Seiko VADER 6139-7100 . How to get a good one?

Discussion in 'Wrist Watches' started by Peter Mann, May 21, 2013.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Peter Mann

    Peter Mann Registered User

    Jul 21, 2010
    71
    0
    6
    Male
    Photographer and Ex Kodak
    Wimborne Dorset UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I really fancy a Seiko Vader 6139-7100 with the white dial. However after having read various forums, I am nervous of getting ripped off. Could someone advise me on what questions I should ask a prospective seller and where can I get a accurate description of what it should look like, front and back and movement? I am well aware that it’s the seller one takes a hard look at rather than the watch itself. I don’t like ebay but the ebay market is huge so any advice on how to go about it will be gratefully received. Peter
     
  2. Sparcster

    Sparcster Registered User

    Mar 31, 2012
    42
    4
    0
    Region Flag:
    Hi Peter,

    I have one of these at home (at work at the mo - working hard ;))

    I will take some pics when I get home, which will give you a good indication of what to look for... but as you say... it is a minefield! I have owned a few of these, 'black dials' too... think I have one for parts indoors also.

    Marc
     
  3. Sparcster

    Sparcster Registered User

    Mar 31, 2012
    42
    4
    0
    Region Flag:
    Hello again...

    When searching... you will have more luck if you search for Seiko Helmet (named due to the shape)... The 'Vader' refers more to the black dial.

    So.. what I have is... A Seiko 'Helmet' 6139-7100 with white dial.

    99.jpg

    You can see the dial is signed (in small text) at the bottom. This reads Japan 6139 - 7160T. The 7160 refers to the dial design. I cant really give any pointers in spotting a modern replacement dial... you can see my hands show a slight discolouration (due to the age)... but if you use mine as an example, you cant go to far wrong!

    I also own a 'Vader' (black dial) which is in bits.... but will help to point out good and bad point to look out for!

    100.jpg


    What I look for (not that I have been in the market for seikos for some years - used to buy/sell/collect many different styles) in vintage seikos is 'untouched' original condition.... What I mean by this, is signs of age! There are many butchered versions out there, cobbled together from a number of new/old parts... are, in the case of my Vader, polished to death!!

    When looking at the 'Helmet' next to the 'Vader' case, you will see the 'Vader' has been polished to a shine.

    101.jpg

    In reality, the original finish (as on my white dial) is a slightly ribbed texture... which gives a matt look. Looking at this close up, you can kind of see this, along with the original crisp corners..

    102.jpg



    when compared to the 'Vader' case, which has lost the ribbed texture and crisp corners..

    103.jpg


    I have seen this 'polished' look on many Seiko Helments... as they stick up off the wrist, they get knocks, and as certain buyers want a shiny new looking watch, they get polished! And once you start removing the 'ribbed' texture, you would need to do the whole case!!

    The case backs have had the same treatment... My white dial is on the left... and shows the signs of poor case opening (by others) that has scratches the back... but I have left it. You can see the black dial has been polished (like the case) which has lost its definition. Again, the case back gives an idea of what to look for (in terms of information). The serial number can also be used to date the watch to month/year of manufacture - which you may know?


    104.jpg

    Mine also comes on the original 'fishbone' bracelet... the reference for this is seen by the lugs and is signed Z050S

    105.jpg

    106.jpg

    Its a bonus to find it on a bracelet like this... but something I would suggest searching for!

    The movements in these can also look quite worn... or chopped about! So I would always recommend getting a movement shot if you are buying online!

    The 'Vader' gives and idea of what I am getting at, which wear/rust to the rotor... and Ive seen much worse...

    107.jpg


    The white dial is in much better condition

    108.jpg

    It should be signed - Seiko, Seventeen Jewels (or 21 - like the Vader), Japan & 6139 (followed by 'A' or 'B')

    The pic's above should help with a 'description' on what to look for... as for questions to ask..

    Q. Is it running? Whats its time keeping over 24 hours (when worn)?
    A. You want to hear its running within 2mins over 24 hours - if not better... mine runs to within seconds!

    Q. Service history?
    A. Ideally recently serviced... but if unsure/unknown, i would allow for getting the watch serviced! Its sad to say, you cant always rely on provided service history!!

    Q. If the bracelet is original, what size is it?
    A. Big enough for you!! It may have had links removed and be too small for your wrist! And it wont be easy to find spare links.

    Q. How long have you owned it? do you know the watches history?
    A. You may not like the Ebay market... but others do! I have seen many of these being sold out of Mumbai (and similar places)... these are probably the biggest culprits for being chopped about!

    Hope that helps a bit... and Im sure others may be able to give different opinions/advice!

    Marc
     
    DragonDan likes this.
  4. Peter Mann

    Peter Mann Registered User

    Jul 21, 2010
    71
    0
    6
    Male
    Photographer and Ex Kodak
    Wimborne Dorset UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thanks Marc for your excellent pictures. I am beginning to realize now that a 40-year-old watch will show 40 years of knocks and bangs and that a watch that looks new has to have been "restored". I don't mind a watch that shows the years as long as its in good mechanical speaking. Equally I don’t mind if the watch has been “restored” as long as they have done a good job of it. The only way I guess to tell if an improved watch has been done properly is to observe the seller, ebay feedback and how they respond to searching questions. You sound honest so I will follow your advice. Many thanks and if you don’t mind I might email you again on a “what do you think?”
    Cheers Peter
    Ps. Your Helmet I assume is not for sale? and what country do you come from?
     
  5. Sparcster

    Sparcster Registered User

    Mar 31, 2012
    42
    4
    0
    Region Flag:
    As per the little flag (top right)... Uk 'England'.

    And you are correct.... its not currently for sale.... My initial interest in watches stemmed from a like to retro 70s watches.... Seiko's seemed to provide good value for money at the time... I own only 3 Seiko's now (plus many parts/spares), a Seiko Arnie H558, a modern diver SKX007J and the helmet above!

    Always wanted to own a 6138 Bullhead.... but never found the right one.

    Happy for you to PM if it helps in the search!

    Marc
     
  6. Peter Mann

    Peter Mann Registered User

    Jul 21, 2010
    71
    0
    6
    Male
    Photographer and Ex Kodak
    Wimborne Dorset UK
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #6 Peter Mann, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    Hi Marc. Remember me? You kindly advised me on obtaining a Seiko Helmet. I went off the boil for a bit but last week bit the bullet and bought one on ebay for £120. It seems to tick all the boxes re your pictures i.e. No one has butchered it with a rotary buffer etc. Trouble is I cannot get the back off. I have the right tool but it will not budge. I toyed with the idea of applying a bit of WD 40 with a small brush but I was wondering if you had a suggestion? seikohelmet 21 Nov 2013 16-19.JPG seikohelmet 21 Nov 2013 16-17.JPG seikohelmet 21 Nov 2013 16-18.JPG seikohelmet 21 Nov 2013 16-16.JPG

    seikohelmet 21 Nov 2013 16-16.JPG seikohelmet 21 Nov 2013 16-17.JPG seikohelmet 21 Nov 2013 16-18.JPG seikohelmet 21 Nov 2013 16-19.JPG
     
  7. everydaycats

    everydaycats Registered User

    Aug 11, 2011
    441
    6
    18
    Retired
    Mexico Beach, FL
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #7 everydaycats, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    These screw on backs can be hard to open, but I've never had one that would NOT open with enough force. Maybe someone sealed it with Loctite or something else. If you have a jewelry store or a watch repair place close I would drop by and get them to remove the back. May be worth a couple $$ to get it done...Good luck.
     

Share This Page