This is an Updated review of the variations found in the 6139-600X + 6139-603X series of watches. Hopefully this will answer some questions you may have about the different variations available. I originally wrote this review back in 2009. Since then a lot more information has come to light from my own observations as a collector, and an avid 6139 restorer along with extensive sharing of others. Please keep in mind that a lot of the information we can gather regarding dates of changes are not always cut + dry and can vary a bit. Just when we think we have it down pat something new comes to light. The majority of the photo's used in this review are all from my own collection. A couple may be from watches I've restored for others and one or two of the rarest models are borrowed from other collectors because I have yet to obtain these models. Borrowed photos will be dully noted and credit given to the owners when known.
Lets start off with the various model numbers. 6139-600X models have basically six different possibilities. 6139-6009 were the first USA models followed by 6139-6005 series. 6139-6000, 6001, 6002, and 6007 are non-USA models. They are all basically the same watch with a blue + red non rotating outer tachometer bezel and a yellow or black rotating inner bezel with 0 to 60 minute time increments. Any inner bezel other then the two mentioned have been faded by UV rays or are aftermarket reproductions. Black bezels fade to gray and sometimes to white and yellow bezels fade to white. The only aftermarket inner bezel I'm aware of at the time of this review is white.
Next up is the case. There are two style of cases. The first is the early case with a notch cut out above the crown. This case was used in the first year of production which was 1969 through early 1970 on the "Proof" models and on the early "Resist" models. Sometime in mid 1970, I believe around July, this notch was eliminated and through the end of production in 1979 the cases are all the same without the cutout above the crown. The latest example of a 6139-600X that I've seen is March of 79.
1970 Notched Case Proof Dial
1970 Notched Case Resist Dial
1971 Non-Notched case Resist Dial
Dials + Case backs The sunburst dials come in three different colors. Yellow, blue, and silver. Out of the three different colors their are four different variations of each color with the exception of the silver dials which have three different variations. The variations include: Sports 5 Proof, Proof, Resist, and Plain dials. The early JDM (Japan Domestic Models) Read "Sports 5 Proof" centered on the left side of the dial at the 9 0'clock position. .The early dial used in the non USA models during the first year of production read "Water70mProof" centered on the left side of the dial at the 9 o'clock position. These watches also read water "Proof" on the case back. From what I can tell the "Proof" watches were in production until sometime in mid 1970 at which time the script changed to "Water70mResist". The early USA models, 6009 + 6005, in production from 69' to early 72' read "Water70mResist" along with "Resist' on the notched case model case back and "Resistant" on the Non-notched case model case back. The last dial had no script at all in the 9 o'clock position of the dial but water resistant remained on the case back. I'm not sure of the exact date this dial went into production but I believe it was in mid 1972. Under the Seiko logo on the dial you will also notice two different scrips. On the 6139-6000's and 6002's it reads "Chronograph Automatic" and on the 6005's, 6009's, it reads "Automatic".
From left to right: Proof dial notched case...Resist dial non-notched case....and Plain dial non-notched case.
Blue Proof Dial from Feb 70'
Yellow Resist Dial from 71'
Plain Silver Dial from 73'
There are also some early JDM, (Japan domestic model) Sports 5 Proof Speedtimer dials. These came in two colors, Yellow and Blue. They also came with notched cases. These are the earliest and hardest to find of the 6139-600X "Proofs". The yellow dial is the rarest of the two. One thing to note is the hands on some of these early models are matt silver metallic instead of chrome like the later models.
This photo is borrowed from TY's collection. This example has the chrome hands.
This blue dial version has the matt silver hands.
Another of the rarest of 6139-600X series is a JDM light blue Sports 5 Speedtimer. It also has a forth style of bracelet I forgot to mention which only came on JDM's
This is also a borrowed photo as I have yet to add one to my collection.
One other thing to note on Dials. If you look at the dial codes on the lower right hand side of the dial you will note more then one code. There is a 6030T dial code and a 6009R dial code. There are minuet differences between these dials such as variation of color and also on the number font of the sub dial. You'll notice, if you look closely, the number one on the sub dial is different between dials. The T dial has a regular number I and the R dials have a number 1 with a serif.
"T" Dial with regular number I
"R" Dial with serif number 1
There are four different styles of case backs.
The first style is the "Horseshoe" Proof case back used from 69' to approximately mid 70' on the Proof dial models.
The next style is the "Horseshoe" Resist case back used up until July of 70' This is used on the notched case Resist dial models.
Third is the "Horseshoe" Resistant case back. This was used on the non-notched case Resist dial models and the plain dial models from mid 71' up until the end of production in 79'
The forth style does not have the Horseshoe style inscription and I refer it to as a plain style case back. It was introduced sometime in late 75' and is also used up until the end of production in 79'
The 6139-600x series of watches had three different styles of bracelets. The straight H link, the tapered H link, or the Stelux president style. From what I can gather the straight H link was used from 1969 up until about 1974 at which time they redesigned it to taper out where it meets the lugs of the watch case. The tapered H link bracelet was used from 1974 until the end of production. I don't have any dates concerning the stelux president style bracelet. Any of you serious collectors will know there are three styles of "H" link bracelet end links. There is a flat style and 2 rolled styles. From what I can gather the flat style is the later style and the rolled style is an earlier style. I have all three but don't have any photos available. I will try to add some photos at a later time.
Tapered "H" link on the left and Straight "H" link on the right.
Stelux President style
Hands + Movements
There are basically four movements available on 6139's. The "A" movement was used in the early Proof + Resist models from 69' thru late 70'. Late 70' and up used the "B" movements. There are 17J and 21J versions of each movement. The 21J versions are used on the Speedtimers. There are two styles of second hands: The early Proof + Resist two piece second hand used up until mid 70' and the later one piece second had used on the mid 70' and up models.
Early two piece second hand. Notice the silver "cap + pinion hub" in the center of the hand.
Later one piece second hand. No center piece.
When it comes to minute and hour hands there are actually two different types. Some of the early Sports 5 Speedtimer Proofs had Flat Silver metallic hands. These seemed to have been phased out early on in favor of the chrome silver hands that were used through the end of production.
Notice the flat silver metallic hour + minute hands only used on these early models.
These are the normal Chrome Silver hour + minute hands:
After reading all this I'm sure you'll agree there are reasons why we're called Watch Idiot Savants (WIS). I'm sure the focus is on us being Idiot's who focus on small details that could be construed as meaningless........:)
Which is my Favorite? The one I longed after as a young whipper snapper kid back in 76' until I was able to purchase one brand new with my own hard earned green backs...........
Links with additional information submitted by other members of this forum and the SCWF
Water proof verses water resistant: Difference Between "Water Proof" & "Water Resist"...
Seiko 6139 catalog: Seiko 6139 Chrographs Catalog Scans...
Buyer's guide: http://www.larrybiggs.net/scwf/index...&id=1140376570