The Case of the Vietnam "SOG" Seiko - 6119-8100/6119-8101 - Page 2 - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 05-03-2015, 02:39 AM   #26 (permalink)
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This is a beautiful watch. Looks like they're going for a lot too, since there's one on the bay going for around $2k right now.
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Old 04-02-2016, 10:05 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I'm on the trail of a couple of SOG Seikos. Hope to add them both shortly.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:14 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Is there any preference for the ones with or without the Seiko 5 logo?
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:15 PM   #29 (permalink)
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I kind of dig the ones that just say "automatic".
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:25 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Default the SOG's only came with the printed 5 dial..

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Originally Posted by carsandcapp View Post
Is there any preference for the ones with or without the Seiko 5 logo?
There was an interesting update to this story when one of the Recon team members stepped into this discussion and confirmed these were issued..

See story here:

http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...ight=SOG+seiko
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:26 PM   #31 (permalink)
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What size NATO band? 20mm or 22mm?
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:52 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default 20mm khaki nylon pull through..

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What size NATO band? 20mm or 22mm?
..was what was worn..
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:03 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lambstew View Post



Lambstew,
Is the watch on the outside L not officially SOG Seiko given the lack of the 5 sport logo?
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Old 04-06-2016, 09:11 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default The one on the left..

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Originally Posted by carsandcapp View Post
Lambstew,
Is the watch on the outside L not officially SOG Seiko given the lack of the 5 sport logo?
..is NOT the SOG model but an earlier predecessor, and the watch on the far right is the one which came afterwards about a year later. Only the 6119-8000 & 6119-8001 in the middle are the actual SOG models..
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:03 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lambstew View Post
..is NOT the SOG model but an earlier predecessor, and the watch on the far right is the one which came afterwards about a year later. Only the 6119-8000 & 6119-8001 in the middle are the actual SOG models..
Lambstew,

Thanks for the confirmation. I am on the trail of what I hope is real SOG now. Will know for sure next week when I hold it. In anticipation of acquisition, I've purchased this vintage Waltham wrist compass and strap.
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File Type: jpg Waltham Wrist Compass.jpg (549.1 KB, 75 views)
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:15 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carsandcapp View Post
Lambstew,

Thanks for the confirmation. I am on the trail of what I hope is real SOG now. Will know for sure next week when I hold it. In anticipation of acquisition, I've purchased this vintage Waltham wrist compass and strap.
That will look amazing together
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Old 04-07-2016, 10:39 AM   #37 (permalink)
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Lambstew,

I am pretty much obsessed with SOGs at the moment. : ) I found this post from Reddit forum that seems to confirm that other Seiko models are genuine SOG's too. It cites a specific operator being issued a watch that does not have the day of the week function like the others. Curious to know of you interpret it the post the same way.

