|03-03-2010, 05:25 AM||#1 (permalink)|
TIPS: How Tell Original Seiko Parts VS. Reproduction Parts
Authored by Zoodles95
This is a little primer for those interested in buying older Seiko divers. Unfortunately you need to do some homework as you can not always assume what a seller says is true.
While it is still pretty easy to find an original 6309-704x cushion cased diver it is very difficult to find original 6309-7290 and 6309-729As. The 6309-729B seem to be sold intact; probably because they are so valuable sellers recognize that they are worth more original than "fixed" with reproduction dials, hands, and bezel inserts.
I have been trying to put together a collection of slim cased 6309s for several years and I have yet to complete the task! I have gotten many of these with repro parts where they were supposed to be original. Worse yet, when I have contacted known e-bay sellers who have these they often have thrown out the original dials and hands!!!
At any rate here is a direct comparison between an all original 6309-729A and one with reproduction dial, hands, and bezel insert.
Okay here we go, the two watches in question:
Which one is original? Left or Right?
The answer is right! I swear that the dial on the left was intentionaly made to have more orange text to fool an unsuspecting buyer. Over time the water and resist text will go from red to an orange and then eventually can disappear altogether (rare but I have seen 6309s with only the 150 remaining from "water 150 resist"). The dial with the very red text is actually original and it is fairly rare to find a 6309 dial with red text. They typically trend towards orange or a yellow sort of colour after so many years of exposure to the sun.
Okay now. How to tell the difference between an original and repro dial. There are some telltale signs if you look closely enough.
Let's see the dials a little closer:
A good place to start is with the 12 O'Clock indices. On some repro dials they really mess this up and have the two triangles too far apart like this:
Whereas the original looks like this:
In this instance the manufacturer has not made such an obvious gaffe. There is another way to tell though. Look closely at the 12 O'Clock indices on the original here. You will see that the move down to a definite sharp point at the end:
On reproduction dials they rarely get this part correct and they don't come down to a point the same way the original dials do. They tend to end at more of a flat end, almost square like. Check it out in this photo:
Other times it is very easy to see that the indices end flat instead of pointed. Look at this repro heaven 6309-7290:
Okay, back to the two watches in contrast. Another way to tell the real from repro is in the sub text at the bottom of the dial.
Original Seiko dials tend to have smaller sub dial text and it is centred properly. Often repro dials have bolded, or larger subdial text and more often than not the text is in centred. Another thing to look for is if the watch in question has a "suwa" symbol. This looks almost like a little lighting bolt that older Seikos had (cushion cased, 6105s etc) and on the originals this symbol is perfectly centered while on repro dials they are almost always off at least a touch.
Okay, back to the sub dial text.
Small tight text with a definite gap between the top of the text and the bottom of the 6 O'Clock indice.
Large text, kind of sloppy printing, and there is very little room between the top of the text and the bottom of the 6 O'Clock indice.
If you see a pic of a watch and the sub dial test seems very prominent then this is a possible redial you may be looking at.
Another way to tell original and repro dials apart is to look at the "Seiko" and other text in the upper middle of the dial. The original dials have a very unique font that reproduction dials just haven't nailed just yet.
The differences are pretty apparent; but without a closeup shot how are you to know?
When I was starting out it was the 6309s which were mostly affected by redials (especially the slim cased ones). I did get burned with a couple of repro 6309-7049s as well which I sold at a loss to someone who wanted to make some mods with them.
However, pretty much every generation of Seiko standard diver has a repro dial for it.
For instance, as we have already discussed here is a 6309-7290 reproduction dial:
A 6409-704x repro dial:
Notice the sloppy sub dial text...
Here is a 7002 dial (7002-700A?):
Even the vaunted 62MAS is not unaffected by this:
I have seen repro'd 62MAS sell for crazy prices while a nice, original example needing a relume has sold for hundreds less! Which one is more valuable?
Even the SKX007K is not unaffected as is evidenced by this Feiko I got stung with a few years ago:
Use some caution and don't be afraid to ask for better pics, or pics with closeups of the top and bottom of the dial.
I hope that this helps some of you.
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