Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00 - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 09-25-2010, 09:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Hi,
Just a few pictures (and a video!) of a watch I received some time ago but just got around to cleaning and adjusting to my wrist.
I had a hard time collecting what little information I found about it:
Movement: 5S42 HEQ (+/- 20s per year).
Manufactured by Suwa Seikosha.
Production date: 1990.
8 jewels.
Battery: SR920SW (2.5 years).
Original price: approx. 60 000 Yen.
Apparently in 1990 Seiko created a separate line of semi high end quartz watches with the 5S42 movement and called it Majesta, but this was a particularly short-lived project.
The special thing about this quartz movement is that the seconds hand moves 2.5 steps per second! Unfortunately Seiko completely dropped the concept of a quartz movement with a higher seconds hand step frequency, probably because of the Spring Drive. Whether this was decided at some higher-level of Seiko's management I have no idea, but it was certainly a strategic decision with important consequences.
On to the pictures:

The watch is very easy to wear and the dial is very legible:


The solid steel links bracelet is integrated and very comfortable, probably as a consequence of the excellent finish and the double-hinged, thin links. The case has a modern shape and sits well on the wrist, with good balance (the watch stays centred on the wrist).
[img]

I believe the crystal is sapphire as it doesn't have a single scratch. The dial has a nice creamy colour and an interesting texture, and somebody is going to notice the "hub cap". Note the stylised M logo, M for Majesta I suppose. I like the lens over the date window!


Dial detail.
[img]

The case back. Note the serial number.
[img]

The 5S42 movement.
[img]

A totally horrible video:


An interesting watch!
Cheers,
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Interesting movement. Classy design!
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Old 09-25-2010, 03:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Congratulations - it is a pretty high-end model !!! I believe the reason why it was short-lived in the Majesta line was that the model was 'moved' to the higher-end Credor line in the JDM (note that the logo is pretty similar to this day).

I also believe (but I have not seen the technical manual for 5s42) that it was a HEQ/higher-end model of their caliber 5s21 - and that bothe models when properly serviced and set should show a 'perfectly smooth' movement of the seconds-hand - the reason for that is that there is a special 'viscous rotor' smartly placed into the gear train (and which must be properly serviced and calibrated to get that 'perfectly smooth' movement)!

I would be very curious on how is the accuracy at 20 years of age ...
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Old 09-25-2010, 05:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Thanks for posting the photos and info. regarding your 5S42. I have a 5S21 and have wondered if the 5S42 used the same or similar movt. and the unusual drive train as used in the '21'. I've not been able to locate the tech specs for the 42 but they are available for the 21 and include the following:

Driving System - 1/4 second step motor
Second Hand Movement System - Sweep Movement (Seiko's words)
Conversion System - Spiral Spring : Viscous Rotor System
Loss/Gain - Monthly Rate at Normal Range; Less than 20 seconds
Jewels - 7
Battery Life - Appx. 2 years.

Included in the specs. are drawings showing the clever use of a "hair spring" (Seiko's term) in series with the time train and also a viscous rotor driven by an intermediate wheel geared to the fourth wheel. From a study of the diagrams, it appears that the step motor 'winds' the hairspring until it supplies sufficient torque to the train to overcome the drag of the viscous rotor, at which time the train turns smoothly and the pulsations of the step motor are effectively damped or buffered out by energy stored in the hairspring while the step motor is at rest.

On my watch, the second hand appears to move with no discernable start/stop. I have found that I'm lucky to get one year life from the #371 battery. Accuracy of mine runs about -10 seconds per month. Otherwise, a fun watch with an ingenious method of providing an apparent smoothly sweeping second hand at low cost using no high-tech electronics. Mine was made in Dec. '89.
John


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Old 09-25-2010, 06:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Hi John,
Thanks for the description of the movement in the 5S21, and yes I believe it's the same kind of movement in the 5S42, except for the rated accuracy. I am guessing one of these weekends I'll disassemble the movement and take a look at how it works (and take a few pictures).
It's funny because Seiko achieved 20 years ago what the Bulova Precisionist movement will be offering to consumers in a few days: a high precision quartz movement with a smooth seconds hand. And the most ironical angle is that Seiko voluntarily dropped the whole concept. :-[
And then went on to market the much more expensive, exclusive and complicated Spring Drive, with somewhat lukewarm results.
Makes the Majesta 5S42 watches even more interesting, from a historical point of view.
Cheers,

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Old 09-30-2010, 11:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Just got delivered a second one (on the right on the picture below), this is the plain steel model, otherwise identical.



