Feb 19, 2015

1973 Vintage Seiko Bell-Matic 4006-5031 "Denim"

Seiko Bell-Matic 4006-5031 "Denim"
Circa 1973

The first time I heard about mechanical alarm complications, I was very curious as to how they would sound like. As a kid I had a Casio which made the high pitched beeping whenever the hour turned, but I reckon a mechanical one wound sound very different from that one.

Vulcain and Jaeger LeCoultre alarm complications lead the pack with the Cricket and Memovox series. I own a 1950s Vulcain Cricket, and it sounds amazingly loud. This wild chattering reminding you that there's a lot more to life than sleeping.

The Bell-Matic is Japan giant Seiko's venture into mechanical alarm watches. Introduced in 1968, the automatic alarm watches came in two movements types - 4005 (without day) and the 4006 featured here. 

This lovely specimen comes delivered in a textured dial resembling fine woven fabric. From my handling of Bell-Matics, I've found that the Bell-Matics seem to come in really good condition. This one is no exception.

The hour batons are flawless, precision cut to reflect light and offer you reading of time in the dimmest lighting. The silver-blue combination carries on through the very sleek sword hands lined with slight LumiBrite, and the silver minute markers around the edge of the dial. 

Deviating from the cool tone are the red seconds hand and triangle alarm marker on the outer ring. It gives the Bell-Matic "Denim" just the edge needed to stand out.

Cased in an octagonal case and topped off with a domed acrylic crystal and paired with a proprietary Seiko bracelet. 

Nice blue dial, polished hands, striking red sweeping hand, octagon case - while separately it may seem to be rather common, it's the combination of the elements in a timeless execution that attracts me to this piece. 

 1973 Vintage Seiko Bell-Matic 4006-5031 "Denim"
Hour, minute, seconds hands with day/date display
Textured blue dial, flawless condition
36mm stainless steel case
40mm lug-to-lug
22mm lug width
4006 automatic alarm movement @ 19,800vph
Acrylic crystal
Proprietary Seiko stainless steel bracelet


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