The Watch Site banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi folks!
Last week I acquired a very special watch from a good friend. It's a Seiko 7548-701A, serial # 480273. That would make this the 273rd watch (of this calibre?) built in August, 1984, I believe? The battery replacement dot is over the latter half of the "87".
I am a NOOB to this sort of detailed history and involvement in a watch manufacturer, and I have to tell you, I'm hooked! Please forgive any errors you find in my assumptions.
I understand this is considered a "Transitional" divers quartz model, as Seiko began rating these later varieties as "Professional 200m." instead of the earlier 150m.-rated quartz divers models? Is this 7548-701A the earliest model of an Orange-dialed Professional 200m. quartz diver?
This was produced for the JDM and has the Kanji/English day wheel, and is in excellent working condition, except the bezel does not rotate, and the watchband is unsightly (and of course not original). The case has a bit of gunk on it above where the pins rest, and so it needs a very minimalist, extra-light cleaning on the exterior. I don't want to ruin the patina, though. The Crown works well and screws in nice. Dial, hands and crystal are excellent, to my untrained eye. Luminescence is un-luminescent. I don't think I'd want it re-lumed, maybe just replace gaskets and light cleaning, if I could find the right person for the job. Battery was replaced before I got it.
The most interesting thing about this watch is the provenance. This watch was owned (since new?) by a famous Japanese author named Ken Kaiko (aka. Takeshi Kaiko). Ken gave this watch to Bob Jones Sr., who was famous in his own right as a writer of fishing books. Ken and Bob used to fish together and became close friends. Ken gave Bob this watch the last time they saw each other before Ken died in the late 1980's, saying "Ken, why are you wearing that Mickey-Mouse watch on your wrist? Here, have a Real mans watch!", handing Bob this prized Seiko. Mr. Bob Jones Sr. passed away a few years ago and gave this watch to his son, my friend, Bob Jones Jr.
I have a couple of photographs of Mr. Jones and Ken, with Ken wearing this watch. I also have the testimony of Mr. Jones describing how Mr. Kaiko gave him this watch, and the close friendship they enjoyed.
There is actually a Takeshi/Ken Kaiko museum in Japan. He was considered a very important author, and although I have yet to read his works, I look forward to doing so. I feel very lucky to be the caretaker of this watch, and someday I hope Bob Jr. and I may deliver it to Mr. Kaiko's museum.
I'm going to post this now, and hopefully I'll be able to upload some photos..
Best Regards,
Ross up in snowy Canada
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,443 Posts
Welcome Ross and thanks for sharing. I've been looking for the 7548-701A for quite a long time and never saw one for sale as far as I remember. Thanks and enjoy ;)
 

·
Craftsman
Joined
·
3,717 Posts
Thanks for posting this Ross. A very interesting story behind a very seldom seen watch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
KAIKO REMEMBERED by Robert Jones
How do a Canadian air force sergeant and a world-famous novelist from Japan become friends? Fate, I suppose. I was stationed at Canadian Forces Base Borden, north of Toronto, Ontario, where my free time was spent fishing, then writing about my exploits for various magazines. On 21 April 1979, I was Master of Ceremonies at a seminar concerning muskie, Ontario's most prized game fish. During the morning coffee break, Shinichi Funasaka introduced himself and requested advice about arranging a muskie fishing trip for a friend. As Fate would have it, he had been contacted the same day he noticed an advertisement for our seminar.

With only a few minutes to talk, I suggested we meet at a later date. When we did, I discovered Ken Kaiko was a popular novelist, soon to embark on a fishing expedition originating at Anchorage, Alaska. He and four companions would then crisscross North, Central and South America in two Toyota vehicles, fishing and collecting information and photographs for a book. His odyssey would end nine months later at Tierra del Fuego.

Over the weeks I drafted a plan for Kaiko to fish four productive muskie systems: the St. Lawrence River, Rideau River, Lake Scugog, and Georgian Bay on Lake Huron. Once the plans were completed my role was over, but Fate intervened again. A few days before Kaiko's arrival in September, Funasaka, then president of Toyota (Canada), was called to Japan for a meeting. He had to leave six days after Kaiko's arrival, so I was drafted to accompany the group.

When we first met at Funasaka's home, Kaiko admitted he was pessimistic about hooking a muskie. However, I expressed so much confidence that his chances were better than average, he finally said, "Okay, I shall become an optimistic pessimist."

His first two days on Lake St. Lawrence were unsuccessful. During his first day on the Rideau River, the guide caught and released two small muskies but Kaiko remained fishless. Then Fate called again. The guide was unable to fish the following morning, so I took Kaiko out in my canoe. I knew that stretch of water well, having caught my first muskie there seven years earlier, plus dozens more since.

