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There is a lot written about these great watches on the web, so I thought I'd try to centralize some of the information here as well as give a review of the watch and my history with it.

First, many call this watch the "UFO". I can understand why when I see it on my wrist, seeming to hover several millimeters above, but there is no real documentation to back up this name. The other name it has is the "Yachtman's Chronograph", which is used to describe it in this ad (pulled from SCWF):



The series consists of models 6138-0010, 6138-0011 and 6138-0017.

The 0010 is the Speedtimer version, available in Japan, while the 0011 and 0017 were produced for the international market. I think the differences between these two are strictly cosmetic; the 0011 has a red sweep hand, lighter orange checkerboarding on the sub dial, and no mention of water-resistance on the dial, whereas the 0017 has a yellow sweep, darker checkering and is marked 70m water-resistant.

PIctures of all three can be viewed here: http://www.csce.uark.edu/~jgauch/photos/dir1/chrono/6138-0011/index.html

My history with these watches started as I lurked on the forums. They are quite eye-catching and sporty. The black/red color combo and checkering suggest auto racing, and the one big/one small sub dial design is unique and compelling -- your eyes keep staring at it while your brain tries to compensate for the subtle difference. But I only became really curious about it when about six months ago I saw the main character in this movie sporting it -- it's a hard watch to misdiagnose!



Then it really got bumped up to the "I. Must. Have. This. Watch." level when I handled one in an antique market in Spain. The guy wanted too much, and that only lit a fire under me to find one when I got back home. After finding an orphaned one on the 'Bay and giving it some love, my quest was over:



The watch measures 40mm across, without the crown, and an impressive 44mm from lug to lug. The crown is pretty big, too, and I wonder why they didn't recess it into the case even 1mm more. It's a thick timepiece at 13mm, too:



It'll never fit under a shirtcuff, that's for sure! I wanted to compare it to my Omega SMPC:



The Omega's lugs curve down, but the Seiko's are hidden, which give it that floating appearance. What adds to that, and makes it a very comfortable watch for activity, is that the case angles up from the bottom to the midpoint:



The finish is brushed, but crisp-edged:



I'm a big fan of the bracelet, too. It's sort of a hybrid fishbone/oyster. 18mm wide at the lug, it immediately flares out to 21mm only to taper to 13mm at the clasp:



The readability of the dial is very good, too. The flat black makes everything else pop, especially the white hands and yellow sweep (or any color). The sub dials are checkered, as I mentioned, and provide a clever way of timing 12 hour events: if the top sub reads in a colored portion of the hour, the colored minute indicators should be used in the bottom, and likewise for the silver blocks:



The sweep ticks away at 1/5 second intervals under a mineral glass crystal.:



To sum:

This watch is an eye-catching vintage Seiko powered by the steady 6138 workhorse. It's a big hunk of metal on your wrist that you'll never forget is there, but it'll never be because it's in the way.

The only problem with these variations is that once you get one, you'll want to get the other two. You've been warned :-d
 

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Thanks for your reviews!
Here are some pictures of my 6138-0011:







Bye!!
 

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Thanks for the interesting review, well done.

The series consists of models 6138-0010, 6138-0011 and 6138-0017.
Somebody replied that there is a 6138-0014 as well. I've never seen that, but I have seen a 6138-0012 from 1979 (see picture in attachment).

This also leads to the conclusion that the 6138-001x had a long production life (1970-1979).
18mm wide at the lug
I believe this should be 19 mm.
 

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The 0010 is the Speedtimer version, available in Japan, while the 0011 and 0017 were produced for the international market. I think the differences between these two are strictly cosmetic; the 0011 has a red sweep hand, lighter orange checkerboarding on the sub dial, and no mention of water-resistance on the dial, whereas the 0017 has a yellow sweep, darker checkering and is marked 70m water-resistant
Those marked 70m waterproof or 70m water-resistant are the oldest dials (ca. 1970-1972), this has nothing to do with the end number 0011 or 0012 etc (th end numbers are denominations for the geographical market which the watch was intended for).
The oldest watches from the period 1970-72 originally also had a movement 6138A instead of 6138B.
Watches intended for the Japanese market were marked Seiko 5 Sports Speedtimer instead of Seiko chronograph automatic.
The original second hand for all of these yachtman watches was probably red. The yellow or white second hands are likely to be replacements. In catalog pictures it always is red, which is also more suited for the general design.
The case originally had a nice circular brushed polish, but you often see yachtman's which have been highly polished, as you can also see in some of the pics posted here.
 

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There is a lot written about these great watches on the web, so I thought I'd try to centralize some of the information here as well as give a review of the watch and my history with it.

First, many call this watch the "UFO". I can understand why when I see it on my wrist, seeming to hover several millimeters above, but there is no real documentation to back up this name. The other name it has is the "Yachtman's Chronograph", which is used to describe it in this ad (pulled from SCWF):



The series consists of models 6138-0010, 6138-0011 and 6138-0017.
Hello, and thank you for providing such an informative review. This is my first visit here. While going through some of my old jewelry boxes I came across this very watch, a model 6138-0017. Mine has a rubberized strap. It is in near perfect condition as I hardly ever wore it. I was wondering if you could advise me on its' potential value. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi pairs,

Thanks for the kind words. The older Seikos are great -- fun to collect and enjoy. I think I'll break out my Yachtsman this weekend!

As to the value of yours, I hesitate to guess without seeing pictures, etc. Looking at eBay's ended auctions may give you some idea of the value. This forum is a great resource -- but clearly you're finding that out. Send me a private message if you want to discuss in greater detail.
 

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Hi,

I think we found 4 different dial on 6138-001x variant in this thread alone, Chrono with 70m, Chrono without 70m, Speedtimer and Seiko 5 Speedtimer. That one with 6138-0012 with black red leather strap has a different dial.. both subdial got this kind of orange.. similar like one I attached herewith.. is it aftermarket or original..
 

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These are very nice watches, this is my early proof dial UFO. It has the 6138A movement.
 

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was the seconds hand always red?
Actually the seconds hand is orange, it may look red on the picture.

On some of the watches the seconds hand becomes a light yellow after some time.

Sent from my SM-G925F using Tapatalk
 
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Actually, the yellow seconds hand is even shown in catalogues, like in this sample from the 1971 lineup:



Best regards
Tomcat
 
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