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Seiko Prospex And Presage Watches Launched To Mark Caliber 6139 Milestone

Seiko Prospex And Presage Watches Launched To Mark Caliber 6139 Milestone Watch Releases

If you’ve been around the watch industry for any amount of time (and you happen to have at least a passing interest in the movements that power these tiny ticking treats), you will probably know that 1969 was a big year for the chronograph complication. That year saw the debut of the legendary Zenith El Primero, the Heuer/Breitling/Hamilton Chronomatic, and the Seiko 6139. The 6139’s claim to fame is that is was the very first automatic chronograph with a column wheel and a vertical clutch. While such a mechanism is now taken almost for granted, it was, at the time, a significant leap toward improved accuracy of recording elapsed time with a wristwatch.

Seiko’s history of chronograph production, however, stretches much further back than 1969, with a pocket watch chronograph being produced as early as the 1940s. As such, one of the two models chosen to celebrate Caliber 6139’s 50th birthday has its roots in a reference that predates the movement itself by five years and is known for being Seiko’s first wrist-mounted chronograph.

Seiko Prospex And Presage Watches Launched To Mark Caliber 6139 Milestone Watch Releases

The modern-day interpretation, known as the Seiko 55th Anniversary Chronograph (SRQ0031 seen below) is starkly different from its inspiration (the Crown Chronograph seen above), launched 55 years ago. Those differences run from the outside of the case to the inside. A mono-pusher setup from 1964 is replaced with a more standard twin-pusher arrangement working alongside a three-sub-dial layout, as opposed to a simple 60-second chrono that worked with a centrally mounted seconds hand and nothing more.

Seiko Prospex And Presage Watches Launched To Mark Caliber 6139 Milestone Watch Releases

The crisp look of the original left a lot of functionality on the table, but it was, nonetheless, an extremely cool-looking model and a worthy foundation for this new project. The recently released SRQ0031 has an era-inspired anti-reflective box sapphire crystal through which a dial showing the chronograph minutes (30) at 9 o’clock, the hours (12) at 6, and the going seconds at 3 can be seen. A black-tipped chronograph seconds hand sits atop the minute and hour hands, which are lumed with color-matched egg-shell-colored luminant. The bezel retains the arrow-heavy style of the original and matches the color of the recessed numerals with that of the dial.

Seiko Prospex And Presage Watches Launched To Mark Caliber 6139 Milestone Watch Releases

Five years later, the year of the chronograph came upon the industry. The 6139 caliber released that year went on to inspire the creation of Seiko’s most advanced purely mechanical movement in the current collection, the 8R48, released in 2014. As such, both models (the SRQ0031 and the SRQ0029) use the 8R48, which has improved accuracy, the 12-hour chronograph function mentioned, and a 45-hour power reserve.

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The watch design of the Seiko Prospex 50th Anniversary Chronograph SRQ0029 is based on a popular 1970s “Panda” dial using dark sub-dials against a paler background. This watch uses the same sunray finish as its root model. Pleasingly, the very cool “double markers” on the chronograph 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock have been retained. I would personally have liked to see the entire layout of this model’s inspiration held over, but Seiko has placed modern functionality over aesthetic fidelity in this case.

The era-appropriate orange tip of the seconds hand remains, as does the internal tachymeter ring, but the day is dropped in favor of a going-seconds sub-dial at 3 o’clock. As a result of the rearranged layout, the logo moves from its charming 9 o’clock position to a centralized locale between 12 o’clock and the center point.

Seiko Prospex And Presage Watches Launched To Mark Caliber 6139 Milestone Watch Releases

Both cases are treated to Seiko’s high-end Zaratsu polishing and are made from stainless steel. The case of the SRQ0031 is 42.3mm-wide and 15.3mm-thick, while the SRQ029 comes in a little stouter at 41 mm-wide and 16mm-thick. Water resistance to 100 meters is guaranteed for both references, as is magnetic resistance of up to 4,800 A/m.

Both models will be available in December 2019. The Seiko 55th Anniversary Chronograph (SRQ031) is priced at approximately €3,400, while the Seiko 50th Anniversary Chronograph (SRQ029) will retail for around €3,700. To ensure these that pieces remain collectible, Seiko has limited production of both models to 1,000 pieces each. Learn more at seiko.com.

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Comments

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  • SuperStrapper

    Really digging that champagne and black colourway on the 031, but what is the bezel composition? Seiko is falling behind in that category. The 029 is nice but the dial looks a bit small in that case… or is the case too meaty for the dial? Probably neither, the black tachy ring is likely lending more visual space to the case than it is the dial.

