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Discussion Starter #1
When it came out.

Let’s say you were a US service member on a trip in Japan a little over 40 years ago.

When 1978 models were still on shelves and 1979 ones showing up.

In those display cases before your eyes were watches and tags with list prices of:
(From say May of 1978 to May of 1979 a US$ was worth about 200 yen)
6139s for 19,000 yen, $95 then, $375 now
6138s for 20,000 to 24,000, $100 to 120$ then, $395 to $475 now
A 6306 for 25,000, $125 then, 495$ now
But a 7548 would set you back 35,000, $175 then, $690 now
Jumping up to a 7549 300M would set you back 60,000, $300 then, $1185 now

You had two options for 600M,
The grandfather of tuna, a 6159 For 89,000 yen, $445 then, $1760 now
(A SS Rolex date Submariner then was about $900, and a Seadweller $950, around $3600 in today $)
But for a golden tuna 7549, it was 120,000, $600 then, $2370 now.

Quartz was serious business then. But, a Betamax player and 8-Track player used to be very expensive.

The oldest I have had is from May 1978. I am not sure how much earlier they made them.







I never scored a real early 300M 7549, but do have one from 1982.

Now, I honestly can’t say what the street prices were, and how much off MRSP you could get. And there will be some intrinsic errors in historical exchange rates and inflation calculators. Or the “feel” of the time. In 1970, your dollar was worth 350yen. In 1985 240, less than a 100 in 1995.

All I know for sure is you could walk into a PX in 1986 and get a 6309 for $130, or in 1991 a 7002 for $150.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice, but I'm a turtle man.
I get that. The 6309 was the first serious, water resistant, day/date dual complication, dive bezel, automatic mechanical tool watch I was introduced to, at a key time of coming into adulthood and entering a combat arms/special operations profession where most people failed on the way, and the watch was associated with and used by peers, etc. It will always be THE Seiko diver to me. Other people may have similar associations with other watches.

The 7549s are more a neat historical piece for the collection, and the 600m version held a significant price point on introduction.
About 20 years later, say in 1990,
the MSRP on the 7C46 version had only gone up to 133,000.
Oddly enough the “ashtray” 600m was only 76,000.
The 7C43 200m was 33,500.

A dollar was worth about 130 yen at this time.



The M726 came out at 80,000, 120,000y if you wanted the fancy finish. Another watch I picked up very inexpensive about 15 years ago and too diving just as a historical interest.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I kind of meant crown jewel in a combination of accuracy, ruggedness, capability, price overall.

The 600m divers and 6306 each had their own page as well.

I can’t argue that your watch was not on the first page or more expensive.

But how many people actually went out and paid twice as much for one of those as a Rolex Explorer or datejust, etc. in 1978?
 

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But how many people actually went out and paid twice as much for one of those as a Rolex Explorer or datejust, etc. in 1978?
In Japan quite a few. You do see them come up for sale there. But im pretty sure it was a JDM model only. And Rolex in Japan isnt or wasnt a big thing. The Golden Tuna's were also sold internationally.
 

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Very interesting, thanks for the write up! I have been into the quartz divers lately and curious about pricing when they came out.



Sent from my SM-G975U1 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I had replied to a different thread by accident,

The quartz, led, lcd shift did in many a long standing, classic watch company during this period.

By this time, the end of the 1970s, Rolex had previously been able to establish itself as a rugged, adventurous, durable, high quality item, to be highly sought after, and was about a decade into converting that reputation into a highly desired and sought after luxury brand. It was a masterful business campaign, frankly brilliant to do so during those events in the market and world.

A Seiko catalog from the era will have about 100 pages of watches, 99% of which are forgotten, not sought after, junk, etc.

A Rolex catalog from that era will have about 40 watches, with even the bottom, entry level bland and ladies offerings having some desirability and collectibility. And several offerings virtually indistinguishable from their predecessors and modern offerings, that are highly sought after and still popular.

Seiko had proven it could make a watch on par with a Rolex at a better price point in the 1960s, but a decade later in their catalog you can virtually count on one hand the mechanical offerings. Rolex stuck with a Ruth Chris model, and made it even more exclusive and expensive and gained business.
Seiko had a McDonalds model, and even if they made a fantastic McSteak and Lobster with a side of Mcsmothered baked potato, followed by Mcbanana foster, didn’t and don’t quite seem to get the high end watch market density of customers don’t feel like going to McDonald’s. And even more certainly don’t feel like going there for even more expensive tofu steaks, plant protein seafood sticks, and non dairy desserts. And when you come up with the worlds greatest cheeseburger for the price, keep making it. Don’t change it all the time, make it cheaper and not as good, or in 87 different versions.
 
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