Today, on #TBT, we’ll investigate quite possibly the most mainstream vintage chronographs: the Seiko Bullhead 6138-0040. While it’s a watch I battle to wear consistently – more on that later – it has obvious appeal because of its unconventionality. We’ll investigate the watch, its odd plan, and its incredible form quality. To begin with, however, we should speak somewhat about “Bullheads” in general.
The Seiko Bullhead – One of the Crowd
I’m not breaking any new ground here in clarifying that a Bullhead chronograph gets its name from the direction of its crown and pushers. Strikingly, the controls sit on the watch rather than the more standard right half of the watch. Obviously, the reasoning for this position is to evade unplanned commitment of the pushers. Additionally, a Bullhead appears to chimp the commonplace look of a scramble mounted clock, so almost certainly, these atypical chronographs were made for use in motorsports. In the last part of the 1960’s into the mid-1970’s, things were plainly becoming more reformist and in arrangement with a worldwide fever for all things motorsport, it appeared to be an ideal opportunity to make another style of watch. Thus, in around 1973, the Seiko Bullhead was conceived – however this time, Seiko wasn’t the first out of the gate.
Omega, as demonstrated here in a pleasant Bullhead outline by Blaise, was first out of the entryway in 1969 with its now-popular 146.011. Different brands followed and Seiko’s biggest at-home competitor, Citizen, made probably the most eminent models. Bulova hopped in with a wild blue “and dim cased adaptation and Breitling entered the conflict with its colossal “Pupitre”. On the last model, Breitling obviously had a favorable opinion of it that the brand at first delivered it with a manual breeze development and afterward advanced the watch to fit the unbelievable Caliber 11 programmed. Be that as it may, enough of the redirection, we’re here to talk about the Seiko Bullhead.
Several Seiko Bullhead Variants
The Seiko Bullhead was created, primarily, in two dial variations. The dark/blue adaptation seen here was made close by an earthy colored/gold release. The two models were sold until 1979, which likewise turned out to be the latest year of creation for the programmed chronograph development, the 6138. Per some truly extraordinary posts on the and , apparently the dark dialed version was just made in one style. The earthy colored form, nonetheless, got variations including a dial expressing “Seiko 5” and “SpeedTimer”. I’ve as of late seen some wild dark “JDM” versions available to be purchased, however I struggle in affirming their correctness.
The Seiko Bullhead is Odd
One take a gander at the instance of the Seiko Bullhead from the side discloses to you that this is no typical chronograph. Towards the top, the case thickness is radically unique in relation to the skinnier base. The equivalent can be said about the haul width on the grounds that the base width is far smaller than the top. To put it gruffly, this watch is an activity in uncomfortable asymmetry.
Making things significantly more shaky on the Seiko Bullhead is a delightfully made, yet incredibly temperamental arm band that has been named as “the Fishbone” because of its focal “spine” of vertical connections that sprout an organization of level “scales”. I’m intrigued by the arm band’s completion and it’s demonstration of solidarity that must be summarized as something else under the surface the eye. It’s flimsy, unbalanced, and has a great deal of parallel adaptability, however it figures out how to by one way or another keep the watch head in relative check. For the individuals who essentially need something sturdier, Seiko offered a customary clam wristband on JDM models – I’ve seen the arm bands come available to be purchased once in a while – yet where’s the fun in that?
The Seiko Bullhead is No Dress Watch
When I started gathering Seiko’s around 4-5 years prior, I put the Seiko Bullhead on my rundown, yet I was somewhat wary about getting one because of worries over the possible fit. Thus, it was blessed that I went to a neighborhood observe reasonable here in Germany and happened upon the model you see on these pages. Giving it a shot quickly deleted all worries on the grounds that, notwithstanding a case width of 44x45mm, this enormous ox-like wears quite pleasantly. Indeed, it’s hefty, somewhat unequal and takes some becoming accustomed to, yet there is a sure charm to it. What the Bullhead doesn’t prefer to do, however, is to coexist with the sleeves of a dress shirt. That is alright, however, in light of the fact that this chronograph doesn’t have any proper goals, yet remember it, for some insane explanation, you choose to welcome it as your solitary watch on a business trip.
Aside from the size of the Seiko Bullhead keeping it off your rundown as a “sole wearer”, you wouldn’t be blamed for placing this watch into hefty revolution by virtue of its development. The 6138, which we definite in an early article , is an outright diamond. Section haggle grasp prepared, it compensates for its absence of enrichment with genuine heartiness and phenomenal timekeeping. This was Seiko’s second programmed chronograph development, after 1969’s 6139, and it added a subsequent register to tally hours (up to 12). Dissimilar to the 6139, the 6138 can really be hand wound (yay!!!) and the crown changes the day and date by turning it one or the other way in the wake of pulling out one stop. However much I appreciate and regard the prior 6139, the 6138 just feels like a “major kid” movement.
Details, Details, Details
A close glance at the Seiko Bullhead dial shows the commonplace meticulousness by the Japanese brand. The sub registers and date window are inset while the hour markers have all the earmarks of being applied. The primary hour and minutes hands are dark at the middle to show up as “coasting” on the dark dial while the remainder of the hands are lumed and painted splendid white. Adding to the difference is an uproarious yellow compass hand that adds barely sufficient effect on what is really a quite genuine and immortal dial plan – both in shading and textual style. A brisk look beneath focus uncovers Seiko’s “Suwa” image, so we realize we’re managing something vintage.
A Bulky Case Means Lots of Wear
Problems with the Seiko Bullhead are all around reported on numerous destinations. Like so numerous early Seiko’s, piles of post-retail parts are accessible and frequently utilized on the old monsters. Fault utilization, dampness or disregard for the huge number of “frankens”. Likewise, in view of the tall, piece like case, these watches quite often give some genuine indications of collision.
The tachymeter bezels are regularly gouged and the cases normally show genuine scratches. The cases, at any rate, can be restored and taken back to showing their flawless substituting brushed and cleaned surfaces. Gems are made of Seiko’s Hardlex mineral glass and, as seen on mine; somebody figured out how to clean it and, subsequently, made a marginally wavy surface upon close investigation. No concerns, however, as substitutions are presently effortlessly found online.
Locating your Seiko Bullhead
The market for the Seiko Bullhead is a mainstream one. The watches positively aren’t uncommon, yet finding a decent one at a sensible cost has become testing. Furthermore, there are authorities who are immovably in the camp of earthy colored versus dark or need a JDM variation. At the point when I discovered this model, it cost something on the request for $275, which presently appears to be a relative deal. It has an English and German date haggle condition is extraordinary by and large. The pushers are a little tacky, however the development runs impeccably. I’d say that good watches can in any case be found for under $500 and anything over that appears to sit unsold except if it by one way or another has all its administrative work, etc.
The Seiko Bullhead effectively positions as one of the company’s most mainstream vintage watches and it’s likewise one of the uncommon models that can regularly by found in a Swiss chronograph authority’s portfolio. Perhaps this is on the grounds that it’s too enjoyable to even think about denying or in light of the fact that it’s a moderate habit forming substance to preliminary prior to going head-first into the undeniably more costly domain of models like the Omega. In any case, it’s an oddly fulfilling and applicable watch to possess and wear. I’d enthusiastically recommend finding one.