1975 SEIKO 6109-8009-P REVIEW
The following a review of a very special vintage Seiko that I received as a surprise present during our last New York City Watch Meet, from none other than our very own Mike, Oldhippie. The Watch is a really uncommon Seiko 6109-8009-P from 1975, and the following is my review of it:
This watch is a casual design that is equally at home dressed up and dressed down. From a styling pint of view, it is not particularly unique, but it does have a handful of touches that are not that common on other Seikos of the time, such as an extra thick case, long lugs and a wider than average case diameter (almost 40mm). This watch is of special interest not because of its styling, but because of it’s very uncommon movement, the Seiko 6109, which was only use in 3 different models, mainly in 1975.
The movement as mentioned above is Seiko's rare 6109. According to Aaron Costello in THIS THREAD, the 6109 was largely an Orphan caliber. This means that it is one of a small handful of calibers that Seiko has introduced over the years targeting specific market segment, only to change its mind shortly thereafter and dropping them. The 6109A caliber is a day/date, 21,600 BPH, 17 jewel automatic movement, with no hand winding or hacking. According to Aaron, the 6109 seem have been Suwa's equivalent of a 7006 (which was a widely used caliber from Daini division of the same time), and it is a bit like a slightly decontented 6119 (eg. fewer jewels). They are a little nicer than 7000 series calibers, but not much - definitely an intro level caliber. Aaron’s 1981 Casing Guide shows three other models (the 6109-800*, 6109-801*, and 6109-802*) as having used this caliber. Production seems to have taken place in Singapore; they mostly seem to be from '75; and most seem to have single language day wheels (mine has an English only day wheel – oddly there is a listing for a second language but that one is English as well).
Here is a caliber technical guide for the 6109:
This is one of the nicest parts of this watch. The dial is a gorgeous iridescent starburst pattern that starts lighter green in the center and darkens to a deep emerald green as it approaches the periphery. The color also shifts shades depending on which angle the light hits it. It’s one of those things that you can stare at for a while watching the light dance. The hours mar marked by rectangular metal markers and the day/date window is metal framed. There is minimal dial text, which makes the dial nice and clean, thus maximizing the effect of the color and finish.
The case is a solid, one piece stainless steel design with a six-notched screw-type caseback. The caseback has no special artwork engraved on it and follows the standard Seiko practice of including the movement-case number, the serial number, water resistance marking and metal composition (Stainless Steel).
The case design is very interesting in that it is surprisingly thick for a watch of this type and from this period. This is especially noticeable when viewing the case from the side. The thickness and layout is not entirely unlike what you see on a modern shogun when viewed from the side (though not as thick). The top of the case is flat but slightly angled downward. Interestingly the case extends beyond the bezel in the area between the lugs, creating squared lugs, as opposed to curved ones (for which one would imagine endcaps are probably a little more expensive to produce), giving the case a nice extra little bit of visual mass. The crystal is a flat beveled acrylic crystal, and the bezel appears to be an integral part of the case and not a separate piece.
I have seen pictures of this watch on a folded bracelet. Mine did not include one and is currently mounted on a butterscotch colored padded leather strap with a lizard skin motif. I might still change it. To a plain textured strap, but I like the color and will probably seek to replace it for something in a similar color.
CLOSING OPINIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Overall I really love this watch. It is one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone has ever given me. To the average viewer this might seem like a a common piece not worth a second look, but the eagle eyed collector will see that there is a ton of unique history locked away in the piece which makes it very special. Thanks so much mike for thinking of me and giving me this wonderful present. Rest assured it is being thoroughly enjoyed.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the review. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Here are a few parting pic of my watch and one of a blue counterpart belonging to JohnW on SCWF: