Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 44

Thread: WW2 Seikosha "Suirobu" Chronograph IJN

  1. #1
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default WW2 Seikosha "Suirobu" Chronograph IJN

    To those who have read some of my posts, I never claim to know anything
    about watches. Just not an expert in anything.

    I'm looking into an odd marking found on the SKS cases provided by Hattori
    Tokei for the Army and Navy WW2 Imperial Chronographs. At this point, I believe
    one of the marking has not been explained properly. I do not think this is a
    Torpedo Boat or Submarine watch.



    On the watches that have this marking it appears like this:



    I found on a Japanese watch site this explanation that I find interesting. It says watch is for "Suirobu".



    Wiki for Suirobu:
    https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%...5%B7%E8%BB%8D)



    Kanji for Submarine is:


    A different example of Suirobu
    http://blog.goo.ne.jp/mootas/e/8201d...9a04dd19c71fa7

    Last edited by Seiji; 02-16-2016 at 13:16.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    In Japan, the common term for this type of watch is pronounced "Ka Ra Fu" .
    In my Google search, I put in "KaRaFu ByoToKeI" in Japanese. Many sites will
    refer to the Seikosha as Seiko Karafu.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    There are 4 basic configurations:

    1) With and without lumen.
    2) Style 1 case and style 2 case.




    More information to come later in this thread.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    Seiko Karafu is widely accepted as the first Japanese made chronograph. It was ordered by
    the Imperial Navy during the Taisho period. Although it was used by several branches of the
    military, I have only found information that says that the Imperial Navy ordered the watches.

    The design of the original Seiko Karafu is based on the Minerva below. Both case and movement
    are copied.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    On the insides of many of the Seiko Karafu, there is an Anchor to indicate it was
    made for Imperial Navy.




    There is also the Katakana character "To" in a circle. This is thought to indicate
    the district the watch was originally issued to. "To" indicates Tokyo.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    I am also going to shamelessly post Konrad Knirim's chart that has been valuable for me as a starting point.
    However, I think some of these symbols could use updating.


  7. #7
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    So far, I have identified only two styles of dials:

    With and without 13-24 hour indications.

    I believe this one is earlier dial. Note: Before Daini Seikosha created its in house movement,
    Hattori Tokkei imported Longines 18.72. The Longines also has this dial.


    I believe this is later dial and only found on Seikosha.


    Also note: The rope on these watches appear to be originally issued. Chains I do
    not believe were issued.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    Longines 18.72 Seiko SKS Cased Karafu watch.



  9. #9
    Senior Member papazulu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Global
    Posts
    1,357

    Default

    Hi Seji, Here's one of mine, which caused quite a stir on another Forum, where the owner banned ma for even suggesting it was a copy of a Valjoux Cal 54

    I sent a mail to the Seiko Meuseum with the following question:
    Dears Sirs,
    I bought a Seikosha WW2 Pocket Chronograph, centre seconds, and 2 small sub dials at 12:00 and 6:00.
    I have been looking in the Seiko online Museum, but am unable to find any reference to the watch. The Movement is marked Seikosha, 17 Jewel. Below the balance is a number 610 struck in a milled recess and next to that G6.
    The case is marked SKS under that is NICKEL and the number 1279601.
    I’m afraid it’s hard to describe the watch without sending pictures.
    If you would be so kind and look into my Photobucket, there I have placed pictures of the watch and movement.


    The pictures are at your disposal and if you would like to use these, I would be more than happy.

    On the caseback the watch is marked in Kanji (as far as I know) but I can´t read it.
    The movement has a very close resemblance to a Valjoux cal 54.
    My question; was the movement imported and then cased by Seikosha? ...as I have a Longines, Sekosha cased chronometer and the Longines archive supplied the following information;
    Mr. XXXXXX,

    Thank you for your e-mail as well as for your interest in LONGINES watches.

    We have pleasure in giving you below the information we found in our old, hand-written production register regarding your LONGINES watch

    #serial number 6’105’062 pocket chronograph
    It has a movement caliber 18.72
    It was invoiced to Messrs Hattori in Tokyo, who were for many years our agents for the Japan, on 30.05.1941.
    The case was produced by our agents in Japan.

