Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Seiko 6217-8001

1Following my diving into the world of Vintage Seiko, it's about time, I try to hunt for the 6217. The 150m water proof 6217 "62MAS" is Seiko (and Japan´s) first true diver, and as such enjoys a lofty position of extreme horological significance. 

Being Seiko´s first diver, it is highly collectible and is often the cornerstone of any significant collection of vintage Seiko divers. Aside from being the first Seiko diver, it's production run of 4 years is quite short and production volume is small compared to subsequent models.

Some specs:
Movement/case: 6217-8001
Movement: 6217A (62MAS) 
Production Run: 1965-1968
Case size: 37mm (42mm with the crown)
Lug width: 19mm (same as 6105-800x and 6105-811x)
Thickness: 13.5mm
Functions: 150M water proof, bi- directional rotating bezel, date

My 6217 is from 1967. According to the internet information, one of the theories as to the scarcity nowadays of good examples of the 62mas is due to the inherent design of the 1st generation diver. Having a non-screwdown and non-locking crown became a disadvantage since it allowed moisture to enter the watch case especially if the gaskets have hardened. Moreover, some reports mentioned that the domed acrylic crystal was not as water tight as it was designed to be. Thus, most pieces that survived over the years had deteriorated dials and handset with presence of corrosion. Unless it is a New old stocks, many of the nice dials are most likely reconditioned and refurbished dial.

The watch was purchased from Japan and the previous owner has used it for diving as seen by the wear of the watch.

The dial has a metallic, coppery sheen and is more silvery gray then black after the past 45 years. The deep, chrome-lined rectangular lume wells are a unique characteristics of the watch. There is already lume decay in some areas showing that it is an original dial.

Characteristics of the 6217:
Text markings Japan 6217 8000T near the 6 o’clock marker.
Water150Proof, Diashock 17 Jewels
Nicely beveled date window
The diver´s bezel is bi-directional with no "clicks". 
The bezel insert is narrower than subsequent Seiko diver´s bezels.
Domed acrylic glass rounds off the vintage feel.

The 62MAS divers are powered by the 17J 6217A (movement: 62; prefix: 17A; model: 62MAS) date-only automatic movement, beating at a sedate 18000bph (5bps). The movement has a diameter of 28mm and a thickness of 5.3mm. This movement lacks hacking and handwinding capabilities, although the date is quickset, which is convenient for everyday use. It is the consensus on the SCWF forum that MAS stands for autoMAtic Selfdater. 

There are two back case for the 6217 and this is the much sort after dolphin back case.

The movement sheen of metal parts is quite different from that of the other diver models (6105, 6309, 7002). 

1968 saw the introduction of the second-model 150m divers, the 6105 series, which implemented a number of improvements to the 62MAS including a locking crown, more substantial case including integrated crown guard, improved screw-down caseback design and the replacement of the domed acrylic crystal with Seiko´s proprietary Hardlex crystal. Even with the fact that latter models had numerous improvements to the design of the first Seiko Diver’s watch, true collectors still aspire for the first “old” and the “original. For me, despite the aged condition, this is one of my favourite as it's from Japan...

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