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  • Tissot Seastar (Vintage)

    Hi guys I’m new to this forum & was wondering if anyone can help me identify this vintage Tissot Seastar? As to what year is this & maybe a reference number. Thank you very much!

  • #2
    Hey Mel,

    Someone here probably have some insight for us... if none of the qualified guys have shared some of their expert experience with you over the next week I'll be surprised.

    C1970's... applied logo / markers... cambered starburst silver display... can you unscrew the caseback with a rolled up ball of duct-tape, or use a squash ball maybe... I mean, is it auto or manual, oh and does it say 'SWISS MADE' on the bottom of the dial, crown signed?

    Internet sleuths will need more info or better pix but an expert can probably make some comment, we'll see, but if you can open it, a world of beta will appear!

    Click image for larger version  Name:	image_1967.jpg Views:	1 Size:	97.1 KB ID:	43667

    Click image for larger version  Name:	image_1966.jpg Views:	1 Size:	84.2 KB ID:	43668
    Harlan
    Timekeeper Watch Club
    Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

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    • #3
      Thanks Harlan for taking the time to check. I’m still yet to receive this watch from a seller. Jeez, i have a feeling of making a rookie mistake in purchasing this watch without really doing my research. Thanks again.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MelLyndon View Post
        Hi guys I’m new to this forum & was wondering if anyone can help me identify this vintage Tissot Seastar? As to what year is this & maybe a reference number. Thank you very much!


        Welcome to TKNZ, and thank you for sharing with us your...what we here call "incoming"

        While pictures can be worth a thousand words, in this particular case, as Harlan pointed out, we do need a little more information. Tissot gents of this period--likely mid-1960s--were manufactured in a wide variety of cases and dial, so it is rather difficult to distinguish one based on the externals alone. While there would definitely be a Reference number stamped on the inside the case back, vintage collectors do not generally refer to these Tissot watches by their model Ref, but rather by their movement caliber. This is because the movement inside is, in fact, the reason for their collectible status. This piece will have come from era when Tissot was part of the Omega-Tissot Group, and so equipped with Tissot's own in-house movement, unlike post-1980s Tissot that ran on ETA modules.

        You'll know for sure what caliber number is inside your watch when you receive and open the case back. Just going by the two photos, a wild guess would be Tissot Manual-Winding Cal 781, likely mid-1960s.
        A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

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        • #5
          Hi Don, thanks a lot for that generous information. I will check the caliber movement when i get the watch. By the way what does ETA mean? Thanks.

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          • #6
            ETA is the just about the biggest watch company in the world, who make & own practically everything... bit like the Richmond Group really, ETA is KING.

            i.e.

            Click image for larger version

Name:	eta.png
Views:	1
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ID:	43675



            Harlan
            Timekeeper Watch Club
            Auckland, New Zealand, Pacific Ocean, Earth

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            • #7
              Oh, i see. Many thanks. Cheers..

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by MelLyndon View Post
                ...By the way what does ETA mean? Thanks.


                Harlan has pretty much covered it above, but I wanted to just add a little to that because, as a rookie, you might benefit from the relevance of ETA to the watch world.

                There are two types of watch companies or brands…

                Manufacture d'horlogerie, or simply “Manufacture”, is a watch manufacturer who produces all, or almost all, of the components required for their watch in their own production facility. A Manufacture fabricates their watches almost completely, i.e. they must design their own in-house movement calibres, makes the movement parts—apart from perhaps the hairspring—and assemble these into complete watches. Such watch companies may outsource items like crystal and straps, and still be considered a Manufacture.

                Atelier de terminage is a watch company that assemble watches using parts purchased from other firms. They are concerned only with assembling movements from ébauches (prefabricated movement kit), installing dial and hands, casing, and timing adjustment. These atelier de terminage would buy their movement blanks from a movement manufacture, such as ETA.

                Today, very few Swiss brands are pure Manufacture d'horlogerie. Just off the top of my head, the few in Switzerland (and Germany) are A Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Glashütte SA, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, and Zenith. The top three Japanese watch companies—Seiko, Citizen, and Orient—are all Manufactures. China has a number of Manufacture, including BWAF, Tianjin Sea-Gull, and Shanghai, while Russian has Vostok. As you can clearly see from this list, 1) owning a watch with in-house movements from true Manufacture and 2) price do not correlate, contrary to what the Swiss watch industry would like us to think.

