Royalty in all of vintage Seiko, this 1966 Seiko 62MAS was genesis for all their . . .let us say quite popular modern divers. The DNA is clearly visible throughout the current range. It was the first serious attempt to appeal to the new dive market, as all previous releases had 50m of water resistance. The 150m on offer here put this Seiko in a completely separate bracket. It utilized their 17-jewel 6217 movement with an automatic self-date function, hence 62MAS for short (seikoMAtic Selfdater).
The Seiko 62MAS had a troubled start. It is the only Seiko diver with an unguarded and pronounced crown at 3 (it is also worth noting that the earlier 8000 reference sports a slightly smaller crown, while this 8001 reference sports a slightly larger) in a then-large 38mm case. There were problems in that. This design also predated the helium release valve. In conjunction with Seiko’s somewhat unsubstantial gaskets, crystals sometimes burst off the fronts of these while diving. Due to this, they weren’t hugely successful commercial at the outset (unsurprisingly). Seiko characteristically corrected this fault in later references quite quickly. Therefore, production of the 62MAS was curtailed. However, today they are rare, collected, and more attractive than ever. A dream for Seiko enthusiasts, uncommonly seen as lovely as this.
Patina evolution for the 62MAS is remarkably consistent. Commonly on these, markers turn greenish, the dial moves greyish, and the bezel ghosts. Outside of the historical credibility, this may be part of the 62MAS’s modern appeal. Case metals were not particularly robust and gave way to polish easily. This reference 6217-8001 sports a hallmark patina.
It is a hard ask to find a 62MAS with an original dial that is well-preserved. Lume applications had a tendency to flake and degrade, dials were often damaged in less-scrupulous service. This beauty is is very strong, both in its dial and handset. The case is full with only the lightest signs of polish. Brushing still visible. Worth noting that the bezel pip is relumed. An altogether lovely example of a diver rarely seen.
Find this 62MAS here from Kibble Watches for 5250 GBP.