    We hope this information is convenient to you, we remain on your disposal and send you our best regards,


    Frédéric Donzé
    Documentaliste


    Best Regards








    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
    Sir Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    Nice to see your watch. I visited Seiko Museum in Tokyo and also went into the third floor archives. They are nice people, however, not as well trained or knowledgeable in their watches as say Swiss companies. My jaw dropped when I got challenged when I said there are Katakana dialed Seiko double cased watches issued to military. Later, staff apologized and opened access to their library. So, information from Seiko museum is not definitive as confirmation either for or against. Just my opinion.

    Seiko museum mission is more to do with education of children in the history of Japanese time keeping, and a small collection of Seiko manufactured watches through various phases of development of their watches. There are a few "incorrect" watches in their collection. Everything seems to have been donated or came from the original shop.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    Note:

    You will also find that there are two styles for numbers on the issued watches:

    Kanji:


    Arabic (Romaji):

  12. #12
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    Also, these watches should not be confused with Seikosha ByouTokei (A.K.A. Ka Ra Fu)
    which are always white dialed.

    The Gun Camera watch Type 89:



    When in context, it becomes obviously a completely different kind of watch.



  13. #13
    Senior Member papazulu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Global
    Posts
    1,357

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Seiji View Post
    Nice to see your watch. I visited Seiko Museum in Tokyo and also went into the third floor archives. They are nice people, however, not as well trained or knowledgeable in their watches as say Swiss companies. My jaw dropped when I got challenged when I said there are Katakana dialed Seiko double cased watches issued to military. Later, staff apologized and opened access to their library. So, information from Seiko museum is not definitive as confirmation either for or against. Just my opinion.

    Seiko museum mission is more to do with education of children in the history of Japanese time keeping, and a small collection of Seiko manufactured watches through various phases of development of their watches. There are a few "incorrect" watches in their collection. Everything seems to have been donated or came from the original shop.
    That was my impression as well, as they never even answered my mail. Here's the longines cased by Seikosha mentioned in my mail:






    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
    Sir Winston Churchill

  14. #14
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    Hi Papazulu, I appreciate your interest in my thread! And thanks for sharing, for the purposes of sharing information
    I apologize for what I am going to do to you...

    The watch and case don't match.
    The Longines is an early "style 1" non-lumen watch.
    The case is "style 1", but from a later luminescent watch.


    Watch case No. 793 in post 1 is my Longines. The markings are
    consistent with the type of dial installed shown as the Longines
    example in the post 8.

  15. #15
    Senior Member papazulu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Global
    Posts
    1,357

    Default

    No worry. Seji...someone probably messed up during the war when the watch was in for repairs, It happened to the Allied watches as it also happened to the German ones!
    They were regarded as tools and not a thing that collectors do their head in later, because it was in a wrong case
    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
    Sir Winston Churchill

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    For completeness, the rest of the symbols I am aware of for the "Purposes"





  17. #17
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    This is information about the Seikosha movement. It is apparently a column wheel flyback movement.



  18. #18
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    In addition to the Longines, has anyone seen any other movements in these military watches?

    At the museum, I saw Hattori Tokei imported for various purposes Zenith, Longines, Patek Phillipe, and Waltham pocket watch movements. Information of that exhibit doesn't appear on the virtual Seiko Museum and my photograph is too over exposed to make out the other watch brands.

    So far, haven't found any other watches expect Longines and Seikosha. I am looking for Zenith or Minerva to see if they were used.

  19. #19
    Senior Member papazulu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Global
    Posts
    1,357

    Default

    Thanks for all this information, Seji...I just picked up another timer from customs this morning, seeing you know your way around these, could you inform me what is written?


    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
    Sir Winston Churchill

  20. #20
    Senior Member Seiji's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,212

    Default

    Wow, you have a nice collection! It just gets better and better. Let me do some checking before giving you an answer.

    Nice Phonotelemeter (right side watch)!

    In use photo.
    Last edited by Seiji; 02-19-2016 at 10:08.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •