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The story of Seiko’s legendary vintage diver’s watch, the Turtle Diver 6306-7001
In the world of vintage Seiko divers, some are myths and become as desirable as they are difficult to find for ” Seikoholics “.
The Turtle 6306 clearly falls into this category.
Between 1965 and 1975, Seiko brilliantly designed and produced three generations of diver’s watches ISO 150m certified. In chronological order, the 62MASthere 6105-8000/9 and the 6105-8010/9. In 1975, Seiko commissioned a young engineer named Ikuo Tokunaga to create the new Diver 150m.
It’s in 1976 that Seiko released the replacement for the 6105, designed in two versions. One for the japanese market and the other for the foreign market. This last international variant, the 6309, was equipped with a 17-jewel 6309A automatic movement and a bilingual day display adapted to the geographical target, while the version reserved for the Japanese market (JDM), the 6306, was equipped with a more advanced movement, the 6306A with 21 jewelsa system of stop second and the day display in English/kanji Japanese.
The Japanese versions of Seiko models often have more advanced movements than the export versions, such as the Pogue for example, 21 jewels in the JDM version against 17 for the export version. Problem of customs taxation or simple coquetry for its historical customers?
The 6306 had a fairly short life because only produced from 1976 to 1981. Seiko kept the 6309 in the catalog until it was replaced by the Diver 7002 in 1988.
Both versions were popular with the US militarylike its ancestor the 6105 (which was much more expensive), and quickly became real work tools.
Review of the Seiko Turtle Diver 6306-7001
Here is the nugget I unearthed, a 6306-7001 from January 1969 in rather good cosmetic condition. At first glance, the glass and the bezel have some scratches and the movement runs very badly. Also there is a bit of play in the bezel.
We open the beast and we find a movement in good condition but very dirty.
After complete disassembly of the trim parts, there is a lot of dirt and rust. This grandma didn’t spend her life at the bottom of a drawer!
Revision of the Seiko 6306: disassembly and cleaning
Proceed to disassemble the movement.
This one is very dirty, the oils are completely erased. A good overhaul won’t hurt. Maybe this is his first revision?
Here we can see its second stop system. A lever connected to the winding stem touches the axis of the escape wheel when the watch is set. This has the effect of stopping the movement, the seconds hand remains fixed for more precise time setting.
Revision of the Seiko 6306: reassembly and oiling
The movement is wound without its automatic system. It will be replaced just before closing the back of the watch to allow better access to the settings of the balance wheel.
Seiko Turtle Diver 6306-7001: glass replacement
A new glass is placed on the “L” seal then held in place by clipped strapping.
The bezel can be replaced with a new seal, which has the effect of eliminating the play. The dial/hands/movement assembly is placed in the case, as well as the winding stem and the automatic system. A new bottom seal is installed, you can close the screwed back and enjoy an accurate watch again!
Seiko Turtle Diver 6306-7001: Conclusion
This diver is iconic and Seiko has understood this well by reissuing it in an infinite number of versions.
Its affiliation with Seiko, diving and military history make it a must have for collectors. I admit to jealously guarding one in my collection.
To dress it up with care, you can equip it with a nato strap, a vintage or reproduction Tropic. The ideal being to find his original GL831, but these bracelets have aged badly and few have survived. These bracelets have been reissued by Seiko and by Uncle Seiko.
You can find this superb example in the online store and I congratulate its next owner in advance!
Seiko Turtle Diver 6306-7001 JDM from 1979