                In the last 50 years, virtually every Swiss brand has, at some point in time, acted as atelier de terminage, and this includes Rolex when they equipped their Daytona with a Zenith movement. Today, the majority of Swiss watch companies are not technically “watch manufacturers”, but atelier de terminage. This group is made up of all the other Swiss brands that you can think of excluding those I list in the paragraph above. A number of Swiss higher-end luxury brands would develop their own in-house movement and use these to power their upper line products, in the process claiming Manufacture d'horlogerie status, but use ETA-based calibre for their mainstream income-generating lines.

                Regarding movement manufactures, ETA does have the ability to manufacture all components of a watch, but its primary activity is as solely a movement producer. Another current Swiss movement manufacture is Sellita Watch SA, which makes ETA clone movements. Well-known Swiss movement factories of the past include A Schild, Felsa, FHF, Lemania, and Valjoux, all of which have over time combined with ETA. Current Japanese movement manufacturer that supply complete movements to other watch brands are Miyota (subsidiary of Citizen, who, since its 2008 acquisition of Bulova, is now the largest watch manufacturer in the world) and Seiko’s China-based subsidiary, SII.

                The largest movement manufacture in China, Seagull, is also currently the world's largest producer of mechanical watch movement. Seagull is responsible for a quarter of the global supply of mechanical calibres.
                Last edited by Don; 12-07-18, 12:58.
                A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks a lot Don for that wealth of information. It’s much appreciated. Thanks Harlan too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This might be a little out of topic but I’d like to ask if you guys can recommend any reliable seller of vintage dress watches? I’m looking to buy a nice vintage dress watch to wear on my wedding. I believe I’m not allowed to use the marketplace here yet. Any suggestion is much appreciated. Thanks!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MelLyndon View Post
                      Thanks a lot Don for that wealth of information. It’s much appreciated. Thanks Harlan too.
                      You're most welcome, MelLyndon. Asking questions helps others to learn too.


                      Originally posted by MelLyndon View Post
                      This might be a little out of topic but I’d like to ask if you guys can recommend any reliable seller of vintage dress watches? I’m looking to buy a nice vintage dress watch to wear on my wedding. I believe I’m not allowed to use the marketplace here yet. Any suggestion is much appreciated. Thanks!

                      Firstly, congratulations on the upcoming occasion! ...Second, you can certainly use TKNZ Market Place to inquire and buy, just not to sell yet, until you reach 25 posts that we consider to be contributions, and also only after being a member for 30 days.

                      As for buying a vintage, my suggestion would be to firstly 1) know what you want, 2) know what to expect from that watch that you want, 3) know how to roughly tell when you see a good one, and then finally 4) to find who is selling such a watch. Starting by approaching a "reliable seller" (quotation marks intentional) and asking what you should buy from them would be a bit like walking into a white ware appliance store to buy a refridgerator, not having done any research, then asking the salesperson what you should buy. This rarely goes in your favour.

                      Instead, take the time to browse around online, or on our forum, see what kind of vintage watch appeals to you. Ask us questions here on the forum if you would like some input to help you along--though, as mentioned--it is better to have a rough idea of the sort of vintage you like first. Even when you find a reliable seller for said watch, it is always better to be armed with some knowledge yourself, just to ensure that your watch will be as special as your wedding day.

                      It is worth taking the time to read through this thread on vintage watch authentication in its entirety (I know not everyone here has, but if you can, it's well worth your time)... https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...e-watch-wr0608

                      In particular, these two posts of mine...

                      https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...9566#post39566
                      https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...9567#post39567

                      If you are interested in entry-level Japanese vintages, don't miss these two threads...

                      https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...-seiko-citizen
                      https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...-franken-seiko

                      Finally, you can search through this sub-forum for a number of reviews on various vintages on our forum... https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/w...iews-technical
                      Last edited by Don; 13-07-18, 14:10.
                      A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well noted, Don. Thanks a lot. I’ll be checking those threads out. Cheers

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MelLyndon View Post
                          ...I’ll be checking those threads out. Cheers


                          That would be a great start, MelLyndon.

