10 Best Vintage Seiko Birth-Year Watches

November 17, 2018

It has been a long-standing tradition with any watch loving man to pick up or own his ideal birth year watch. The key is to get something that was manufactured or produced during your birth year.

There are others who would want a more specific down to the birth month and birth year (BMBY). But a lot would just settle for the birth year.

What are the usual brands do people go for? It would depend on the person though. If you have a lot of money to spend, then nothing is stopping you in getting a birth year watch from any of the top Swiss giants like Rolex, Omega, or even a Patek Philippe.

However, not everyone can afford to splurge on vintage Swiss pieces.

The key to a good birth year watch would entail the following:

  • Manufactured within your birth year

  • Comes from a watch maker with proven horology history

  • Functions and performs well or as expected (keeps time)

  • Contains all original parts (not a “Frankenwatch”)

  • Easily serviced when needed (if it breaks)

With this, Seiko would be the best reasonable and affordable birth year watch choice for any budget-conscious man. Seiko has been producing watches for more than a century hence their very rich horology history.

 

They can certainly be easily serviced and repaired. Best of all, can withstand the test of time in reliability and performance.

Quick Fact: How do you determine when a Seiko watch was produced?

For most vintage models, it can be seen by the combination factors of the movement caliber, case, and serial number. But for this document, we won’t be dwelling on that as I have already summarized the production date ranges of each of the watches below.

If you do want to learn more on how to read and analyze Seiko production dates, you can check out WatchSleuth’s online calculator here.

Anyways, I have gathered the 10 best vintage Seiko watches that would be the ideal birth year watches for the hard-working men out there. See them below.

1.  Seiko 6306/6309 "Turtle"

Source: Here

WatchDaddy NATO Straps.jpg

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1976 – 1988

Movement: Seiko 6306 (21 Jewels) or 6309 (17 Jewels)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • The Seiko “Turtle” is an iconic diver in the late 70’s up to the mid 80’s because of its cushion case design and overall functionality.

  • Due to its popularity, Seiko re-issues the “Turtle” in 2016 and still continues to release new models to date.

Check my article of the complete list of Seiko Turtles here.

2.  King Seiko 5626-7120 

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1968 - 1974

Movement: 5626A/B (Automatic Hi-Beat 28800 bph, Day/Date) 

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • The 56KS line of watches is both rich in horology history and iconic as they shared design and movements with Grand Seiko models of that era.

  • These watches have proven the test of time as most of them are still accurate and reliable as of today (if properly taken care of by previous owners)

3.  Seiko 6139-6002 "Pogue"

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1969 - 1978

Movement: Seiko 6139A or 6139B (Automatic Chronograph, Day/Date)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • Considered as one of the world’s first automatic chronograph during 1969. This is an accolade for any watch maker.

  • Rich history as they were used in space by Col. Pogue, USAF. Hence, the watch being coined the name "Pogue".

4.  Seiko 6138-8020 “Panda”

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1969 - 1979

Movement: Seiko 6138 (Automatic Double Register Chronograph with Day-Date)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • The Panda or its rarer sibling (“Baby Panda” 6138-800x) with its iconic black/white dial and sub-dial design is timeless and highly sought after by a lot of collectors.

  • Goes well with a lot of outfits including men’s formal clothing due to its 40mm case size and almost perfect dial symmetry.

5.  Seiko 6138-0011 "UFO"

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1971 - 1979

Movement: Seiko 6138 (Automatic Double Register Chronograph with Day-Date)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • A striking and colorful chronograph which is also a favorite among Seiko vintage collectors

  • Coined as the “UFO” because of its UFO ship-like case, the 6138-0011 is a tough and reliable timepiece that could be enjoyed for many more years to come if properly taken care of

6.  Seiko 6138-0040 "Bullhead"

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1973 - 1979

Movement: Seiko 6138 (Automatic Double Register Chronograph with Day-Date)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • The very 70’s “bullhead” watch head style would speak volumes of your birth decade and the unorthodox era of watch design

  • If you want to be different but still sport a reliable automatic chronograph watch, the Seiko Bullhead might the perfect timepiece for you

7.  Seiko 4005 and 4006 Bellmatic

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1966 - 1978

Movement: Seiko 4005 (Automatic with Date, Alarm 10 second manual wind), 4006 (Automatic with Day/Date, Alarm 10 second manual wind)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • The Seiko Bellmatic was produced in an important era where watch makers incorporated alarms into wrist watches as an additional complication to watch movements.

  • The overall simplicity and straight-forward design of the Bellmatic’s makes it a great everyday watch for both casual and dress wear.

8.  Seiko 6105-8110 “Apocalypse”

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1970 - 1977

Movement: Seiko 6105B (Automatic with Date, 17 Jewels)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • The Seiko 6105 is another iconic diver from the Japanese watch maker with a unique way of housing the crown at the 4 o’clock position and the distinctive cushion case design.

  • A very recognizable and in-demand watch that commands good value in the secondary market (assuming you have a good working and original specimen).

9.  Seiko 6159-7010 “Tuna”

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1975 - 1979

Movement: Seiko 6159A (Automatic with Date, Hacking and Hand winding)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • The original grandfather “tuna” watch incorporates a lot of first when it comes to diving innovations for Seiko (600m water resistance, Titanium case and shroud, L-shaped gasket, and vented rubber strap)

  • The distinctive Seiko black shroud placed on the 6159-7010 gives it the unique Tuna Can look hence the name “Tuna”. Easily one of Seiko’s most identifiable vintage dive watches.

10.  Seiko 6159-7001 Professional

Source: Here

Birth Year / Produced: 1968 - 1969

Movement: Seiko 6159A (Automatic with Date, Hacking and Hand winding)

Why choose this as a birth year watch?

  • The 6159-7001 is Seiko’s first attempt at a professional dive watch at 300m water resistance and the “Professional” wording stamped on the dial. Owning it would be like owning a small part of the dive watch industry.

  • The 6159-7001 is the grandfather of all modern Marine Master 300M watches and would be very desirable because of its heritage and quality.

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