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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't buy vintage watches very often. The only other purchase I have made was of my Bulova Concentric. A thread on Affordables got me thinking about birth year watches and what watch I would want. Was there one that represented anything significant in the world of watches that was new and available in 1962. I've been interested in Seiko lately, finding my fathers 30+ year old auto that burst into life when I picked it up after sitting idle for 20 years, buying a new Spirit 6R15, and some other factors.

So, I was cruising the web the other night and found a Seiko Cal 290 Gyro Marvel that appeared to be in good shape. The price was fair so I bid on it. I won it somehow (no one else bid:think:) and it is now incoming via EMS. It is the first magic lever system Seiko, was made in 1962, and to me represents the beginning of an era for Seiko in automatics since it was the first commercially viable auto from Seiko.:-!


The Cal 290 - Seiko Gyro Marvel entered production in 1959 at the SUWA Factory.


 

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Hi -

Wow!

That's a Seiko in seriously collectible condition: congratulations!

The name "Gyro-Marvel" was probably influenced by the Swiss company Girard Perregaux and it's "Gyromatic" movement which is basically from the same time period. Significantly different technology, of course, for the automatic movement itself. The calibre version you show above shows a nice finish.

Very nice, I would have bid on that myself if I had seen it...good that I'm not looking much right now. :)

JohnF
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi -

Wow!

That's a Seiko in seriously collectible condition: congratulations!

The name "Gyro-Marvel" was probably influenced by the Swiss company Girard Perregaux and it's "Gyromatic" movement which is basically from the same time period. Significantly different technology, of course, for the automatic movement itself. The calibre version you show above shows a nice finish.

Very nice, I would have bid on that myself if I had seen it...good that I'm not looking much right now. :)

JohnF
John,

Thanks. I appreciate the "Gyromatic" information too. Always want to learn more about the watches. I do not have the watch in my hands yet:-( So, we shall see if it turns out to look as good as the photos:think:

I ran across it by following multiple related links and ending up in a Chinese-language auction:think: The seller has a good reputation and his correspondence was quick and informative. I think that the Gyro Marvel is the pivotal Seiko in their early history for the status within the Automatic community. The Marvel broke more ground immediately for them but the Magic Lever System was of more enduring import and this is the first example commercially available. Now off to check the EMS tracking progress:-D
 

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Hi -

Very interesting! And I see you changed your avatar picture as well... :)

JohnF
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi -

Very interesting! And I see you changed your avatar picture as well... :)

JohnF
John,

I found the hang tag (which was apparently stamped metal) for the Gyro and liked it so much I thought I'd freshen-up my Avatar.;-)

I've read many commentaries about the magic lever system being a break through. Some have said things like - wow, its so simple when you see how it works it is amazing no one thought of it before? Seiko has been using it for nearly 50 years in their watches and the 7 series is probably the most widely distributed auto movement in history (my quess).
 

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John,

I found the hang tag (which was apparently stamped metal) for the Gyro and liked it so much I thought I'd freshen-up my Avatar.;-)

I've read many commentaries about the magic lever system being a break through. Some have said things like - wow, its so simple when you see how it works it is amazing no one thought of it before? Seiko has been using it for nearly 50 years in their watches and the 7 series is probably the most widely distributed auto movement in history (my quess).
Also the original 7 series from the 1970s has been copied by the Hangzhou watch factory as the basis for their extensive range of OEM movements (skeleton, multi-calendar, jump-hour, etc, etc) used by many of the current 'internet brands'.

Possibly even more significantly, although Tianjin Sea-Gull's current generic base calibres (ST16, ST17) are modelled largely on a Miyota pattern, they have used the Magic Lever for the winding mechanism. These are thoroughly modern calibres, designed to get the best possible performance out of the simplest, most economical design. That surely is a testimony to the genius of Seiko's invention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also the original 7 series from the 1970s has been copied by the Hangzhou watch factory as the basis for their extensive range of OEM movements (skeleton, multi-calendar, jump-hour, etc, etc) used by many of the current 'internet brands'.

Possibly even more significantly, although Tianjin Sea-Gull's current generic base calibres (ST16, ST17) are modelled largely on a Miyota pattern, they have used the Magic Lever for the winding mechanism. These are thoroughly modern calibres, designed to get the best possible performance out of the simplest, most economical design. That surely is a testimony to the genius of Seiko's invention.
Thanks, always glad to learn more about watches. The Chinese are stealing the best aren't they?;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Have you got your hands on it yet Robert? That is one very nice and very collectible watch!
Quoll,

No, not yet. USPS has the tracking information that it "arrived in the United States at KENNEDY AMC at 7:09 PM on November 22, 2006. Information, if available, is updated every evening. Please check again later."
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The postman stopped by my house this afternoon and wanted my signature.:)

He had a package for me. I opened it and what do you think I found inside?:think:



Sorry the photo is so poor. The Gyro was running out of the box|> The movement is cleaner than I expected|> The strap was too small (as usual);-) Overall, very happy with this nice early automatic:-D
 

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Very nice watch, I'd pick on of those up in a heartbeat if one presented itself.
 

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Believe it or not, I picked up 5 Seikos and a lonely Citizen yesterday. Only one Seiko is automatic with the magic lever. I prefer manual Seiko and Citizen watches.

Here is a NOS slim Seiko. I think it looks very elegant.|>
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Believe it or not, I picked up 5 Seikos and a lonely Citizen yesterday. Only one Seiko is automatic with the magic lever. I prefer manual Seiko and Citizen watches.

Here is a NOS slim Seiko. I think it looks very elegant.|>
I agree. It does look elegant. I prefer Autos for some reason but have a few manual watches myself. The Gyro was a sort of mini-Grail watch because it is the start of the entire Magic-lever era for Seiko.
 

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Believe it or not, I picked up 5 Seikos and a lonely Citizen yesterday. Only one Seiko is automatic with the magic lever. I prefer manual Seiko and Citizen watches.

Here is a NOS slim Seiko. I think it looks very elegant.|>
Here are the others plus a new Seiko Diashock slim watch.|> I find that the Seiko 63A and 6302A movements are not very common because I could not find much information on the web about them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Nice watches Soviet. I agree that Seiko information on older watches, at least in English, is less complete that it should be IMHO.

Just an update. My Gyro had a rusty stem:-|, the movement appears to be completely rust-free :-D so that at least is good news. I found a semi-retired watchmaker on the coast who loves Seikos and was intrigued enough by the Gyro to take on the project. He just got back to me and the replacement stem, full service, and cleaning is $80:-D I told him to go ahead (PLEASE) and am waiting (trying to be patient) to see the results.

Thanks to all here who offered be advice and guidance on finding a good person to take a look at the Gyro!
 
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