The 7006-8030: Last of the 70m Sports Divers
The Daini-made 7006-8030 was introduced in 1972, and was the last of Seiko’s 70 meter sports divers. With a case shape is reminiscent of a vintage Certina diver,
it was offered in four different dial colors:
The most seen is the yellow, followed by the black. The silver dialed one does not often come up as often. The rarest of the four is the blue one. Price depends VERY HEAVILY on condition. A perfectly restored or NOS example on its original bracelet can easily command the mid $700s. However finding one is easier said than done. MOST of the ones on Ebay and Catawiki lately are Chinese fakes. Moreover, the real ones often can be the victim of sellers who have tried to replace the original faded and scratched bezel with a filed down Dagaz insert meant for a lager bezel ring. Also because of their size (they are bigger than many sport divers), many owners may have used them as real dive watches. As a result, many 7006-8030s show wear an pitting in the case back seat and other signs of water damage. The condition of the lume on the hands and dial is a good indication of what you can expect to find inside the case.
The 7006-8030 had a very distinctive black and red bezel,
mounted inside an angled bezel ring.
Original replacement bezels are the hard (and expensive) to source. Aftermarket bezel inserts of the correct design are available online, but they are designed for modding larger watches and will not fit the distinctive bezel ring of the 7006-8030. Many examples exist of these inserts being filed down to fit into the smaller bezel ring, the tops of the numbers missing as a result.
The 7006-8030 takes the Z015S bracelet.
I have read that this bracelet was specific to just this one model, so finding one is an effort. Once you have found endlinks that fit however, any generic oyster style bracelet will complete the look of your 7006-8030. Or, if you are not that obsessive, a vintage style rubber strap will look just as good.
Fakes are a real problem with the 7006-8030. As I stated before, MOST of the ones on Ebay and Catawiki lately are Chinese fakes, and typically sell for more than $300.
If you are thinking that a nice replica will scratch that itch, think again. I have fallen prey to this con, and they are JUNK.
Going forward, I can easily imagine a situation where the fakes will outnumber the genuine specimens. Many people who have been swindled will defend their fake watch as genuine and so honestly reintroduce it into the market as such. As Mark Twain wrote, “How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”
Educate yourself before you buy. Learn the tell tale signs (lume pip, day/date window, hands dial, caseback engraving). The differences are small, but important. If it looks new, remember, you are probably not lucky enough for it to be real. Stay away from the copies.
I recently bought my own 7006-8030 for a good price.
My luck was compounded when I also found the NOS bezel pictured above.
I'll post some pics when I get it all put together.