Seikosha - Japanese... Zenith???

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by pmwas, Jul 4, 2018.

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  1. pmwas

    pmwas Registered User

    Dec 12, 2010
    Sosnowiec, Poland
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    Hi all!!
    This time I've got a watch from Far East - a Japanese Seikosha Precision.

    I've read - briefly - some history notes on Seikosha, and found some information of Japanese owners journeying around the world to see how watches were made. That included both America and Europe, and since the early Seikosha caliber looks pretty much alike Waltham and Waltham was also present on Japanese market - I thought maybe I could proove Seikosha movement to be Waltham's distant relative…

    Thus, I bought a cheapish Seikosha watch on eBay and only two days ago - it arrived at my door.

    The initial contact was promising - the watch had a male stem mounted in a sleeve in the pendant and screw down back and bezel…


    As I've didassembled the watch, it - in fact - stopped looking American...


    Instead of a Waltham clone, I've found this:


    Looks familiar? Well - yes, in fact - this is Zenith's keyless works.


    It's not just similar, it's a direct copy - who knows, maybe made under license?
    Getting back to the watch - it's badly worn, very much, it has a bad lower bearing allowing way too much sideshake, and it has poorly engineered, cone shaped bearings, that make assembling much more difficult.


    Notice the small screw just by the crown wheel - it's not the stem release screw - this locks the keyless works in the winding position when screwed in...

    If you look at the shape pf the pallet bridge…


    Zenith - again…


    The movement runs, but with too much sideshake, the balance will ocasionally hit something in dial-down position.


    The movement in all it's glory. A cheaper 7 jewel version.


    The case is chrome plated and the dial is painted metal.

    Now - I've not found any known association between Zenith and Seikosha, also, I've not counted the teeth to check the gear ratios. However - the resemblence of the movements is so big, I doubt this could be coincidence.
    It looks like Seikosha copied, or bought Zenith's design for their watches at a certain point of time.

    Anyway - an interesting piece of world's watchmaking history.
    Glad I decided to buy it, another lesson learned :)


    Here's my brother's Seiko dial repair - he'd dropped his cheap Seiko a few times and broke off the dial feet.
    I took off the dial, drilled it and riveted the original feet to it.
    I scratched the dial mildly doing so, but works.


    A tiny drop of paint should mask the feet nicely, but I decided to let them be, to be able to look proudly at my repair ;)

    Have a nice day :) !!!
  2. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

    Dec 7, 2011
    sydney Australia
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    Interesting movement.

    With the seiko dials, I repair the older dials that way too, there is simply not enough room to solder a foot in place and this is the strongest repair, I used to have customers that would regularly break dial feet off either off repaired dials or new ones, until I repaired the feet by drilling and riveting them, even when I one of these watches in years later, the dial is still fixed firmly.

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