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I’ve just received my copy of Sadao Ryugo’s book on the development and history of seiko’s mechanical chronographs. Safe to say I am drooling over it! The sources and pictures are excellent and there are interviews with the people that designed the first chronographs at seiko. There are still some copies available from the author, has anyone else on here got one?
 

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Mine has made it out of Japan on the 26th. Can’t wait!!!


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I picked mine up from USPS today (it was delivered while I was at the in-laws), and while I do wish it was cheaper and a hard cover, it really is something else and I don't regret buying it at all. Aside from the interviews of designers of various models (with English translations), there are blueprint drawings of individual models that I've never seen before. There is also confirmation of both the french and italian export models of 6139-6020 (italian with resist dial, french with blank dial), which some folks here know I have a particular interest in.
 

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I just got a copy on loan and must say I am rather ambivalent. Of course it was a good read and any of us who pick it up will be happy we did so, but it's not without some fair criticism.

Plus side - compelling story telling of the development of all sorts of 1960s chronos, and the "proof" of Seiko 6139 being the world's first automatic chronograph. So happy Ryugo-san interviewed the designers while they are still alive and well and able to recount these significant chapters in Seiko history and horology overall. That is by far the book's major accomplishment. Congratulations for documenting all of this fascinating material.

It sure had some great photos. Covers the earliest chrome-rimmed crystals on the 6139-6000 and the 6139-603X in French and Italian dress. Great info on Seiko moving first itself, and then bringing the industry, out of using Ligne measurements into mm to improve precision. Great info on dial texture finishing technique options Seiko used in it's design heyday. Loads more good stuff. Like I said, lots to enjoy.

Minus side? Frankly it seems rushed. As one example not sure he got the 6139-6002 Teal Sunrise summary info right. He glosses over the limited production months (he says 'about 3' months - which 3? 2N & 2D we know for sure so might be the other?) or even why it is nicknamed "Sunrise". Yet I learned why some have orange seconds hands and others yellow. I see more than a few overlooked opportunities to have added value with fine points that were just flat-out missed chances to educate. This reduces the value of the volume as a reference tool.

I think the author could have passed the manuscript around to more people to gather more perspective and knowledge. It is common to ask for peer review especially on specific chapters with acknowleged subject matter experts to broaden the base and get better content. I wish he had done that on every model he covers.

Frankly at this price point it relies too heavily on becoming a repository for catalog cuts and vintage advertisements (you will also see many of the ones you know well not shown, too). All these catalog cuts just seem like 'filler material.' We are talking roughly 120 out of the 200 pages. It's not that the reader doesn't enjoy thumbing through them but it's already out there on the web in numerous places so it leaves me feeling like the book used them mostly just to get fattened up.

All in all with so many nice photos to drool over, good stories, Eric, Bertrand and Anthony's contributed photos - no one will be sorry they bought it. I also don't think anyone will be sorry they didn't pay the publishers release price. I am thankful to my kind friend who loaned me the book knowing I had passed on the purchase but had interest in seeing it. I am comfortable not owning it as much as most owners will be comfortable to have purchased it. It's that kind of a value proposition.

That's my review in a nutshell and I'm sticking to it. Please feel free to take issue with anything I posted. I do not mean to discredit the fine effort by the author to whom I send my thanks for his considerable time and energy putting this together.
 

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I just got a copy on loan and must say I am rather ambivalent. Of course it was a good read and any of us who pick it up will be happy we did so, but it's not without some fair criticism.

Plus side - compelling story telling of the development of all sorts of 1960s chronos, and the "proof" of Seiko 6139 being the world's first automatic chronograph. So happy Ryugo-san interviewed the designers while they are still alive and well and able to recount these significant chapters in Seiko history and horology overall. That is by far the book's major accomplishment. Congratulations for documenting all of this fascinating material.

It sure had some great photos. Covers the earliest chrome-rimmed crystals on the 6139-6000 and the 6139-603X in French and Italian dress. Great info on Seiko moving first itself, and then bringing the industry, out of using Ligne measurements into mm to improve precision. Great info on dial texture finishing technique options Seiko used in it's design heyday. Loads more good stuff. Like I said, lots to enjoy.

Minus side? Frankly it seems rushed. As one example not sure he got the 6139-6002 Teal Sunrise summary info right. He glosses over the limited production months (he says 'about 3' months - which 3? 2N & 2D we know for sure so might be the other?) or even why it is nicknamed "Sunrise". Yet I learned why some have orange seconds hands and others yellow. I see more than a few overlooked opportunities to have added value with fine points that were just flat-out missed chances to educate. This reduces the value of the volume as a reference tool.

I think the author could have passed the manuscript around to more people to gather more perspective and knowledge. It is common to ask for peer review especially on specific chapters with acknowleged subject matter experts to broaden the base and get better content. I wish he had done that on every model he covers.

Frankly at this price point it relies too heavily on becoming a repository for catalog cuts and vintage advertisements (you will also see many of the ones you know well not shown, too). All these catalog cuts just seem like 'filler material.' We are talking roughly 120 out of the 200 pages. It's not that the reader doesn't enjoy thumbing through them but it's already out there on the web in numerous places so it leaves me feeling like the book used them mostly just to get fattened up.

