Affordable Vintage: Seiko 6138-0030 “Kakume”
Of all the unbelievable chronographs created by Seiko in the 1970’s, as I would like to think there is one that stands head and shoulders over the rest: The 6138-0030 otherwise known as “Kakume”. During this time there were two primary chronograph types utilized, the single register 6139 and the double register 6138. The savagely mainstream 6139-600X (otherwise known as “Pogue”) chronographs get the lions portion of consideration because of their status as seemingly the primary programmed chronograph in space, having been worn by William Pogue during space flight. By comparison the 6138 arrangement is undervalued, yet it certainly stands tall in its own right.
The 21 gem 6138A delivered in 1970 was the primary completely incorporated programmed chronograph with a segment haggle grasp coupling instrument. Some time later, they changed to the 23 gem 6138B. They are both programmed (rotor twists in the two ways like most Seiko types) and hand windable, which is uncommon in vintage Seikos, and the day and date include a genuine quickset component. Add to this the way that Seiko is a valid in-house make, directly down to the greasing up oils, and the Seiko 6138 is one that can stand its ground against any brand.
“Kakume” evidently implies “square eyes”; one gander at the dial and you can see where this moniker comes from. The 0030 came in two shading plans, a blue dial with square silver subdials and blue tachymeter bezel, and champagne dial with square dark subdials and dark tachymeter bezel. There are two further variations of every one of the shading plans. One is badged “5 Sports, Speed-Timer” on the 9 o’clock side of the dial and has steel dauphine-esque hands. The subsequent variety is badged “Chronograph Automatic” at 9 o’clock and has lume filled dark cudgel hands that have a cool bolt molded lume tip at the ends.
These combinations of dial and hands are the most commonly seen, anyway I have seen either set of hands on the two dials. Not certain on the off chance that they left the processing plant that way, or in the event that they were traded for sure. Like most Seiko models, there are only sometimes any principles for which there is no exemption! The models evaluated and envisioned here today are the Speed-Timer assortment, which is my top choice of the two. The dials are a sandwich style, which means the inset subdials and day/date window are made of a different sheet of metal connected under the dial instead of essentially stepped into the primary dial. The blue dial has a splendid spiral brushed glossy silk finish, while the subdials have a vertical brushed completion, and the hands have a decent white (not lume) stripe.
The champagne dial has an outspread brushed silk get done with an orange external track and dark subdials and dark line stripe on the hands. I’ve seen some proof that there is a variation of the champagne dial where the external moment track is yellow instead of orange, however not certain if this has been affirmed as unmistakable. There is a day/date window at 3 o’clock, with the day having both Kanji and English.
The case is a major ol’ piece of strong tempered steel, estimating 43mm wide, 44mm long and a powerful 14mm thick with smallish 18m drags. The level top has a roundabout brushed get done with sharp edges joining cleaned sides. These cases are a splendid mix of brushed and cleaned completions and pads and bends, common of the complicated case plans that Seiko is renowned for. While these make for a lovely look, they are unquestionably vulnerable to cleaning and even a light clean will demolish the sensitive lines. A cleaned 0030 case truly sticks out in contrast to everything else on the off chance that you ask me.
With the thin hooded style carries, this watch undoubtedly looks best with its OEM arm band. I’ve seen two arm band varieties, the calculated clam like sort that are envisioned on my models here, and furthermore a fishbone style. I’m not certain why some accompanied one sort or the other, maybe it relied upon the dial badging and additionally the market they were conveyed to. The endpieces are explicitly intended to fit the uncommon drags, and they do as such with an ideal flush fit. The arm bands that I have are stepped with the “5 Sports Speed-Timer” logo on the deployant clasp, which is a pleasant touch.
The clasps likewise include a spring-stacked expansion that makes them a simple fit on pretty much any wrist. Tragically, in the same way as other vintage arm band plans, these are collapsed steel interfaces and are not of the stoutest nature. Therefore, not all instances of the 0030 have made due with their wristband flawless. I’ve seen a large number of these on various kinds of secondary selling lashes and wristbands, and some may look alright, however this is a watch that shouts out for its expected arm band. These arm bands are almost difficult to track down without help from anyone else, so if you’re searching for this watch, be certain it comes with one.
The precious stone on this model is made of the exclusive Seiko solidified mineral glass Hardlex. Like a large portion of the Hardlex precious stones, it has a level top with a pleasant sharp edge that is a chip magnet. NOS gems can be found however, so don’t pass on a pleasant illustration of the 0030 in view of a scratched or chipped precious stone. The gem sits on a “L” molded gasket situated for the situation, and is hung on with a snap-on holding ring with the snap-on bezel up and over. The excellence of this plan is that the gem gasket can be supplanted (NOS ones can be found and there are quality repros out there), just as caseback, crown stem and pusher gaskets, making it a genuinely direct task to protect a strong water obstruction. All things considered, you wouldn’t find me swimming with mine in spite of have changed out all the gaskets. It simply gives some genuine feelings of serenity when destroying them and about.
The Seiko 6138-0030 is the exemplification of a vintage Seiko. Astounding 1970’s style yet ageless simultaneously, quality made and wonderfully planned and nitty gritty dial, hands and bezel, entirely incorporated arm band, effectively workable and replaceable gem and gaskets. Couple this with the actually inventive and hearty in-house fabricate development and you get a basically shocking and unimaginable watch that will stand the trial of time. Presently, if this were a Swiss brand, you would hope to pay in the $2500+ territory. Nonetheless, since it’s “only” a Seiko, these can be had at an absurdly minimal effort, going a few hundred dollars for a cleaned model sans arm band, to perhaps $1000 for a primo model. For all that you get with this watch, that’s a straight up steal.