Thursday, May 9, 2013

Something beyond my reach: Seiko 5718 Chronograph

The Myth of Seiko 5718-8000 Chronograph

One day a watchmaker sent me a photo of a Seiko chronograph and asked me whether I have seen it before. He described it as a large date display; it got me all fired up. On second look, wait a sec, I don't think any date would come with a number 77 right? Flicking through my Japanese watch reference books, I finally saw it...... is the legendary, super rare 5718-8000. Some might describe it as a holy grail of Seiko Chronograph. 
All the photos and materials here are not mine. I have since browsed many websites and blogs; this is just a summary of the knowledge on this watch that I acquired. I am sorry that I cannot give due credit to the original publishers as I lost track with the records. 

Here are Japanese watch magazine article scans of this model: 

From the magazine this watch was produced in June 1965. However a photo taken from Seiko's Museum clearly stated that the watch was produced in 1964, in conjunction with the Tokyo Summer Olympic 1964. Yes it is indeed a museum piece! 

What set apart the 5718 and its siblings 5717 and 5719 is that this model has a subdial with 2 hands (like the later Seiko 7016 calibre) and a window for a counter (00-99). It has 2 chronograph pushers instead of the single pusher of the other two in this family. The lighter hand on the subdial at 6 o'clock is the second hand of the watch, whereas the black bold hand served as the register hand for the chronograph function. 

There are another two push buttons on the left of the watch. These are to adjust the counter. The first button increments the "1's" position and the second button will increment the "10's" position. Upon "99" a press on the first button will set the counter back to "00". Below is a video on the functionality of Seiko 5718, I found on youtube. 

This watch is made of stainless steel with a case diameter of 38mm and a thickness of 12.80mm. 

This watch has a snap on case back and is waterproofing to 30 meters. The case back has a clear olympic torch logo.

Below is a photo clearly showing the 5718A movement which has 21 Jewels and a beat rate of 18,000 bph.  In the Seiko Movement Table, this mechanism is known as the "Count Graph". 

Here is a photo of a 5718 in black grey dial. 

This watch has an asking price of staggering USD 6,500-9,500 for a used second hand. Too much for me to pay. This is probably one of the rarest Seiko watch around.

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