    After a long search i was able to find my birthday 6138:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b846e695653675119a72afd8b4289c3bcc47c0a40ce2ddb3636b03462ddd7484.jpg

    Me and the watch born same month and year. It’s been serviced and gussied up, but so have i over the years. It was a fun hunt (overall. Was frustrating at times) i would recommend to any watch lover. Hopefully in a few decades someone that will be born this afternoon tries to find a 10/2019 serial number on a working 8r48 chronograph.

    • Mr. Green

      Your b’day watch is fantastic.

    • ray h.

      Anything worth having from 1959, cost a fortune, so i’m out.

    • Gokart Mozart

      Nice

      I would rather have yours then anyone of the ones above.

  • funNactive

    To consider a Seiko that’s over $1,0000 – it’d have to say Grand on the dial.

    • Jared

      all watches are moving up market

      AP is heading for Patek territory, Rolex is moving to AP territory, Omega is moving to Rolex territory, Bell & Ross is moving to Omega territory and Seiko is moving to Bell & Ross territory

      • SuperStrapper

        *waiting for Parnis to move into URWERK territory intensifies*

    • Beefalope

      You want to pay $1,000 or less for a chronograph with an in-house movement???

      Oooookay.

  • Giles

    I’ve always wanted an SDGZ013 and this is almost identical aside from the crown and pushers.

  • Auto Correct

    I like how the SRQ0029 an exact copy of the 2015 model SDGZ013, except the price jumped from 260,000 JPY. to 380,000 JPY. LOL

  • SuperStrapper

    Thanks my dude! I call it dragon skin (and some people believe me ?)

    • Raymond Wilkie

      I think some people you know are a slice short of a loaf. I’m sure they’re lovely people.

      • SuperStrapper

        I’ve never met a full loaf worth knowing

  • Gokart Mozart

    1234 Pressure!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Do come across as snarky?

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Just look at how deep that ROUND date window is on that first Seiko (SRQ031). I think they need to come to my to my date window workshop.

    • Pete Yo

      its still at 11:00- 11:05 correct?

      • Raymond Wilkie

        Yes. Later in the day I’ll be doing a quick workshop on hand lengths drop by.

  • egznyc

    He’s tradin’ in his Seiko for a Patek
    You oughta know by now
    And if he can’t dive
    With a broken strap
    At least he can put on a bracelet

    • Jon Heinz

      A PatEKEKEKEKEKEKEK

  • egznyc

    These don’t have quite as much charm as the originals. These are solid chrono movements, but the prices seem a little crazy IMO.

    What I don’t understand is why their 8R48 seems to be just as fat and bloated as a 7750, which at least can use old age as an excuse.

  • I’m gonna have issues flipping these babies for a decent profit on the local ebay market.They are neither faithful reproductions nor aesthetically identical to the classics, no Hollywood celebrity appeal and not associated with any famous explorers. Major Bummer????Pass.

    • SuperStrapper

      Those are the things that kinda make them good tho.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Don’t talk nonsense.

  • Pete Yo

    I just can’t get my head around the huge mark up between a regular Seiko and the Grand Seiko. I guess I will have to check them out to see why the huge mark up.

    • Daniel Brown

      Grand Seiko is finished to such a degree that it makes Rolex cry with impotent rage. Check out YouTube videos by watchfinder & co. They do a few videos as side by sides and that will show the parts that Rolex simply doesn’t even try on. This is both in the case and the movement. GS is a fairly superior watch for the money.

      • Svetoslav Popov

        I am not a Rolex fan, but Rolex is a Rolex 🙂

  • Hey Seiko, getting into Black Bay Chrono territory much?

  • egznyc

    I’m not so sure. The ETA 2892 fitter with a Dubois Depraz module may actually be thinner than the 7750. But yes, in theory, an integrated movement should be thinner.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Thanks Pete. The devils in the detail.

  • bsurfside

    Dr3 your insight is more insulting.Look up cynical in Merriam Webster’s dictionary

  • RicknTC

    So for the equivalent of $4k (USD) you get a modular chrono movement that’s accurate to +25 to -15 seconds per day. There is far better value in buying Swiss at this price point. The Omega Speedmaster Racing Co-Axial Chronometers come to mind and they are much thinner than the bloated Seiko. And, who would pay that much for a Seiko that has “Presage” pasted on the dial? The Presage line typically sells in the $400-$1500 range…