A good friend is a researcher and collector for Vietnam-issued timepieces. He wrote this up, and I'm putting it here as well as at/r/Seiko:
About five or six years ago I heard rumors of a Seiko watch that was issued by the US Government to Special Forces units in Vietnam. I came across an old post on MWR where this very watch was discussed, and a picture of an actual issued watch was presented as an excerpt from a book on Special Forces operations in Vietnam called "Running Recon". Turns out there actually was a Seiko watch which was issued by the Counter Insurgency Support Office (CISO) to Military Assistance Command-Vietnam, Studies and Observation Group (MAC-V SOG) personnel.
In order to be of use to a counterinsurgency soldier, this watch had to be "sterile" (no military markings). Often, the Special Forces guys using them were not operating in areas where they were officially supposed to be. Consequently, there would be no real way to differentiate them from ordinary watches sold through civilian channels...they didn't WANT them differentiated. Other than watches actually owned by Special Forces soldiers, it's anyone's guess as to whether a particular watch was issued or not, so it is difficult to determine exactly which models were handed out. After doing some light research, I discovered that the model in question, or at least ONE of them, was the 6119-810x. I got this one a couple weeks ago, and before I could do anything with it the watch was lost in the shuffle of a house move. This is a 6119-8100, and dates to April, 1969. Here is a pic of it, along with part of the article in question which shows the issued watch...
Apparently, however, this was not the only model that was issued by CISO during this period. Below is a picture of two watches which were actually issued by MAC-V SOG to named Special Forces operators.
According to "specialforceshistory.com"...
The Recon Watch
The black faced Seiko watches were purchased directly from the manufacturer in bulk by Ben Baker who was the department head of CISO (Counter Insurgency Support Office) and issued throughout the different SOG Supply Offices (S-4). Two variations of the watches were issued to cross border personnel to include a time date and non-time date. The bands were usually replaced by the veterans for the nylon strap found with the survival wrist compass. The Seiko Watch on the left was issued to Michael Sheppard of Recon Team Montana and the watch on the right was issued to Steve Perry who was assigned to MAC V SOG, OPs-80.
Picture #2
Picture #3: Here is another of the issued 6119s, from "lkmilitary.com"
Pretty cool, eh? The watch on the right is clearly a 6119-810x...anyone know what the watch on the left is? There may be a Daini symbol on the dial...looks like maybe a 7005?
I have three of these 6119s. I buy them whenever I see them just because of the cool, spooky, Special Forces connection. Most of the ones I find are a little ratty because they have a plated brass case, and consequently they sell cheap. The one shown above dates to April, 1969, and has a 6119B. I have no military history on it, but I did notice that the watch appears to have never had a bracelet and has the exact same kind of brass spring bars as the known SOG-issue watch in the article. Coincidence? Maybe...
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Old 04-07-2016, 04:40 PM   #38 (permalink)
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7005-8030 http://wristsushi.proboards.com/thre...og-model-watch
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Old 04-09-2016, 02:17 AM   #39 (permalink)
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SOG acquired tonight as part of a 3 watch Seiko grouping. Not cheap. Someone else knew what the middle watch was too. But I knew I had to have it. I can't wait to pair it with the Waltham wrist compass band!
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:29 AM   #40 (permalink)
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And now I am thinking I might now have 2 SOGs and the 4th example of the 6119 8090.

From an eBay post last month....
"That brings us to the 6119 8090 which Is the second of the examples I show In my original picture; These are Incredibly rare and I've only ever seen 3 examples; the one I own, the one In Konrad's thread and one that sold on Ebay about six or seven years ago. "
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Old 04-10-2016, 12:47 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Wrist compass now in my possession. The writing on the side freaked out the wife a bit.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20160410_104523.jpg (84.6 KB, 49 views)
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:17 PM   #42 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carsandcapp View Post
SOG acquired tonight as part of a 3 watch Seiko grouping. Not cheap. Someone else knew what the middle watch was too. But I knew I had to have it. I can't wait to pair it with the Waltham wrist compass band!
Cool looking watches, congrats.
What source are you using to confirm that the 6106 and 6119 8090* are watches issued to special forces?
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:44 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Only the 6119-800x are known as SOG definites.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:50 AM   #44 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambstew View Post
Only the 6119-800x are known as SOG definites.
Lambstew,

You know this stuff waayy better than me, and I may be jumping the gun on the SOG assessment, but I like to do my homework too. I think the question of "is the 6119-800x the ONLY official SOG Seiko?" is still open for debate. I write this based on the work of the researcher I posted previously in this thread. Certainly the "Running Recon" book nails the 6119-800x's as an actual SOG watch, but I've not seen where it (or anything else) says it was the ONLY official SOG watch.

In fact, according to the pictures and pretty credible provenance posted on www.specialforceshistory.com and as was previously posted:

...Two variations of the watches were issued to cross border personnel to include a time date and non-time date. The bands were usually replaced by the veterans for the nylon strap found with the survival wrist compass. The Seiko Watch on the left was issued to Michael Sheppard of Recon Team Montana and the watch on the right was issued to Steve Perry who was assigned to MAC V SOG, OPs-80.
Picture #2
Picture #3: Here is another of the issued 6119s, from "lkmilitary.com"

So I am in the camp that there were in fact AT LEAST 2 Seiko SOG variations. The first being the Running Recon identified Seiko 6119-800x and the second being a Seiko 7005-xxxx. partially ID's by specialfoceshistory.com. It seems logical that there would be variations though the years - if not desirable from a sterility perspective. SOG ops were ongoing over a number of years and Seiko was creating and selling various watch models throughout that same time. Because these watches were "sheepdipped" civilian-based models, they are likely NOT going to be constant, unchanging models like typical milspec issued items. In fact, it would be BAD from a sterility perspective if they were.