                          To help you along further, there are a few more consideration points in buying that special watch that you might like to think about. The first is to what extend or how often you intend to wearing this vintage dress watch after your wedding.

                          A little background... How we define the dress watch has changed somewhat over the last half a century. For instance, during the mid-1960s when your Tissot Seastar left the factory, dress watches were three-hand watches intended to be worn on formal occasions, most likely with a suit and tie. Their main attributes were simplicity, elegance, and thinness (the thinner the better, in those days), and they’d forgo resistance to the elements, i.e. things like water-resistance were not important for these watches. Dress watches of the era had press-in case backs, and were either non-water resistant or had a WR of 30 m. The requirement for thinness meant that many remained manual-wind watches, despite automatic self-winding movements being relatively widespread at the time.

                          For everyday wear, people chose Gent’s watches—three handers built to be more robust and resistant to the elements, at the expense of being less elegant (in the eyes of the 1960s) and with a thicker case, due to their screw-in case backs. Your Tissot Seastar would have fallen into this category of everyday Gent’s watch, and many of its siblings would have come with the added convenience of automatic winding. These types of watches were usually waterproof to 50m, and those that were bolder in design, with larger, thicker cases would have been considered sports watches at the time. These sports watches would also have included chronographs—the first utility watch, or tool watch, to have made the cross to mainstream casual wears—and later, during the 70s, “swimmers” capable of 100m WR.

                          Today, the line that separates dress watches and day-to-day Gent’s watches seems to have blurred and even disappear altogether, and this affects how buyers today think about vintage watches. People nowadays seem to refer to any “dressy-looking” watch as a dress watch, and even the most famous Gent’s watch of all time—the Rolex Oyster—is now considered by most people as a “dress watch”. I have even seen sellers on TradeMe refer to chronographs as dress watch. Anyway, the point I’d like to make is that the type of vintage watch you choose will determine the extent to, and frequency of which you can safely wear the watch.

                          Any dress or gent’s watch older than, say, 35 years old (1983 and older) is to be considered non-water resistant. Any of these produced before the mid-1970s (45 years and older), including your Tissot Seastar, should really only be worn occasionally. If such a watch is in my collection, I’d wear it only once or twice a month, and only in situations I know to be free of risk from moisture and excessive shock. So, if you intend to wear your wedding watch a couple of days a week, and for it to be reasonably moisture/perspiration resistant, I would recommend a more recent vintage dress/gents watch, i.e. produced between early-80s and early-90s, which would still considered vintage.

                          However, if you intend to use this watch then as your "everyday watch", it would be wiser to go for a current gent’s watches with a retro-aesthetic. There are a handful that are watches which has been in continuous production for the last few decades with little styling changes, and there are watches that homage the style of vintage watches. Others, still, are re-editions of their respective brand’s historical models. Thanks to the current trend, these can be found at all price points.

                          Another obvious consideration for your vintage dress watch is what type of movement you prefer in itmechanical (hand-winding and self-winding) vs quartz.

                          Last but not least, buying and owning a vintage watch is an investment in itself. Apart from the purchase price, you’ll be spending some amount over the coming years to maintain its functionality as a watch. Unless you’ve already fallen in love with a particular model, it doesn’t hurt to consider choosing one that not only appeal to your eyes now, but to your future eyes—the ones that will belong to the seasoned-watch-collector you ...Feel free to use Post #33 of this thread to guide your way through…

                          https://www.timekeeper.co.nz/forum/watch-forums/vintage-pocket-watch-forum/5350-patina-mods-and-stuffed?p=5458#post5458
                          Last edited by Don; 16-07-18, 19:43.
                          A watch journey that also serves the betterment of others is one worth taking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Very good point, Don. Actually my big consideration as well is that I’d like to be able to wear the watch. I don’t like the idea of a watch that I won’t be able to wear, that doesn’t fit my lifestyle. Thanks much, I appreciate it.

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