series|
|Feb-64||Seikomatic slim date||MAC (MAMD)||840 (8305 B)||30|
|Mar-64||Sportsmatic Five Deluxe||SMA-5D||7606A||25||76 series|
|May-64||World time||62WT||6217A, B||17||62 series|
|Aug-64||SEIKOMATIC WEEK DATE (SEIKO BUSINESS)||MAW (62B)||6206A, B||26||62 series|
|Sep-64||SEIKOMATIC WEEK DATE||MAWK||6218A, B, C||35|
|Nov-64||66 Sportsmatic Five||66SA5||6619A||21||66 series|
|Jun-65||76 Sportsmatic Five Deluxe||765D||7606A||25||76 series|
|Seikomatic calendar||MAC||840 (8305 B)||30||83 series|
|Jul-65||83 Matic Week Data||83 MW||8306A||30|
|Sep-65||83 Seikomatic calendar||83 MC||8305C / 8325A||30, 39|
|Feb-66||62 Seikomatic Week Data||62 MWK||6216A||39||62 series|
|Nov-65||62 Seiko chronometer calendar||62 GAC||6245A||35|
|62 Seikomatic Chronometer Week Data||62 GAW||6246A||39|
|Jun-66||76 Sportsmatic Calendar Deluxe||76SCD||7605A||23||76 series|
|Jul-66||62 Grand Seiko Calendar||62 GAC||6245A||35||62 series|
|62 Grand Seiko Weekly Data||62 GAW||6246A||39|
|Jan-67||51 Matic Week Data||51 MW||5106A||33||51 series|
|Mar-67||Bermatic (business bell)||40 BW||4006A||17, 21 and 27||40 series|
|Jun-67||51 new five||51-5||5126A||23||51 series|
|Aug-67||61 New Five DX||61-5D||6106A||25||61 series|
|Sep-67||51 New Five DX||51-5D||5139A||27||51 series|
|Feb-68||56 Road Matic Week Data 23 Stone||56 LMW||5606A||23||56 series|
|Apr-68||56 Loadmatic Week Data-25 Stones||25||56 series|
|Apr-68||61 Seikomatic calendar, week date||61 MC||6105A||17||61 series|
|Sep-68||56 Lordmatic calendar||56 LMC||5605A||23||56 series|
|Oct-68||56 King Seiko Calendar, Week Data||56 KAC, 56 KAW||5625A, 26A||25||56 series|
|Dec-68||70 Automatic Calendar||70 AC||17||70 series|
|Apr-69||51 Pressmatic Week Data||51 PMW||5146A||27, 30||51 series|
|Jun-69||56 King Seiko Chronometer Calendar, Week Data||56KCM, 56KWM||5625A, 26A||25||56 series|
|Aug-70||56 Grand Seiko Calendar, Week Data||56 GAC, 56 GAW||5645A, 46A|
|Nov-70||52 Loadmatic Special||52 LMW||5206A||25||52 series|
|Mar-71||52 King Seiko Chronometer Calendar, Week Data||52KCM, 52KWM||5245A, 46A|
|Jun-72||56 King Seiko Vanac||56 KAC, 56 KAW||5625B, 26B||25||56 series|
|Sep-72||61 Grand Seiko V. F. A (very fine adjasted)||6185, 86||6185A, 86A||25||61 series|
The Seikomatic-R that I will be presenting today belongs to the 803 series, which was introduced sometime in 1963.
I have always found the general Seikomatic range to be a generally handsome line of watches, being extremely simple but classic looking. I am able to wear my Seikomatic to work and no one would know that the watch is over 50 years old, with the design still standing strong today.
I’m generally not a fan of gold plated watches, especially not of gold plated vintage watches as the plating would tend to have worn off over time.
I do however take an exception when the plating appears to be fairly intact, no doubt helped much by the fact that the crown does not need to be used for winding this automatic watch and good care taken of it by the previous owner(s).
The case diameter measures 34mm across, without the crown, but the thin bezel lends to a huge dial face of 28.5mm. The minimal bezel and white face ensures maximum visibility while keeping things simple, as it should be for a dress watch.
The very sharp hands and bar hour markers are all gold-plated, similar to the case.
The white dial has a faint sunburst pattern to it and is generally unblemished. Pretty remarkable for a over 50 year old timepiece.
The date window at the classic 3 o’clock position is framed within a matching gold plated window.
The acrylic crystal protecting the dial is highly domed, as it is for all watches of that era.
Above, we can see some facets to the lug. The other peeve I have about gold plated watches is that there’s no finishing whatsoever to admire. Whatever contrasting polished and brushed finishings are all protected/hidden by the plating.
Here’s the unsigned crown, which looks a little more worn compared to the case given that the crown would have been handled more frequently to set the time and date.
Above is the case back, with the classic and still in very good condition Dolphin! The early Seiko symbols for water resistance is the Seahorse than the Dolphin (as shown here) before evolving to the Wave motif that everyone is familiar with today. The issue with most of the vintage caseback with the Seahorse or Dolphin logos is that they would generally have been extremely worn through and nearly worn off the caseback. The Wave motif does not have this problem as it’s embossed on the caseback, while the Seahorse and Dolphin motifs are etched on the caseback.
I do not have a picture of the movement, but I believe that my example is driven by the 8305B movement as it has the handwinding capability, but not the seconds hacking ability, which came with the 8305C. The fascinating thing about this movement that I have yet to encounter anywhere else in the Seiko world is that the quickset date works both forward and backwards!
The 830 movement beats at 18,000 bph, and is 28.60mm across while only 3.80mm thick. Contrast this to the evergreen ETA 2824 which is 25.4mm across but 4.6mm thick!
To conclude, after the arrival of this watch, my 56KS no longer takes pride of place as my de-facto go to work watch, as this Seikomatic-R is just as easy to wear while adding a touch of classy gold to it. It does lack the distinctive Grammer of Design case, but it trades it for the classic vintage Seiko design.
History of Seikomatic: https://web.archive.org/web/20161006230403/http://www.h4.dion.ne.jp/~smatic/aboutseikomatic.html
List of Seiko Vintage Movement (any spelling mistakes are mine as the original is in Japanese):
Breakdown of the 830 movement: