SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum – Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Authored by Harry,_Denmark

A few years ago I decided to buy an affordable, classic automatic diver. After weeks of study I identified a watch known and respected by all watch collectors, a watch with classic lines and provenance, with an instantly recognizable style entirely its own ? a style capable of withstanding fashion and trends. This watch was the Seiko 6309 diver. Hours spent reading the SCWF archives; Seiko Diver History and the 6309 Buyers Guide lead me to my first deal: a 6309-7049 from Stephen Go. I wore this watch day and night, and found myself looking at the perfection of its hands (unsurpassed in ANY divers watch, in my opinion) the simplicity of the dial and the wonderful functionality of the case. In time, I told myself, this infatuation for the 6309 divers will pass.

[img]
"Infatuation for the 6309 divers will pass..."

Pictures of that wonderful case, downloaded from the internet, began to fill my hard-disk, desktop and office wall. I traded a mint 62MAS for a IWW?d 6309-7049, and felt guilty about my good fortune (thanks Mark [img]). I began to experiment with straps, ?NATO?s and bracelets. I always returned to the Z-22. I discovered Tokunaga-sans posts on the SCWF and began to understand the mind behind this perfection. "Please touch your own favorite watch with your kind heart and love for ever." Ikuo Tokunaga. I began to realise the 6309 series had been designed by a genius, and was already perfect. In time, I told myself, this infatuation for the 6309 divers will pass.

I bought a YAO dial and hands and immediately realized I would never use it. I bought a Tuna 300m diver, and realized I would never wear it. I traded the Tuna and received my first 6306 diver (thanks Badrun [img]), revelling in its rarity. I discovered that after wearing a 6309 every day for two years, looking at my 6309s and my 6306 was just as satisfying as if I had just received them. I completely lost interest in my lifelong grails, the Rolex Sub (so small, so common and yet so expensive) and the Omega Speedmaster (such a pity about the silly tachymeter scale ? why did they not make a rotating bezel version for NASA?). In time, I told myself, this infatuation for the 6309 divers will pass.

But it hasn?t. So I would like to spend a moment to share some impressions of the 6309-7049 and the 6306-7001 Seiko 150m Dive Watches, using two examples from my collection:

[img]
Seiko 6309-7049 (left) and 6306-7001 (right).

Table 1: 6306/6309 specifications.
[img]

For me, the bidirectional bezel is an absolute plus. I use the bezel every day, to mark start points in time: 6 minutes for the eggs, 10 minutes for the lab centrifuge, so my son can track if it is 6pm yet (could be arrival time on a long car trip, or the start of his favourite TV show). So I save a lot of anticlockwise turning by being able to turn clockwise, too! And, lets face it, the "vintage diver" experience is not complete without a bidirectional bezel - after all, how much more exclusive can you get, knowing 99% of the dive watches out there are unidirectional [img]

Notice the weight (mass) of each watch. The 6306 is significantly lighter. Perhaps it has been polished and brushed so much it has lost a lot of case material. Or maybe the case design is different to the 6309? Perhaps someone who has both models on the same strap would be so kind as to verify that there is in fact a weight difference? The differences in case design may be marginal, but they are there:


Crown comparison. 6306 at right.

[img]
Case comparison. 6306 at bottom.

Notice the differences in the shoulders of the lugs - they are higher on the 6306. Earlier 6306 cases had a significantly larger crown cut-out, but in my examples the cut-outs appear about the same. Buts lets dwell on the genius of the case for a minute. The crown protection offered by the case is perhaps the most elegant, the simplest and the most innovative ever conceived. It?s what makes the 6309/6 series instantly identifiable, a true trademark design element. Notice also how the planes of the case mould into the arm and the back of the hand. This is the reason why the 6309/6s are as comfortable in use, as wearable as a dress watch in spite of their heft and presence:

[img]
"The planes of the case mould into the arm and the back of the hand..."

Comparing these two watches is also a comparison of two (almost) identical straps. On the 6309: a Chinese Z-22; on the 6306 a Japanese 6306. The Chinese strap is stiffer, and retains its "bend" in the picture below. The holes in the strap are larger, too.

[img]>
Chinese Z-22 strap (top), Japanese Z-22 (bottom).

[img]
Chinese Z-22 strap (top), Japanese Z-22 (bottom).

The Japanese strap is far softer, more pliant, and lies flat. Both are immensely comfortable, and on the wrist I can feel no difference. Somehow I feel like the Chinese strap will last longer.

Table 2: 6306/6309 beat rates.
[img]

I often see technical reviews with lists of data, which at first glance seem dry and uninteresting. But many of these numbers are capable of telling a fantastic story if we can compare them with something tangible. Take the beat of 21.600 bph. Hmm? Nothing? Now consider the equivalent 6bps - that?s really swinging! Or over half a million single, precise beats of the balance and escapement. A day. And we hear of 6309s being used daily for 20 years without a service. That?s almost 4 thousand million beats. Running at a precision greater than 99%. The mind boggles...

Table 3: 6306/6309 jewel distributions.
[img]

As we all know, jewels are included in a watch to reduce friction at the main pivotal points of the watch mechanism. I have tried to identify where they are used in the 6309/6. The first main area of use, in pretty much all jewelled watches, is the Escapement and balance. Let me repeat the numbers: "[...] we hear of 6309s being used daily for 20 years without a service..[.].. almost 4 thousand million beats." The 6306 has replaced an escapement hole jewel with a hole-and-cap (2 jewels) giving improved oiling and potentially a slight increase in performance. Less important from a performance point of view are the Gear Train jewels, increased from 5 to 8 in the 6306 by upping the third wheel to a full complement of 2 jewels (replacing a bushing) and adding a cap to one of them) and replacing the fourth wheel bush with a jewel.

For kicks, I wore both the 6306 and the 6309 for the last week, and recorded their timings. Actually, I had started with recording the 6309's time a few days earlier:

Table 4: Results of 6309 timing study.
[img]

Table 5: Results of 6306 timing study.
[img]

Table 6: Summary of 6306/6309 timing study.
[img]

Of course, rates and amplitudes depend on the condition of each watch. The 6309 had some kid of horological hiccup over the weekend, losing a couple of minutes, but seemed to recover. I stopped the test today and will repeat it next week with each watch on the winder for a week at a time.

[img]

So there we have a comparison of the 6309 vs 6306 third generation Seiko Diver watches. So similar yet so different. In time, this infatuation for the 6309 divers will pass. Just not for me...[img] __________________
Harry, Denmark
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

great review, I had a Seiko 6309-7049 back in 1989 while in college (given by my uncle), after many years and many high end watches I picked up another Seiko 6309-7049 yesterday. So for me it has not passed also!
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Really nice review you have shown! It helps a lot Thank you!
Also nice watches, which i am trying to find for me sometimes
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Great review.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Great review Harry,I feel just the same, 6309s are the coolest watch ever made, My wife said if i buy another one ,she is going to cut something off and put it in a pickle jar,But i think it's worth the risk.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

For me loads of Seiko's are great but 6309 divers and 6139 chronographs are the ones I love. They are a brilliant combination of good design, reliability, practicality, versatility and most importantly value for money.


Currently going through a 6309 mod' trip.



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Old 12-17-2011, 03:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

I love this review and this watch!
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Hi,
I am looking for a belt of my Seiko 5 6309-5180 series.
I mailed to the Seiko company as well, but still there is no reply from them.
Is there any way I can find a genuine belt for the same.

regards.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Great Review,,,I like both so much!!!
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

I've found some of the 6309 with hacking and Japanese date, Are they fake or aftermarket???
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Quote:
Originally Posted by ted1234
I've found some of the 6309 with hacking and Japanese date, Are they fake or aftermarket???
I sold 6306 a couple of months back with an original 6309 dial. Did you check the movement? If it's a 6309 then it might be a modded one.
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:15 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

very informative thanks for sharing
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Old 04-28-2012, 02:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

A great review and a great help to those looking to purchase one of these icons.

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Old 05-08-2012, 02:52 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Awesome review!. I've learned a lot about this models.
Such a nice writings are very welcome. Thanks.
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Old 08-18-2012, 02:57 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Just want to buy a seiko 6306 dever, It helps a lot!
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Old 08-28-2012, 09:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson




Great review, thanks, Harry!
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Excellent write up, very informative.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

this is brilliant. thanks for the great info
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Old 10-20-2012, 12:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Thank you Harry. For me a great review is all about the reasons you want the watch, how you live with the watch, and the chase of how you got the watch. The numbers and stats are nice to give me an idea of the watches technical merits, but just the specs leave me flat. Thanks for including all of the above. Reviews like that are what keep me reading this forum. Kevin
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks for taking the time.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Thanks for the review Harry. Very informative indeed. I have eight watches (mostly mid-60s to mid-70s Seikos) and my 1977 6309 gets the most wrist time by far. They just got it right with that one.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:05 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Default Re: SEIKO 6306-7001 & 6309-7049 Divers Review & Comparisson

Great review.... two very similar watches, yet very different....
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Old 07-14-2013, 02:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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good comparison! valuable article!
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:34 PM   #24 (permalink)
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good info
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:56 PM   #25 (permalink)
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6306 is more expensive than 6309, am i right? is it because of the JDM thing?
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