The non-theme theme this week is that all of these watches have tons of respective character from more under the radar or less conspicuous characters. Starting with two very different but very affordable takes on Seiko. This is #thesubregister for late August 2017.
This now discontinued JDM, or issued for the Japanese Domestic Market Seiko features a somewhat bulky but very clean, round 40 mm case with unusual, Nomos Metro-esque wire lugs that have an equally unusual for the diameter 18 mm lug spacing. Seiko does this to accentuate the case and showcase the minimalist and funky dial that features a super clean three hand layout, with the running seconds matching the bold pop of color from the offset 24-hour dial and framed date window. This watch embodies so much of what I love about the original Nomos Metro, but at a fraction of price, and I especially like that something this Bauhaus came from Seiko, of all places. The watch comes on its original flat link bracelet and has a display case back to see the innards of the automatic movement. These watches came in a few different colors, with red being the most common, but I do find this orange a bit different and charming. Worn&Wound does a really nice write up including some additional details and opinions on this watch here. This watch has already begun appreciating, and it's just a really fun piece overall, and for the $480 shipped to your doorstep asking price, you can't really go wrong. Click through for the full listing on WatchUseek forums.
I have admittedly been looking for something just like this for months now, but alas, I'm on the sidelines for a bit. I became enamored with the Hi-Beat 36,000 BPH Seiko movements that have the center seconds hand gliding around the dial so smoothly. Combined with all of the little finishing details and bevels signature to the restrained and refined high end Seikos and without a date window to boot, it just doesn't get much cleaner than this. I love a good hand wound movement and the case size is nearly perfect, measuring to more vintage proportions but wearing slightly larger due to the wide angular lugs. There are some slight blemishes to the dial around the edge at 3 o'clock, but the case of this watch appears very honest and it still has the original KS medallion on the caseback, which can often disappear. Asking $465 on WatchUseek forums, I really don't think these will ever go much lower, and they offer so much charm and bang for the buck.
I drool over this one every time I see it pop up on instagram, it's so clean and that chunky patina absolutely pops on the matte black dial. It's not secret that I love both super compressor's and Enicar's with all of their funky details, and this one embodies both so well. The 36 mm super compressor cases wear very comfortably and are just chunky enough to have a great but subtle presence on the wrist. The large cross hatched crowns are so fun to look down at and the big gobs of lume add so much charm to the multiple fonts, wide hands, and the center seconds with the little lume pip and the very fun square pinion at the mounting point. This one looks particularly good on the signed flat link bracelet, giving the whole package so much charm and character. Seller is asking $2600, but it has been available for 4 weeks now on WatchUseek forums here.
While we're on the topic of funky compressor case watches, here's a Swedish pilot's chronograph, from a Swedish seller. These are very similar to some of the other compressor case pilot's chronograph of the era, but with the Lemania branded watches being more rare, and authentic Swedish Air Force watches even more rare. I haven't looked up for certain how to authenticate the provenance of these watches, but I actually purchased my Enicar Sherpa Jet from this seller, and I know that he knows his stuff, is a good seller, and buys great watches, so I didn't have much hesitancy listing this one. This watch also serves as a great lesson in function over form, where said function adds up to creating a very cool looking watch. The oversized for the era case and proportions were strictly for pilot's functionality, but the bakelite bezel, dial fonts, and big lumed Arabic numerals really check all of the vintage boxes. It's no cheap date with a 17,500EUR asking price on OmegaForums, but I can attest to a smooth transaction from and honest seller.
That's it for this week, as always, feel free to contact me, leave a comment, or tag me on instagram or twitter @meticulist if you come across anything interesting out in the wild. Until then, happy hunting.