My grandfather's Bell-Matic is my first Bell-Matic - Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum – Japanese Watch Reviews, Discussion & Trading
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Old 12-31-2019, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My grandfather's Bell-Matic is my first Bell-Matic

When he found out I collected watches, my dad gave me a couple of my grandfather's watches. One of them was this 17J 4006-6010 that my grandfather bought in Japan in one of this business trips. He used to do research there for the Philippine government.

The serial number hints that it left the Seiko factory on August 1969.It may have been frankened in its life (the watch was in the Philippines for some part of its life, after all). I've read that the 17J versions only have stick hands and not the sword hands that this one has-- is that right? Does this case shape, dial and hands make sense for this time period?

The case is is a little pitted, and the gold plating is a little thin in spots. And I had to polywatch the crystal and throw it on a croc strap to make is pop a little more. Cosmetic flaws and all, it's pretty special to me as I don't know much about my grandfather.


It had been sitting in a drawer for years, maybe decades, but I picked it up and gave it the little Seiko shake and instantly it sprung to life. It's amazing how it's not losing or gaining more than a couple of seconds a night, and the alarm functions well, and on-time! I'm going to get it serviced and overhauled in the next couple of weeks. Even if it's not a perfect specimen, it's a keeper.






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Old 12-31-2019, 04:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes she is a beauty and because it is a link to your grandfather I agree it's a keeper.

I have the silver version 4006-6011, also 17 Jewel variant. Those hands of yours are the same shape so consider them original to the watch.

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Old 12-31-2019, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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beautiful watches to both of you. Bell-matics are awesome.
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Old 12-31-2019, 06:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Beautiful bell and looks to be all the right parts. The hands go with that linen dial, looks like the correct dial ring, gold markers and hands should be in a gold case, case is the right shape, and the sentimental value is priceless.

That's a very nice bell you have there too Jon.
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Old 01-02-2020, 02:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback on originality. I'm really amazed at how accurate it is for its age, despite its nonexistent service history.


My dad also gave me my grandfather's circa 1980 Omega De Ville ultra thin with a quartz movement. He was surprised that I was more excited about the Bell-Matic. Having grown up in the 50s-60s he thought quartz watches were superior and modern, so Omega plus quartz must have been amazing in his eyes. The Omega quartz movement probably keeps time better and more accurately, but the fact that this Bell-Matic has a mechanical alarm in as small a form factor as it is astounds me. In just a few days, this bell has become my favorite watch complication.

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Old 01-08-2020, 01:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Congratulations on connecting with your families past. Here’s another data point. A black dial version I overhauled a while back. Rodney
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