Additionally, the 7005 variant is not the end of the discussion on possible Seiko SOG variations. As there is this little tidbit from an eBay sale back in July '15:

"That brings us to the 6119 8090 which Is the second of the examples I show In my original picture; These are Incredibly rare and I've only ever seen 3 examples; the one I own, the one In Konrad's thread and one that sold on Ebay about six or seven years ago. These watches have applied as opposed to painted detail on the face, a nice stainless case and a screw back, as well as a slight variation in location of Suwa logo, jewel count etc. All examples I've seen date to 1969. I personally believe It's highly likely that these were Issue pieces as well which their scarcity points to. The original 6119 Is a super little watch with a cracking movement but It Isn't that robust, I wonder If It was decided that a screw back was required for better water resistance In a tropical environment. It's equally possible that the better quality points to these being intended for PX retail although that wouldn't explain their rarity. By comparison the earlier 'sportsmatic' and 17 jewel DX models are extremely thick on the ground. Those two models aside I feel the 8100, 8101 and very possibly the 8090 represent an evolution of the watches actually Issued and used by SF/SOG. Until or If some documentation arises we will never know for sure and can only go by those examples found In the possession of vets and their associated stories. "

Typical eBay sales hype? Maybe. But, it does seem fairly logical to me. FWIW, I now posses the 4th example (at least according to this seller) of a 6119-8090. Mine is dated March 1970. I'll keep doing my homework and update this thread with what I find. I've contacted the seller (he is a "watch guy") through eBay to see what else he may have learned about the watch since the sale.

Lambstew, not trying to pick a fight with you, just trying to get all the information together.



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Old 04-12-2016, 11:33 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Lambstew,
Until or If some documentation arises we will never know for sure and can only go by those examples found In the possession of vets and their associated stories.
I think you have hit the preverbial nail right on the head.
At this point it can only be speculation that other similar variants were issued to special forces personnel. These variants were available in px's across SE Asia and were purchased by personnel who were in country. So many of the variants can have great history to them. Sellers often have great imaginations of what might have been with the items they sell.
Having learned so much more about these Seiko's I'm not disappointed that i did not winthem.
Good luck with your reasearch.
Think I will stick to hunting the 3 that have been confirmed as being issued to special forces personnel.

Last edited by catkicker; 04-12-2016 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:48 AM   #46 (permalink)
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I think you have hit the preverbial nail right on the head.
At this point it can only be speculation that other similar variants were issued to special forces personnel. These variants were available in px's across SE Asia and were purchased by personnel who were in country. So many of the variants can have great history to them. Sellers often have great imaginations of what might have been with the items they sell.
Having learned so much more about these Seiko's I'm not disappointed that i did not winthem.
Good luck with your reasearch.
Think I will stick to hunting the 3 that have been confirmed as being issued to special forces personnel.
I agree, but disagree. I think the 7005-XXXX variant is pretty well documented by specialforceshistory.com. Unless that website is somehow not reputable, which I doubt. I'll contact them and see if they have pictures of the backs of the watches.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:51 AM   #47 (permalink)
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I agree, but disagree. I think the 7005-XXXX variant is pretty well documented by specialforceshistory.com. Unless that website is somehow not reputable, which I doubt. I'll contact them and see if they have pictures of the backs of the watches.
I think the 7005 is about the rarest of the 3
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:29 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Default I should have answered with I personally believe..

...rather than with a sweeping statement, my apologies. I think this is the part where the announcer says stay tuned for further updates as the story unfolds..