After paddling into a shallow bay, I had Kaiko cast close to shore, then retrieve his lure along the surface. As he did, the water nearby boiled and the broad back of a muskie appeared. As his lure swam steadily along the surface, the muskie followed until it was beside our canoe. Kaiko lowered his rod tip and swirled the lure back and forth in front of the fish, trying to trigger a strike, but to no avail. When the muskie swam slowly from sight, Kaiko slumped onto the seat. With shaking hands he removed his sunglasses, then used a bandanna to mop sweat from his brow. Suddenly he slapped his hands on his knees and smiled. "That was exciting! I am fortunate to have had such an experience! Now I understand a little more about this strange compulsion, this 'muskie mania' that grips men."

We left the bay for half an hour, then returned to try a new lure. On his first cast Kaiko hooked a magnificent fish that severely tested his skills and tackle for half an hour. His trophy measured 120 cm and weighed just over 15 kg. For me, the high point of that event was Kaiko pirouetting and leaping into the air beside the muskie, joyful shouts of exuberance bursting from his lips.

During our 12 days together, we exchanged thoughts and ideas about writing and writers; related tales of fishing conquests and defeats; described people we had met during our travels around the world; and told jokes. Kaiko had a marvelous sense of humour. If something struck him funny, he laughed uproariously until tears coursed down his cheeks.

Kaiko spoke English with ease and assurance, but as we travelled through Southern Ontario's cultural and ethnic mosaic, I discovered his French and German were good enough to carry on lengthy conversations, and his smattering of Russian, Italian, Spanish, Greek and at least two Chinese dialects also met with reasonable success.

When our trip ended in Toronto, Kaiko promised that we would meet again -- some day. The following spring, about the time Kaiko was ending his journey, I was posted to Victoria, British Columbia. My new job lacked challenge, so after 27 years of military service I left to begin writing full-time.

Kaiko's work schedule was hectic and demanding, but he wrote occasionally. In 1981 he fished the Bering Sea for halibut, which resulted in another book. In 1982, he wrote requesting details about Ontario lake sturgeon. I answered that B.C. offered "gigantic white sturgeon" in the Fraser River, whereupon Kaiko replied that he had changed his mind, and would fish for Nile perch in Lake Tanganyika.

In the meantime, a fishing guide in Lillooet had sent me several colour photographs of sturgeon weighing 90 to 250 kg. I enclosed them with my letter to Kaiko, and asked, "Would a gorilla laugh at your jokes? Show proper respect for your fishing stories? Appreciate your fine choice of scotch?" I also suggested, "...gigantic, hard-fighting, spectacular sturgeon should receive your attention rather than weak, flaccid, overstuffed perch. Just think, no crocodiles, no malaria-carrying mosquitoes, no civil strife or uprisings...."

Kaiko's answering letter began, "Sturgeon of the Fraser River have overcome me. After thinking about it I have made up my mind to postpone the African trip for two years. Poor gorillas. Poor Nile perch. Poor malaria."

In 1983 he arrived in Vancouver, where Vera and I joined him and his companions for our trip to Lillooet, 320 km northeast. Kaiko fished hard every day, but only small sturgeon were attracted to his baits. One evening, with only three days left, Kaiko asked, "Well Mister Jones, how is your confidence tonight?"

"Mister Jones?" I replied. "I must be in trouble."

Kaiko nodded slowly. "Perhaps we are both in trouble. For the first time since I started writing my fishing books I may be skunked!" He made an elaborate study of his glass, as though it was a crystal ball. "I see 80 blank pages in my new book. No, only 79. One page will say 'The following blank pages are brought to you by Mister Bob Jones, who talked me into fishing for mythical sturgeon in British Columbia.' In very large print!"

My confidence and his book were salvaged the following morning with a 35 kg sturgeon, the first of eight similar-sized fish he landed over the remaining days. He also hooked two monsters, both of which broke free.

In 1987, Kaiko returned to Lillooet to make a television documentary about sturgeon fishing. His success was much better, for barely 15 minutes after casting out his bait on the first morning, he hooked one weighing over 50 kg. Our greatest difficulty was to remain serious while the camera was trained on us, for all I had to do was look sideways at Kaiko and he would burst into gales of helpless laughter.

The following year, Vera and I joined Kaiko on Shikoku Island to make a Suntory Royal Whisky commercial. There, while posing on mossy rocks in the Shimanto River, we discussed smallmouth bass fishing on southern Vancouver Island, where Kaiko wanted to visit as part of a documentary about bass fishing around the world. Four months later we met at Nanaimo and spent several days fishing for bass, then moved north to Courtenay, my home town, to make another Suntory Royal commercial. There, we fished on the ocean for rockfish and lingcod, the Ash River for steelhead, and the Stamp River for chinook salmon.

Kaiko had never fired a shotgun, but when Chuck Cronmiller took him pheasant hunting, he easily downed the first cock pheasant that burst into the air. It was the first of five he shot that day. Afterward, Kaiko said, "I was so excited that for the first time in years I couldn't feel my chronic back pain."

After breakfast on 16 October 1988, our last morning together, Kaiko looked at the digital watch on my wrist and scoffed, "Why are you wearing that stupid, Mickey Mouse watch?" Before I could answer, he took off his Seiko divers watch and handed it to me. "Here! Wear a man's watch."

