The Poor Man's 62MASThe Poor Man's 62MAS gets its nickname from the resemblance of its dial and hands to Seiko’s first true dive watch, the 150 meter ISO-rated 62MAS.
Where the Poor Man's 62MAS differs most from its namesake is the fact that it only has 70m water resistance (meaning that it's not really a dive watch). Furthermore, the squarish case is more in the style of a dress watch than a dive watch.
And while the bezel on Seiko's true dive watches had a flat finishes and were marked in one-minute increments while the rest of the scale was marked in five-minute increment dots to precisely keep track of every minute spent underwater; the Poor Man's bezel has a refined glossy finish, is only scantly marked at just the five-minute intervals, and is sloped at a slight angle.
For these reasons I like to think of the Poor Man's 62MAS as a Seiko’s first “dress diver”.
The case of the Poor Man's 62MAS is sometimes compared to the Sandoz Depth Master (aka Sandoz Baby Panerai).
Other sources refer to the Poor Man's 62MAS as having a "Monaco" style case, and it does have almost the exact same dimensions as the Seiko 7005-7130 dress watch.
Since the lug dimensions are the same, it is possible to borrow endpieces and bracelets from the dressier 7005-7130 that can enrich the look of your Poor Man in ways that Seiko never foresaw.
An original H-link bracelet can be identified by its unusually wide 12mm center links, which appear to rise to a peak.
Width: 38mm (39 with crown)
Lug to Lug: 44mm
Lug Width: 18mm
Bezel Insert: 30/37mm
While small by today’s standards, the Poor Man's 62MAS is actually about the same width than the real 62MAS.
The Poor Man's 62MAS was produced from 1969 until 1977 and came in four incarnations: the 7005-8050(2), the 7005-8140, and finally the
7005-8099 and 7025-8099.
The the 7005-8050 and 7005-8052 came out in 1969 and were produced until 1976. The case styles are identical. The only difference between them were their intended markets.
The final digit is the Regional Sales Code. Different regions got different sales codes. "0" is Japan or SE Asia, while the “2” code was used for Australia. "9" usually is for North America, but since to my knowledge no 7005-8059s exists, none probably were ever meant for the North American market.
The earliest specimens are marked “Water Proof” on their dials and casebacks.
The 7005-8050(2) was offered in three dial colors: Black, White, and Blue.
The 7005-8140 has to be one of the most unusual backstories of any Seiko I have researched. It was only produced in 1970 and was specifically designed and built to be issued to members of the Iranian officer corps. It has been documented that this watch was personally distributed by the Shah of Iran to his favored army officers.
The SEIKO lettering on the 8140 has been moved to the left side of the dial near the 9 o'clock position. In the center the dial is imprinted with the Iranian royal crest and Farsi script which reads "Arteshe Shahanshahiye Iran", meaning “Iran's Royal Army”. The caseback is engraved, "Amvale Dolati" which means ”State Property”.
In my opinion, the 7005-8140 is truly one of the most underappreciated and overlooked Seiko models ever produced.
7005-8099 and 7025-8099
The final incarnation of the Poor Man's 62MAS came in 1977 with the introduction of the 7005-8099 and the 7025-8099.
Gone is the clean simple bezel design of the previous years. The bezel now sports a pretentious silver triangle around the pip, and hash marks between the 12 and 3 o’clock positions.
These two variants are also bereft of the “70 Meters” lettering on the dial. The dials themselves were only available only in black.
The fact that the last digit of both case numbers ends in a "9" strongly hints that they were intended for sale in North America, unlike their predecessors, which were intended for sale in the eastern hemisphere.
The only true difference between these models is small improvements in the the movement, which was updated from 7005 to 7025. Nothing more really separates these two calibres however than a few screws and the push quickset.
The Poor Man's 62MAS seems to be more scarce than the 62MAS, but scarcity does not always correlate with price. While the original 62MAS sells for around $3000, the Poor Man's 62MAS is currently going for between $200 to $500 on eBay. There are examples that are offered for around $1000, but I have yet to see one actually sell for over $500.