I'm with you and think it's absolutely possible other models such as the 8090/700x co-existed alongside the 800x. The information I presented in my original post was primarily based on what I had observed between 2008-2011 & noted, while like you totally immersed in the subject matter. This period only lasted a few years with little pops up since the original post in 2008. In a nutshell, the subject matter for me personally had gone stale until this recent update on MWR:

http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...ight=SOG+seiko

A SOG veteran stepped into the conversation and confirmed he had been issued one and was actually wearing the 800x on his wrist while responding on the forum. There is also a picture of him about to go on patrol clearly wearing the watch.

This is what Tim had to say on the matter:

"Konrad, to answer your other questions. To my knowledge, no other types of Seiko's or any other brand were issued. When mine was issued, at FOB#4 Da Nang, only the recon guys got them. At that time, there were 10 recon teams at that FOB with 3 Americans on each team. So that's 30 guys, all U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets). There were 5 FOB's with roughly the same number of teams in each.

I have personal knowledge of this because I ran missions out of 4 of them and was assigned to them. So, that's about 150 U.S. personnel running recon for SOG in all of VN at one time, theoretically anyway. We had tremendous casualties and most of the time were understaffed. The project operated from 1964- 1973, although the bulk of the missions were run from 67-71. It was not declassified until 1994.

That should give you an idea as to why these watches are so hard to find. Also, the strap was OD green nylon, although some of the guys changed them. I didn't, and wished I'd kept mine.

If you have any more questions I'll check back tomorrow. Tim "

Tim's thorough response tipped the scales for me personally in favor of the 800X being the main SOG Seiko contenders. Tim got around to the various teams and so he saw what the men in the various teams were wearing.

Back in 2008 MWR member HexOnx presented his Vietnam Green Beret instructor father's 800X on the MWR forum, that was the post that got the initial ball rolling.

What's interesting here is that HexOnx's father wasn't a SOG Team member but a Green Beret instructor who was apparently issued it. This suggests to me broader issuance outside of the recon teams. Being a SF instructor maybe had something to do with I don't know but that's the story.

Two 800x watches have come forward from the family of a SF veteran and a statement to the effect that no other models were seen. I think the easy answer is to say that based on the evidence, I feel most comfortable with the 800x series being the model actually issued.

On the flip side you also have to consider what Tim saw personally on a broad scale but he couldn't be everywhere at once all the time and it's possible small quantities of other models were ordered when the 800x were not available.

I can't find a production date later than Dec.1968 so it's possible other models were ordered as time & attrition wore into the early 70's.

You should start a database of serial numbers for these and also for the known other models.

Keep going dude..

Cheers,

Konrad

Last edited by lambstew; 04-12-2016 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:55 PM   #49 (permalink)
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I might also suggest to a moderator that this post be made a sticky as a means to attract & collect information on the subject on a continuous basis. I.E. starting a serial number/model database. Seiko collectors have a good eye so it would be great to have an instant way to find the post..just a thought..

Cheers,

Konrad
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Old 04-12-2016, 06:27 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lambstew View Post
I might also suggest to a moderator that this post be made a sticky as a means to attract & collect information on the subject on a continuous basis. I.E. starting a serial number/model database. Seiko collectors have a good eye so it would be great to have an instant way to find the post..just a thought..

Cheers,

Konrad
I agree. Mods, can we make this thread sticky please?

And Lambstew, per your previous post, I think where we differ on this topic is on the 7005-XXXX variant, or what I will refer to as the "Sheppard 7005". The specialforceshistory.com site names the specific operator "Michael Sheppard" as the recipient of the SOG Supply Office-issued watch. And I read that same post on the MWR forums previously, but it all makes much more sense now, as does the passage from the eBay advert, now that I know who "Konrad" is. ; ). I think this may be a watch that Tim did not have a chance to see. As I stated earlier, I am going to request a photo of the back of the watches from specialforceshistory.com and hopefully I will get something back I can share here.

It certainly doesn't solidify the status of my two watches, but I'll continue to research, document and share what I learn here. And I'd like ti duplicate my posts on the MWR, but the darn site doesn't seem to want to confirm my registration.
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