1967 Seiko 4006-7019 Bell-Matic 21j Automatic

1967 Seiko 4006-7019 Bell-Matic 21j Automatic


With a production run of almost 12 years, Seiko’s “Bell-Matic” line offers every imaginable style and layout. One could easily amass a collection of “Bells” that would allow for weeks of rotation without repeating. There are, however, a few pieces in this line up that a true collector could spend years trying to track down, and still come up empty handed. The most sought after is the “Dolphin” case back/“Diashock” Dial from 1966. The Bell-Matic was introduced in November of that year, and that case back was phased out the following December. This means that there was only one month in history that they were in production, and then it was only for the Japanese domestic market. The second rarest Bell-Matic is pictured above. The 21j 4006-7019. There are a couple of factors that contribute to its rarity. 27 jewel movements were considered luxury items in the US, and this meant that importing them came with expensive tariffs that rendered them too expensive to get to market. Seiko maneuvered around this by creating a 21j version of the 4006 strictly for the North American market. Shortly after, the jewel count was dropped even further to 17, which became the standard for all export “Bells.” Two case styles were available for the 21j variant: the 7019, and the more common 7029. Either would be a prize for any collector, and we were fortunate enough to get our hands on the rarer 7019. Other rare “Bells” include the latter 7000 “Diashock” Dial, which are the continuation of the first one we mentioned here, just with the “horseshoe” case back in place of the “dolphin, the ‘67 4006-7010 “Business Bell,” and lastly, any of the 4005 calibre “date only” models. Owning any of these comes with obvious bragging rights, not to mention jaw dropping styling, and versatile wearability. This example from June of 1967 embodies all three of those attributes. The dial is a silver sunburst beneath a glossy lacquer finish that when it arrived, was caked in dirt and grime from decades of exposure. The crystal had been missing for many years, and my hopes were not very high that it could resemble even a shadow of its former self. I spent nearly three hours carefully cleaning the delicate finish to reveal the beauty hiding underneath. The dial is not perfect, as there is a visible blemish near the center, and a couple of other slight imperfections visible from certain angles. It is, however, an overall stunning example, and to own one in any condition is no small feat. Applied baguettes striped in black mark the hours, and small luminous plots dot the recessed alarm track. Framing it is a satin finished cursor ring with a black indicator. The hands are polished and tapered batons with the original luminous intact, and along with the hour markers, have developed a deep khaki patina. The case is classic Seiko architecture featuring crisp corners and polished surfaces that give it an almost faceted appearance. The “horseshoe” case back has retained all of its original markings, and bears the seven digit serial number only seen on these earlier examples. It’s unpolished and completely original aside from a replacement crystal and crown, and post service it’s keeping excellent time. These early variants featured a much longer sounding spring than their latter counterparts, which gives the bell a much louder tone, not unlike an old telephone. It will certainly get your attention should you need a reminder! We’ve paired it with a brown grain leather with white stitching that adds a clean and comfortable finish, and certainly showcases the dial. A truly rare collectible, this one deserves all the attention it’s sure to get.

Kvarnsjo Leather Brown Grain Leather with White Stitching (cheapestnatostraps.com)

Serviced 8/20/19

Diameter- 39mm

Lugs- 19mm

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