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Hi, all - I have a question for the 6138 experts. I think I'd like to add a black-dialed bullhead to my 6138 collection, and I'm wondering if there are any tell-tale signs that the black dials are replacements - little things like the lack of a beveled window on aftermarket 6309 dials.


I've read Gabe's terrific Bullhead buyers guide, and it points out that no black dials should ever have the Speedtimer designations, but that's about all I could glean.


Most of the Philippine sellers are pretty honest about which watches have replacement dials, but some make claims to originality when the condition seems to good to be true.


Hints, please?
 

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Wow, just posted a huge long piece about this and then the power went out!!


Oh Well, lets try again.


There are now some really good aftermarket dials available for the black bullhead (not that I am advocating you get one), as well as some not so good ones. Below is a picture of a very good aftermarket dial with an original below it:


Good Aftermark Dial:





Original Dial:





The most obvious differences to me are in the quality of the printing for the text, particularly evident in the 'O' of SEIKO (much more of an oval shape on the original) but also the general clarity of the printing is sub standard on non-original dials. Also, the dial code at the bottom of the dial, which reads "japan 6138" on the left of the 6 o'clock marker and "-0060T" on the right hand side is actually correct on this particular aftermarket dial, but the size of the printing is slightly larger than an original. One thing I use as a guide for this is that on an original dial the 32 minute marker is always directly below the 3 in 6138 on the left hand side. Many other aftermarket dials I have seen actually have the wrong dial code printed on them, most commonly with "-0010T" on the right side.


One other thing that doesn't always hold true is that where there is an aftermarket dial, there are normally repainted or aftermarket hands. This is quite evident on the first picture above where the centers of the sub register and center seconds hands are clearly painted over unlike on the original.


I am not the expert on this, but have been trying to familiarize myself on these differences lately as I am in the market for an original black dial myself. If anything I have said is inaccurate however, I wont be offended if you correct me :)
 

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A couple of other issues worth noting:
[list type=decimal]
The hash marks in the subregister form a square shaped pattern against the background (see pictures posted by technoman). for some strange reson on many aftermarket dials (though not all) the pattern is printed round.
The blue color of the subregisters and the day/date window is supposed to be a darker steely blue shade. It is never supposed to be bright blue. a lot of aftermarket dials get this wrong.
[/list]
 

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Isthmus said:
A couple of other issues worth noting:

  • The hash marks in the subregister form a square shaped pattern against the background (see pictures posted by technoman). for some strange reson on many aftermarket dials (though not all) the pattern is printed round.
    The blue color of the subregisters and the day/date window is supposed to be a darker steely blue shade. It is never supposed to be bright blue. a lot of aftermarket dials get this wrong.

Good points. It's interesting how good that aftermarket one I posted a picture of is. If they got the printing sharper and more true to original it would be really tough to tell them apart!
 
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