Vintage Seiko 6138-0011 UFO Yachtsman Japan Automatic Chronograph Circa 1973


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The 1970’s were a golden era for mechanical chronographs. From the iconic motor sports Chronographs produced by Heuer to the austere military Chronographs produced by Hamilton, Precista and CWC, the decade produced an incredible amount of unique vintage pieces.

Chronographs of this era are defined by their intricate dials with colorful accents, daring angular case shapes, and innovative mechanical movements. There is just something about the funky designs of the 1970’s that tick a lot of boxes for vintage collectors.

Yet some of the coolest vintage chronographs currently on the second-hand market came from Japan, most notably from Seiko. During the 1970’s Seiko released dozens of automatic chronograph models, most notably their 6138 (dual subregister) and 6139 (single subregister) line. Out of this group came several watches that have since become cult collector classics, with memorable nicknames like the “Pogue”, “Bullhead”, and “Kakume”.

Today I’m focusing on the 6138 series of vintage Seiko watches – the much-loved dual subregister Japanese chronograph that has accrued many fans and admirers worldwide

One of the earliest releases in the 6138 line has been lovingly coined the “UFO” by vintage Seiko fans – a tribute to it’s vaguely extraterrestrial case shape and tendency to “float” on the wrist with its hidden lugs. Also referred to by Seiko as the “Yachtsman”, this colorful chronograph is a favorite amongst collectors.

One of its primary defining features is the use of a large and small subdial, with several color schemes utilized for the accent colors on the hands and dials (red, orange and yellow).

The 6138-0011 is the Speedtimer version (Japan Domestic Market) while the 0011 and 0017 were produced for export. The differences between these two are strictly cosmetic; the 0011 has a red sweep hand, lighter orange checkerboarding on the sub dial, and no mention of water-resistance on the dial, whereas the 0017 has a yellow sweep, darker checkering and is marked 70m water-resistant.

The 21 jewel Seiko 6138A was first released in 1969, and was the first fully integrated two-register automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical clutch. An iteration of this movement was later released, called the 6138B, that had 23 jewels. Both of these movements are handwinding, automatic, and quickset day/date – an amazing technical achievement for the time, and one that beat many high-profile Swiss counterparts (including Breitling, Heuer, and Zenith) to the market.

Seiko was (and still is) one of the few distinguished watch companies in the world to produce their movements and parts in-house. From the proprietary alloys used to strengthen the mainsprings to the lubricating oils used to keep the parts moving freely, everything in this watch was produced by Seiko. 

Not many companies can do this, even today, putting Seiko on-par with Rolex for achievements in technical manufacturing. In fact, it is speculated that Rolex adapted the layout of the column/wheel and vertical clutch mechanism in this movement for the Daytona, a watch that was released 30 years later.


Extremely Nice Vintage Seiko 6138 UFO! If you read the article above then you know how rare and how well made this watch is. Exceptional vintage condition and comes on an incredible leather strap with matching stitching! This is the 6138 you want to have in your collection!


BRAND: Seiko

MODEL: 6138 Automatic Chronograph

MOVEMENT: Automatic- Japanese Cal 6138

CASE: Stainless Steel

CROWN: Non Screw Down 

SIZE: 44mm

LUGS: 18mm

DIAL: Black dial with contrasting chrono sub dials

BEZEL: Non rotating tachometer 

CONDITION: Vintage – Excellent

BOXES/PAPERS: Watch only


STRAP/BRACELET: – Custom Black leather strap with matching orange stitching and steel buckle.


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