Later, when Kaiko boarded his flight to Vancouver at the Comox airport, I had never seen him so totally relaxed and happy. As he waved goodbye, he promised to return to "Paradise Island." It was the only promise to me he ever failed to keep.

We exchanged a few letters after his return to Japan. When they stopped in early 1989, I assumed he was in South America on the second stage of his bass fishing documentary. That fall Kaiko wrote that he had undergone major surgery, but was on the road to recovery. A second letter followed soon after, again with assurances that he was healing well. Then, on 9 December 1989, I received a telephone call from Hajime Omori in Colorado. His mother had just called from Tokyo to say Kaiko died earlier that day.

Kaiko is never far from my thoughts. On the walls of my office are photographs chronicling his trips to Ontario and British Columbia, and his treks to Mongolia, China and Alaska. In our living room, a nearly life-sized photograph shows him clutching his prized muskie to his chest, and framed photographs of Kaiko, Vera and me during our last days together. Kaiko left too soon. There were still so many things to show him, places to visit, fish to chase, things to talk about, so much more....
 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
4,890 Posts
Hi folks!
Last week I acquired a very special watch from a good friend. It's a Seiko 7548-701A, serial # 480273. That would make this the 273rd watch (of this calibre?) built in August, 1984, I believe? The battery replacement dot is over the latter half of the "87".
I am a NOOB to this sort of detailed history and involvement in a watch manufacturer, and I have to tell you, I'm hooked! Please forgive any errors you find in my assumptions.
I understand this is considered a "Transitional" divers quartz model, as Seiko began rating these later varieties as "Professional 200m." instead of the earlier 150m.-rated quartz divers models? Is this 7548-701A the earliest model of an Orange-dialed Professional 200m. quartz diver?
This was produced for the JDM and has the Kanji/English day wheel, and is in excellent working condition, except the bezel does not rotate, and the watchband is unsightly (and of course not original). The case has a bit of gunk on it above where the pins rest, and so it needs a very minimalist, extra-light cleaning on the exterior. I don't want to ruin the patina, though. The Crown works well and screws in nice. Dial, hands and crystal are excellent, to my untrained eye. Luminescence is un-luminescent. I don't think I'd want it re-lumed, maybe just replace gaskets and light cleaning, if I could find the right person for the job. Battery was replaced before I got it.
The most interesting thing about this watch is the provenance. This watch was owned (since new?) by a famous Japanese author named Ken Kaiko (aka. Tasheki Kaiko). Ken gave this watch to Bob Jones Sr., who was famous in his own right as a writer of fishing books. Ken and Bob used to fish together and became close friends. Ken gave Bob this watch the last time they saw each other before Ken died in the late 1980's, saying "Ken, why are you wearing that Mickey-Mouse watch on your wrist? Here, have a Real mans watch!", handing Bob this prized Seiko. Mr. Bob Jones Sr. passed away a few years ago and gave this watch to his son, my friend, Bob Jones Jr.
I have a couple of photographs of Mr. Jones and Ken, with Ken wearing this watch. I also have the testimony of Mr. Jones describing how Mr. Kaiko gave him this watch, and the close friendship they enjoyed.
There is actually a Takeshi/Ken Kaiko museum in Japan. He was considered a very important author, and although I have yet to read his works, I look forward to doing so. I feel very lucky to be the caretaker of this watch, and someday I hope Bob Jr. and I may deliver it to Mr. Kaiko's museum.
I'm going to post this now, and hopefully I'll be able to upload some photos..
Best Regards,
Ross up in snowy Canada
You're very very sharp for a noob, you sound more like veteran. Good job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
No Sir, not a veteran, but I have spent the last few evenings searching and reading anything and everything to do with Seiko that I could find!
I haven't worn a wristwatch in decades, until now. I used to have a really nice 1960? Omega Seamaster automatic wristwatch (no date) that my father had bought brand new, and also a really nice old Zenith pocketwatch with an old 1910-1920's motorcycle + rider on the back, but they were both stolen a few years ago.
Now I'm in love with Seikos! Go figure...
 

·
Special Member
Joined
·
4,890 Posts
No Sir, not a veteran, but I have spent the last few evenings searching and reading anything and everything to do with Seiko that I could find!
I haven't worn a wristwatch in decades, until now. I used to have a really nice 1960? Omega Seamaster automatic wristwatch (no date) that my father had bought brand new, and also a really nice old Zenith pocketwatch with an old 1910-1920's motorcycle + rider on the back, but they were both stolen a few years ago.
Now I'm in love with Seikos! Go figure...
Well, I have only one thing say; prepare your wallet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Hi Ross,
Thanks for sharing these great stories about these interesting men, all linked by a special Seiko watch! Seiko (7548) 's are really great watches that have a quartz movement based on a mechanical 6309 movement. Because forces within a quartz movement are much less than within an automatic, these early "hybrid" movements are very though.
Anyway, I already liked these watches a lot, but your topic has given an extra dimension and I thank you sincerely for that!
Best regards
Paul in wet and windy Holland
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top