Seiko 6139-600x–part ii – elusive silver PROOF/PROOF

Following on from the previous tale of the 6139 as produced by Seiko in 1969, here’s a rare and interesting piece, or rather a brace of them. According to the Collectors Guide on The Spring Bar, one of the rarest variants in the –600x series is the early silver-dial version, which says “WATER 70m PROOF” on the dial. In fact, the guide reckons:

The silver dialed variation is by far the rarest dial and is even more seldomly seen with a “proof” variation. There are only a few instances of photographed silver “proof” dials.

Well, having already found one via another collector, I happened across this in an auction:

6139

So it pays to know what you’re looking for, or at least what you’re looking at. As it happens, the watch arrived and not in great shape – the chronograph was bust, the bracelet was actually broken too, and not a great match for the watch either. The crystal was pretty scratched up too.

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Still, here it is, on the right, next to the other one. The LH watch is in all-round better shape despite being from July 1969, and the RH one from October 69. Both suffered a bit from having darkened lume plots.

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Most vintage enthusiasts would advise against doing anything irreversible to an old watch, but Seiko collectors seem to be more forgiving when doing something that will improve the watch – so I had both re-lumed  as well as serviced.
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(Oct 69 is on the left…)

Both of these are wearing Uncle Seiko bracelets and, again, you can spot the early nature by the PROOF dial, the chrono hand is a 2-part affair when compared to later 6139s, and the front of the case has a notch above the crown.