All in all with so many nice photos to drool over, good stories, Eric, Bertrand and Anthony's contributed photos - no one will be sorry they bought it. I also don't think anyone will be sorry they didn't pay the publishers release price. I am thankful to my kind friend who loaned me the book knowing I had passed on the purchase but had interest in seeing it. I am comfortable not owning it as much as most owners will be comfortable to have purchased it. It's that kind of a value proposition.

That's my review in a nutshell and I'm sticking to it. Please feel free to take issue with anything I posted. I do not mean to discredit the fine effort by the author to whom I send my thanks for his considerable time and energy putting this together.
I felt the same way while reading and I fully share your assessments.
Perhaps my expectations were too high and this resulted in a little disappointment. Nevertheless, the book is a compact collection of many documents to which we all have access thanks to the Internet and this forum.
A little more structuring and proofreading would have been desirable.
Kind of like a fanzine. Sometimes it looks a bit confusing and mixed up. Proofreading would have been good. Although the majority of the catalogs / pictures / clocks / information etc. shown are already circulating and available online, everything is now packed and stapled in book form.

However, it also contains some very interesting new information and infos on rare models. It is also nice that the protagonists, i.e. the designers and developers themselves, have their say and you get to know the names and people behind all that great stuff Seiko produced.

So for the fan and collector a nice compilation and addition to the book shelf, there is nothing else like it on the market. Strange, considering the large number of Seiko fans worldwide!
 

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I just got a copy on loan and must say I am rather ambivalent. Of course it was a good read and any of us who pick it up will be happy we did so, but it's not without some fair criticism.

Plus side - compelling story telling of the development of all sorts of 1960s chronos, and the "proof" of Seiko 6139 being the world's first automatic chronograph. So happy Ryugo-san interviewed the designers while they are still alive and well and able to recount these significant chapters in Seiko history and horology overall. That is by far the book's major accomplishment. Congratulations for documenting all of this fascinating material.

It sure had some great photos. Covers the earliest chrome-rimmed crystals on the 6139-6000 and the 6139-603X in French and Italian dress. Great info on Seiko moving first itself, and then bringing the industry, out of using Ligne measurements into mm to improve precision. Great info on dial texture finishing technique options Seiko used in it's design heyday. Loads more good stuff. Like I said, lots to enjoy.

Minus side? Frankly it seems rushed. As one example not sure he got the 6139-6002 Teal Sunrise summary info right. He glosses over the limited production months (he says 'about 3' months - which 3? 2N & 2D we know for sure so might be the other?) or even why it is nicknamed "Sunrise". Yet I learned why some have orange seconds hands and others yellow. I see more than a few overlooked opportunities to have added value with fine points that were just flat-out missed chances to educate. This reduces the value of the volume as a reference tool.

I think the author could have passed the manuscript around to more people to gather more perspective and knowledge. It is common to ask for peer review especially on specific chapters with acknowleged subject matter experts to broaden the base and get better content. I wish he had done that on every model he covers.

Frankly at this price point it relies too heavily on becoming a repository for catalog cuts and vintage advertisements (you will also see many of the ones you know well not shown, too). All these catalog cuts just seem like 'filler material.' We are talking roughly 120 out of the 200 pages. It's not that the reader doesn't enjoy thumbing through them but it's already out there on the web in numerous places so it leaves me feeling like the book used them mostly just to get fattened up.

All in all with so many nice photos to drool over, good stories, Eric, Bertrand and Anthony's contributed photos - no one will be sorry they bought it. I also don't think anyone will be sorry they didn't pay the publishers release price. I am thankful to my kind friend who loaned me the book knowing I had passed on the purchase but had interest in seeing it. I am comfortable not owning it as much as most owners will be comfortable to have purchased it. It's that kind of a value proposition.

That's my review in a nutshell and I'm sticking to it. Please feel free to take issue with anything I posted. I do not mean to discredit the fine effort by the author to whom I send my thanks for his considerable time and energy putting this together.
A friend of mine got one of the first delivered and he said it was just OK but he was disappointed with it as it could of been so much better.
 

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Excerpted from the book shown in the OP first post:
Thanks Jon. I was dying to know why the difference. Personally I like the Orange Hands better (better match to the Dial) but the Yellow Hands just add another layer of Crazy Color to an already Insane Color scheme.
 

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Ok - bumping this thread back up. I finally got notice after nearly two months that my book is coming in!
 

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Looks like mine is 2 hours behind yours........:)
Finally!
 

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It arrived!



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Got mine on Thurs. I haven't had a chance to read through it yet, but, although it was Pricey, I'm Glad I have it to add to my collection of Seiko literature.......:)
 

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I emailed the author and he finally got back to me after one week to let me order a copy.

Very pricey as you can buy three copies of the new Grand Seiko Evolution book by Ikuo Tokunaga on Amazon Japan for the same amount of money (and this gets to your door in like a day via DHL).

Anyway I ordered a copy and I don't even own a Seiko chronograph lol!

Will see if it gets here in two months.
 
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