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Seiko Silver Wave - A dive watch?

  1. Dan S Dec 6, 2022

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    In the early 1960s, Seiko started to produce waterproof models, eventually leading to what most people consider their first true dive watch (62MAS) in 1965. The Silver Wave, with a modest 50m depth rating, was a notable step in this direction, and I've always thought they were appealing. Due to the rotating internal countdown ring, some collectors even claim that this is Seiko's first dive watch (hence the provocative thread title), but TBH that seems a bit hyperbolic to me.

    This new arrival is my first Silver Wave (ref J12082), a relatively early example with a sunburst dial and black rotating chapter ring. The 37mm case suits me perfectly and I find the no-date dial very attractive. I think it will be getting some real wrist-time in the near future.

    Any other Silver Waves in OF-land?

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    Edited Dec 6, 2022
  2. Barking mad Prolific Speedmaster Hoarder Dec 6, 2022

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    I am a fan. They were also the first Seiko to feature the Tsunami case back.
    Sorry about the quality of the pics.
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  3. Dan S Dec 6, 2022

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    noelekal likes this.
  4. Dan S Dec 7, 2022

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    Makes a nice pairing with my early 60s Alpinist. Mountains and ocean. :)

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  5. krogerfoot Dec 7, 2022

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    Groovy, but the dial design might trigger mild hypnosis.
     
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  6. timoss Dec 7, 2022

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    Nice catch. I’ve always liked the silverwave as well. However, I have found that I only really like silver and gold sunburst dials in pictures. They just don’t do it for me in that metal for some reason.
     
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  7. sxl2004 Dec 7, 2022

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    Mine says hello

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  8. Tony C. Ωf Jury member Dec 7, 2022

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    '64 catalogue; middle-bottom

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  9. Dan S Dec 7, 2022

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    I need to learn more about the variations and the progression. On some examples, the logo is Seikomatic and there is no depth rating. Other examples say Seiko Sportmatic and there is a depth rating at the bottom.
     
  10. akshayluc420 Dec 7, 2022

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    A (very pretty) precursor to dive watches sure, but far from a diver or even dress-diver. How does the internal ring turn, I only see the one crown? Is it a screw-in crown?

    If they made it truly watertight down to 50m, then this is the watch I'd want to wear after getting thrown into a swimming pool in a suit (don't ask, all-boys boarding school alumni shenanigans)!
     
  11. Dan S Dec 7, 2022

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    Like many vintage Seikos from this era, the internal ring rotates when you turn the crown in the innermost position. Pull out the crown to set. The crown does not screw down and the watch does not wind manually. The internal ring on the world-timer works the same way.

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  12. akshayluc420 Dec 7, 2022

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    Thanks, Dan! Good 'ol worm gears. Given no manual winding, I suspect that re-starting the watch after sitting in the box for a couple of days would make for creative ways of (not) kick-starting the movement :p.

    Your GMT-Worldtimer is stately and handsome; and quite nice to see the other cities.
     
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  13. Dan S Dec 7, 2022

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    Yes, it's a little inconvenient that one can't quickly hand-wind the movement to get it charged. Instead, I usually spend a minute waving the watch around. Throughout the 60s and into the 70s, this was a common feature of various Seiko automatic movements, including those used in the popular 6105-based divers, so I'm pretty accustomed to it.
     
  14. janice&fred Dec 7, 2022

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    Oh now you're just showing off! :thumbsup:
     
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  15. Jim W Dec 9, 2022

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    One of my favourite vintage Seiko’s is the Silverwave range that ran from 1961 to 1965 predating the 62mas. Not so much a dive watch, more of a snorkeling watch perhaps. There were 6 versions:

    Seikomatic Silverwave 50m, Sunburst dial, Silver rotating bezel
    Seikomatic Silverwave 50m, Sunburst dial, Black rotating bezel
    Seikomatic Silverwave 50m, Silver dial, Silver rotating bezel
    Seikomatic Silverwave 50m, Silver dial, Black rotating bezel
    Sportsmatic Silverwave 30m, Silver dial, Black rotating bezel
    Sportsmatic Silverwave 30m, Black dial, Black rotating bezel

    All Silverwaves have the Tsunami caseback, they were the first Seiko with this feature. There were minor variations of dials and rotating bezels, but not enough to be considered another variant.

    The first Silverwave I bought appeared on ebay about 5 years ago. It was a Sportsmatic 30m from 1964. It was in lovely condition and running perfectly. I can’t remember how much I paid but I think it was about £300. I then bought a Seikomatic 50m with Sunburst dial from another collector. The Sunburst dial Silverwave must surely be one of the most difficult watches to read the time ever produced, particularly under water I imagine.

    Silverwaves are not rare, they turn up regularly on ebay and the Japanese auction sites, but they are not easy to find in good condition. The dials in particular suffer badly from water ingress. In terms of relative rarity… The Sportsmatic 30m Silver dial is probably the most commonly found, followed by the Seikomatic 50m. The most difficult Silverwave to find is surely the Black dial Sportsmatic 30m. I have seen only one of these turn up on ebay in the past 4 or 5 years, just one, and I bought it.

    Through a few years of looking and much patience I have finally managed to accumulate all 6 variants in good condition. As more collectors are discovering Silverwaves, prices are going up. I paid nearly £1,000 for an almost perfect Seikomatic 50m.

    I have only given a very brief account here. Other people more knowledgeable than me have written excellent reviews of the Silverwave and I recommend their efforts to everyone interested in these first divewatches from Seiko:

    https://wornandwound.com/affordable-vintage-seiko-silverwave-ref-6601-7990/

    https://www.fratellowatches.com/seiko-silverwave-697990-explained/

    The Silverwave name continued into the 1970’s but these are dress watches of very little interest to us.

    Here is my Silverwave collection: (sorry some of the pics are not brilliant)

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