Seikosha - Japanese... Zenith???
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Thread: Seikosha - Japanese... Zenith???

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  1. #1
    Member pmwas's Avatar
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    Seikosha - Japanese... Zenith???

    Hi all!!
    This time I've got a watch from Far East - a Japanese Seikosha Precision.

    I've read - briefly - some history notes on Seikosha, and found some information of Japanese owners journeying around the world to see how watches were made. That included both America and Europe, and since the early Seikosha caliber looks pretty much alike Waltham and Waltham was also present on Japanese market - I thought maybe I could proove Seikosha movement to be Waltham's distant relative…

    Thus, I bought a cheapish Seikosha watch on eBay and only two days ago - it arrived at my door.

    The initial contact was promising - the watch had a male stem mounted in a sleeve in the pendant and screw down back and bezel…

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    As I've disassembled the watch, it - in fact - stopped looking American...

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    Instead of a Waltham clone, I've found this:

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    Looks familiar? Well - yes, in fact - this is Zenith's keyless works.

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    It's not just similar, it's a direct copy - who knows, maybe made under license?
    Getting back to the watch - it's badly worn, very much, it has a bad lower bearing allowing way too much sideshake, and it has poorly engineered, cone shaped bearings, that make assembling much more difficult.

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    Notice the small screw just by the crown wheel - it's not the stem release screw - this locks the keyless works in the winding position when screwed in...

    If you look at the shape pf the pallet bridge…

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    Zenith - again...

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    The movement runs, but with too much sideshake, the balance will ocasionally hit something in dial-down position.

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    The movement in all it's glory. A cheaper 7 jewel version.

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    The case is chrome plated and the dial is painted metal.

    Now - I've not found any known association between Zenith and Seikosha, also, I've not counted the teeth to check the gear ratios. However - the resemblence of the movements is so big, I doubt this could be coincidence.
    It looks like Seikosha copied, or bought Zenith's design for their watches at a certain point of time.

    Anyway - an interesting piece of world's watchmaking history.
    Glad I decided to buy it, another lesson learned :)

    P.S.

    Here's my brother's Seiko dial repair - he'd dropped his cheap Seiko a few times and broke off the dial feet.
    I took off the dial, drilled it and riveted the original feet to it.
    I scratched the dial mildly around one foot doing so, but works.

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    A tiny drop of paint should mask the feet nicely, but I decided to let them be, to be able to look proudly at my repair ;)

    Have a nice day :) !!!
    bsshog40, Chascomm and laikrodukas like this.
    Have a great day!!!

  2. #2
    Sponsor thoth's Avatar
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    Re: Seikosha - Japanese... Zenith???

    Reminds me more of the Waltham Equity movements.

    Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk
    https://www.ThePassthrough.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Seikosha - Japanese... Zenith???

    Quote Originally Posted by thoth View Post
    Reminds me more of the Waltham Equity movements.

    Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk
    Yes, that's what I thought, too. The overall layout and finish looks like Equity. But that's it - otherwise more a Zenith than Waltham.
    Have a great day!!!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Seikosha - Japanese... Zenith???

    The most important watches in Meiji Japan were Swiss made. Seiko's first pocket watch followed the Swiss watch way of setting (push a pin down and then you can set the watch). I am sure Kintarō Hattori (Seiko founder) cultivated many contacts in the Swiss and American watch industry. He did buy equipment from the USA and Europe for improving production time

    Seiko's mainstay pocket watch was the Empire which was a good priced quality(up to 15j) movement.
    busmatt likes this.

  6. #5
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    Re: Seikosha - Japanese... Zenith???

    Hi there,

    not Waltham, but Moeris:

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    And the similarity is no accident - Moeris is known to have supplied firstly complete movements, later ebauches to Citizen and Seiko.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

  7. #6
    Member pmwas's Avatar
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    The similarity between Moeris and Seikosha had been mentioned some time ago, but - same case as in Waltham comparison, the keyless works and the pallet bridge are very different (detent stem in Moeris I think). Also, which I will try to proove, the overall finish of the dial side is similar to Zenith's as well. I think this particular model has to have something in common with Zenith - too much resemblence inside...
    Have a great day!!!

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