Ca. 1960 Seiko 14041 “Champion” 17j Hand Wind

Ca. 1960 Seiko 14041 “Champion” 17j Hand Wind

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And now for something a little different... The Seiko “Champion” line was introduced in 1960 as an affordable and reliable hand winder that, just a few years later, was incorporated as the base for the “Alpinist” when it transitioned from the “Laurel” line. Early and modern “Alpinists” alike are widely sought after, and are some of the most “rugged meets refined” designs Seiko has ever produced. When the opportunity to acquire this little “Champ” was presented, I was too intrigued to pass it up. It appears to be one of the first produced as it is the 17j variant of an early nameless, but recognizable calibre. The 14041 case is shared with the original “Laurel Alpinist,” (and later “Marvel”) and the movement is as well. Notably, the balance is a bridge rather than a cock, and it incorporates a fixed stud on the underside that would have made regulation a bit tricky and involved. The dial is as far as i can tell, possibly unique. I have seen a similar variant with only the 12 displayed numerically, and the other hours as applied bars, but this one also has the 3, 6, and 9 in numerical form. I’m sure I need not even mention the incredible rosy patina that adds more character than you can likely even handle. The hands are incredible. The sloping tapers on either end of the broad dauphines are mesmerizing, and the original luminous material is still intact in both hour and minute. A thin contoured sweep counts off the seconds. No movement number, or serial number are listed, which is not uncommon for these early models, so research can be tricky, but like the Alpinist, it features a screw down case back that was uncommon for Seiko at the time. The case is unpolished, and the watch appears to be completely original aside from replacement crystal and crown. We’ve paired it with a textured dark brown leather with reverse stitching that adds a clean finish and versatility on the wrist. A conversation starter to be sure, it’s a interesting and still very reliable time keeper that we’re certain you won’t see on another wrist any time soon!


Serviced- 5/29/19

Diameter- 34mm

Lugs- 18mm

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