“The Double Hurricane!”
“The Double Hurricane!”
In June of 1969, Seiko issued a sales promotion brochure for its retailers in Japan entitled "1969 Summer SEIKO Ready Sports". In my opinion it is THE BIBLE for any serious collector of Japanese Sports watches of the late 1960s thru the early 70s. The dials, hands, cases and even bracelet designs are unique to that specific era.
http://walletfriendlywatchforum.com/FileStore/SeikoCatalogs/1969 Seiko Sport Diver Catalog.pdf
Most of the watches were offered in multiple variants. The 5126-6030 was no exception, available as it was in black and orange.
DOUBLE ROTATING BEZELS
The 5126-6030 has two rotating bezels: an external one, and an internal checkered bezel which is moved by twisting the crown.
I previously believed that Seiko’s only double-bezel watch was the 6119-6050 “REGATTA WATCH”. On that watch the two bezels were intended function as a way to keep track of the two stages of a yacht race.
However, I have found no documentation that the 5126-6030’s two rotating bezels were intended to serve this same function. Why have two bezels then? One plausible explanation is that this two-bezel configuration (not an uncommon feature of sports watches in the late 1960s) was meant to function as a poor man's GMT.
If you wanted to keep track of a different time zone, you could move the internal bezel so that you could see the other time quickly. For example, if you live in New York and want to keep track of the time in California, you can set the internal bezel so that it shows 9 o'clock when the main time shows 12 o'clock.
A blogger in Japan by the name of toto-zizi has dubbed the 5126-6030’s two-bezel configuration the "Double Hurricane Bezel" .｢ダブルハリケーンベゼル」And so I now call the 5126-6030 The Double Hurricane!
The 5126-6030 Double Hurricane came with a comfortable and sturdy railroad-track style bracelet. It has three heavy-rounded links near the case, which gracefully taper to flatter links closer to the clasp. While this bracelet also came on the silver dialed 5126-8130, the way it lines up with the Double Hurricane 5126-6030’s case, and how it echos its curvature, strongly suggests that it was primarily designed to go with THIS watch.
THE 5126 MOVEMENT
From my perspective as a watch wearer, the 5126 movement is one of my favorites. It’s not exactly quickset, the date is set by pushing in the crown. To change the day you need to change the time from 9pm to 1am. But it doesn’t take as long as you’d think. Moreover the 5125 movement doesn't have the date alignment issues, nor the fragile plastic day and date fingers that that plague the 6106 and 6119 fifty years on.
I am no watchmaker, but of the finer aspects of the 5126 movement, The Watch Bloke writes:
"It’s an automatic winding, 23 jewel, 19,800bph movement with a day date complication. These weren’t produced for very long and consequently you don’t see them very often these days. The movement architecture is quite a departure from what Seiko was utilising in their other calibres, notably there’s no pawl and transmission wheel autowind components, and the keyless work looks quite different too. This calibre has more in common with the Swiss method of using reverser wheels to convert the rotors movement into winding the mainspring."
Watch diameter: 42 mm
Watchcase thickness: 11 mm
Lug width: 19 mm
Produced only in 1969
A RALLY DIVER?
Purists love to point out that what makes a REAL rally diver is the checkered bezel, period. If we accept this, than the 5126-6030 Double Hurricane is a rally diver on account of its checkered inner bezel.
But whatever you call it, the 5126-6030 Double Hurricane is a fun piece of late 60s style.
I love mine.