Cheers,
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Hey andrew, what do you know about the majest line of watches? I would be interested in adding this one to our reference for seiko logos, and the branding dictionary. Can anyone give us some info on this?
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Old 09-30-2010, 04:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Nice and rare watch!

But the cyclop lens simply doesn't suit, imho.
I mean needle type of hands and such a big manifier?
However very interesting post - thanks!

Cheers,

Axel
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isthmus
Hey andrew, what do you know about the majest line of watches? I would be interested in adding this one to our reference for seiko logos, and the branding dictionary. Can anyone give us some info on this?
Gabe,
Actually I know very little about the Majesta line, I wasn't able to find much information about it on the Internet. I think Martin has one, a round one also with a 5S42 movement. The Majesta logo is very much like the Credor logo, so I wonder if Seiko killed the Majesta line on purpose or just renamed it and revamped the logo to create the Credor line?
The 5S42 movement was extremely short lived as far as I know, since all watches sporting it seem to have been made at the end of 1990.
That's the extent of my knowledge on the Seiko Majesta line and as you can see, it doesn't amount to much!
Cheers,
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Old 09-30-2010, 05:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axel66
Nice and rare watch!

But the cyclop lens simply doesn't suit, imho.
I mean needle type of hands and such a big manifier?
However very interesting post - thanks!

Cheers,

Axel
Thanks Axel.
About the cyclops, my guess is it was something rather common on high end dress watches in the late 80's/early 90's, I seem to remember Rolex used to have a cyclops on their Oyster's. I don't mind it and I take it as a "retro" aesthetic detail, but I agree it's not particularly harmonious nor even needed!
Cheers,
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:16 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Classic watch Andrew !! Cyclops looks great IMHO.....
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Old 10-02-2010, 12:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Quote:
Originally Posted by danem
Classic watch Andrew !! Cyclops looks great IMHO.....
Thanks Danish. It's the kind of watch we both like, I think: high quality but no ostentation.

Cheers,
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Nice watch, thanks for sharing. I was outbid on a 5S42 last year so had to settle on a 5S21 Spirit pocket watch, pretty interesting actually. Too bad there is no trimmer as mine gains about 1spd. It doesn't sound like yours has a perfectly smooth movement? How accurate has it been?
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Old 05-03-2011, 03:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Classic and that's a beauty indeed!
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:01 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Nice watch, thanks for sharing. I was outbid on a 5S42 last year so had to settle on a 5S21 Spirit pocket watch, pretty interesting actually. Too bad there is no trimmer as mine gains about 1spd. It doesn't sound like yours has a perfectly smooth movement? How accurate has it been?
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Does anyone have an approximation of value for the Seikos with the 5S42 movement?

I'm an Accutron/Omega tuning fork fan and can't beleive I didn't know these smooth runner existed.

Thanks,
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:11 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly rare beast: Seiko Majesta 5S42-5A00

Beautiful and congrats on scoring the second one.

Mark
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Old 09-07-2016, 10:20 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I recently bought a group of 5 Seiko quartz watches for $45 they are Majesta, Type 2, Lord Quartz, Spirit, and Lucent. The only one not running was the Lord Quartz. I have located a donor for it. Hope to have it up and running soon.
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Old 09-10-2016, 11:30 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian from Texas View Post
I recently bought a group of 5 Seiko quartz watches for $45 they are Majesta, Type 2, Lord Quartz, Spirit, and Lucent. The only one not running was the Lord Quartz. I have located a donor for it. Hope to have it up and running soon.
Wow, good catch Brian! I'd never heard of Majesta until you revived this thread but they look really cool with that sweeping seconds hand.
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Old 09-11-2016, 02:50 PM   #20 (permalink)
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video is gone?
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:34 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Here's another Majesta, I think it's the same model:

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Old 10-14-2019, 01:38 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Anyone finally able to get the parts catalogue /technical guide for 5s42? I found one for 5S21A but not 5S42 or 5S42A (which I assume to be the same thing).
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Old 11-14-2019, 07:16 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Interesting. I own a Majesta, but it's not the same line. Mine was made in 1983 and uses the 9063 twin mode quartz movement. Also HEQ at +/- 20 SPY but without the smooth sweep.
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