The world's 'first automatic chronograph in market'
It's always a controversial topic when talking about which watch is the 'first automatic chronograph'. While two movements are most often profiled, the third one is relatively unknown to watch enthusiast. The first two being the Zenith El Primero and the Swiss company joint force Caliber 11 both with a huge fan base around the world. But all the way across the world, there was the third movement being an automatic chronograph launch in the exact same year, the Seiko 6139 movement.
While Zenith announced its technical breakthrough in Jan 1969 of making the first-ever automotive chronograph, the Swiss watchmaker joint force was not giving its way. The Swiss joint force announced the Caliber 11 in Aug 1969. What makes the topic even more debatable is Seiko on the other side of the planet, quietly developed its movement 6139 and launched it to the market in May 1969. The first mover of Seiko makes it technically the first manufacturer to launch an automatic chronograph watch into the market.
- Zenith El Primero from 1969
-A Caliber 11 movement from Heuer
-The Hamilton Chrono.matic from 1970s
What sets the 6139 apart and makes it so special is its dial layout, unlike the other two movements, 6139 has only one subdial indicating a 30 mins register at 6'o clock. The watch crown sits flush inside the case, leaving only the chronograph actuators protruding at the edges. The movement also equipped with a day-date complication, which could be quickly set by pressing the crown into the case firmly. Because of the age of the movement, a large number of 6139 have lost its quick date day setting function due to the break of setting wheel in movement. Finding a working one is not as easy as it gets. The column wheel chronograph engages smoothly but firmly, better than many of today's entry-level chronograph movements.
- Seiko 6139
The reason you may not hear 6139 often is because it have been in the market for over 10 years until 1980s and there are many variations of the watch from case to dial that makes it hard to build up its own image of a watch. However, the 6139 is a robust movement and the watch often builds into various special dial that will definitely catch your eyes and attention. A great example of 6139 can be found less than 1000 USD the hottest being the pogue which will be talk about in our future blog story.
We are listing a nice black and gold dial 6139 with sakura aging of the dial in an incredible price, check it out here:
See you next week!