When first using this complicated timepiece, nothing is quite as it seems! To begin with, as an alarm watch you would expect there to be two winding crowns, one for powering the watch and the other for the alarm mechanism. The Seiko Bell-Matic has a singular winding crown in the standard position, but it is only for powering the winder. The watch itself is powered by an automatic movement than can only be wound by moving the rotor. Moving the crown into the first position allows you to rotate the internal bezel, which has a minute track and a red marking which can be aligned with the hour hand to control when the alarm will sound. Second position allows you to adjust the hands.
Taking a closer look at the gold plated tonneau shaped case body, we can see that there is a small pusher which can be used to operate the quickset date function. The dark chocolate dial contrasts nicely with the gold accented applied indices and Seiko logo, as well as the black and white date indicator sitting at the 3 position. Integrated into the case is a wickedly rare ‘coffin’ bracelet, totally original and hard to come by!
The Seikosha Co. was founded in 1892 in Tokyo by Kintaro Hattori. Initially, the company only produced wall clocks, however they gradually introduced other timekeeping devices into the mix, with pocket watches in 1895, watches with alarm functions in 1899, and finally wristwatches in 1913.
The brand name of “Seiko”, meaning “Precision” in Japanese, was first used on watch dials in 1924, and became the official brand name after the founding of the Daini Seikosha Co. in 1937. In 1959 Seiko founded another company, Daiwa KogyoLtd., which was later renamed to Suwa Seikosha Co. These two companies, Daini Seikosha and Suwa Seikosha, continued to produce Seiko-branded watches on an internally-competitive basis. Eventually, Daini became Seiko Instruments, Inc. (SII) and Suwa became Seiko Epson Corporation.
In 1960 the company launched the famous Grand Seiko brand, which in time would become a ‘halo’ brand specialising in understated, elegant, and precise watches. Eight years later, Seiko would reach the highest score ever attained at the Geneva Observatory Competition, receiving the award for “best mechanical wristwatch chronometer”.
The success of the Seiko brand only grew, and in 1987 they became the official timekeeper for the IAAF Athletics World Championship in Rome. Then again in 1991 at the IAAF Athletics World Championship in Tokyo, again in Stuttgart in 1993, Gothenburg (Sweden) in 1995, Stuttgart again in 1997, Sevilla in 1999, Edmonton (Canada) in 2001, Paris in 2003, Helsinki in 2005, and Osaka in 2007. They were also the official timekeepers at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 1964, and Barcelona 1992.
Today, the Seiko Watch Corporation belongs to the Seiko Corporation as a subsidiary of the electronics giant Seiko Epson. In addition to the brand Seiko, the brands Pulsar and Lorus (cheap and fashionable quartz watches) as well as the brand Grand Seiko (mostly mechanical and good quality watches) belong to the Seiko Watch Corporation.
Servicing and Guarantee
This timepiece has been serviced with full disassembly. There is a 12-month guarantee, subject to the usage and care guidelines. The watch comes with its original stainless steel bracelet.
Case and Strap
- Gold plated tonneau case body.
- Stainless steel screw-down caseback.
- Winding crown for alarm mechanism.
- Pusher for quickset date.
- Silver and gold tone ‘coffin’ bracelet.
- Width w/ crown: 38mm
- Width w/o crown: 40mm
- Height: 41.5mm
- Thickness: 13mm
- Original 20mm integrated bracelet
Dial and Hands
- Matte chocolate tone dial.
- Black and gold tone applied indices.
- Rotating internal bezel for alarm setting.
- Gold tone baton style hands.
- ‘Seiko’ signature below 12 position.
- Japanese made movement.
- Seiko 4006A calibre.
- Manual wind alarm function.
- Quickset date.
- 17 jewels.
- 42 hr power reserve.
- Testing duration: 2 week cyclic test.
- Average timekeeping range: 15-30 sec/day.
Servicing and Guarantee
- Fully serviced.
- Mechanics in full working order.
- 12-month guarantee.
- Guarantee Terms and Conditions.