Close Calls and Double Takes - Return of the Clones

Where to post about Citizen Cal. 35xx, ETA Cal. 251.2xx & other contemporary HEQ's.
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Close Calls and Double Takes - Return of the Clones

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Readers may recall a similarly titled thread from the old forum. ;)
Close Calls and Double Takes - but not the real deal

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I'm really too busy to make regular inputs to any 'continuation' thread, but I thought I'd start one in the hope that other members may contribute the occasional interesting sighting.

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Re: Close Calls and Double Takes - Return of the Clones

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Newly joined member Nexus (Ben) kindly emailed me a link to an ended auction for an attractive looking Bifora 7A28 clone 'Reverse Panda' he'd seen listed on the Dutch classifieds site marktplaats.nl.

https://www.marktplaats.nl/a/sieraden-t ... uartz.html

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There's no clue given as to what movement's inside, but that 60 minute counting sub-dial points to it likely being one of those Hong Kong 'Swiss' 6-jewel composite movements seen in a few other similar appearing quartz chronographs in the old forum's thread. Those weedy pusher housings look very familiar too. That said, it's an attractive design. IMHO, the dots on the Tachymeter bezel are a bit of an overkill. Brave man who takes that on with a stated faulty chronograph. Then again, depending which movement it contains, it may just need one of the batteries replacing.

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Re: Close Calls and Double Takes - Return of the Clones

Post by Seiko7A38 »

I can't say I remember seeing a Bifora 7Axx clone or even having heard of the brand before. Evidently they were / are a German watch manufacturer. I quickly googled the company and it appears like many other older brands, they've gone through various changes of ownership. This is an outline summary of their history according to Ranfft's Pink Pages.

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Re: Close Calls and Double Takes - Return of the Clones

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This morning, I re-read the lengthy Junghans 24/4610 High Tech Chrono thread. I was going to add another post to the effect that deluded German eBay seller chribay77's example still remained unsold (he'd re-listed it yet again two days ago, with the opening bid price 'reduced' to 349 Euros). But I decided not to bother. :roll:

Not that I needed another example myself, but I decided to run a worldwide eBay search on 'Junghans Chronograph' (excluding 'Max Bill' from the results), in case any more had been listed. There hadn't. The search result included a few examples of Junghans quartz chronographs based on the Citizen / Miyota Cal. 3510 and 3530 movement. Over the years I've stumbled across a number of them and had previously posted a couple in the old forum's Citizen Cal. 35xx thread.

It shouldn't be any surprise, as we now know from browsing catalogue scans in Junghans online archive, it appears that after their brief 2-year dalliance with the 7A38-powered 'High Tech', they carried on using Citizen / Miyota movements in their quartz analogue chronographs for a couple more years. These movements have similar functionality and were no doubt cheaper than Seiko's rebranded Cal. V906A. Indeed why would Junghans have wanted to use anything else ? :?:

But it appears they did, because scrolling through those eBay search results, further down I found this ! :shock: It was listed by an Italian eBay seller at the beginning of June (some time after I'd run my last Junghans 'mega' worldwide search).

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Orologio-Jun ... 3778622418

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It has that familiar 3 pushers with crown @ 8 o'clock layout and 60 (rather than 30) minute counting sub-dial, as seen in almost all these style 7Axx clones. The dial carries an accurate representation of the JUNGHANS logo, but perversely it has also 'SWISS MADE' printed at the bottom of the dial (rather than say 'Made in Germany'). Naturally, the movement is the familiar twin battery composite Chinese-made 'Swiss' affair, stamped ONE JEWEL on the centre bridge plate, seen in other 7Axx clones. The case-back is stamped with something vaguely resembling a Junghans model number. It reads: 071 13632. But it has too many digits and isn't either of the traditional Junghans formats, like 24/4610 or 024/4610.44.

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Re: Close Calls and Double Takes - Return of the Clones

Post by Seiko7A38 »

That's where my doubts (and scepticism) began to set in. If you read back through the old forum's '7Axx clones' thread, the majority of watch brands who'd used these inferior quality quartz chronograph movements were small companies, virtually unknown or defunct, for example: ALFEX, Daniel Mink, Jean d'Eve, Louis Royal, MCA, VISA, ZentRA, ZEON, etc.

The actual title I gave that thread was: Close Calls and Double Takes - but not the real deal. That may inadvertently have been rather closer to the truth than I'd originally intended. Thinking about it more, in the light of this 'Junghans' and referring back to my posts about the Orient J85109-41 (another suspicious model number), it makes absolutely no sense nor reason why larger companies like Junghans, Orient and Yema (also amusingly 'Swiss Made') who had access to supplies of far superior quality movements, would have used these at all. I reckon they're Chinese made 'knock-offs'.

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Re: Close Calls and Double Takes - Return of the Clones

Post by Seiko7A38 »

This is a bit of a late call - nearly 2 years after the fact. Had I seen it at the time, I most certainly would have posted it in the old forum's Close Calls and Double Takes thread. The reason I'm belatedly posting this now will hopefully become apparent. Although I'm a member, I don't browse Omega Forums regularly. This morning I was searching, looking for something else and stumbled across this old post from April 2019, at the top of page 66 in a thread titled Seikos!!!

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I couldn't quite manage to capture all lower section of text in my screen grab, besides it's a bit small, so here's a quote:
Those of you versed in Seiko probably immediately notice the three pushers and a crown. So did I. I have a soft spot for 7a28. It is unlikely this is Seiko 7a28 and/but when I open the watch this weekend, to install a battery, I expect to see a Shimauchi V905. It is the same thing.

Got it home today and put it on a Hirsch strap I had laying around. 39mm case and 20mm between the lugs.
Nice condition and it probably have not been used a lot. Enough though to ding the bezel at 9..
If the first sentence of that section of text sounds vaguely familiar, check out my post at the top of this page. :P I didn't manage to find any follow up to that post, but I suspect the Swedish poster was likely disappointed (at least with what he found inside) when he opened it up. That apart, it is still a very attractive looking watch, branded Mercedes-Benz. (He owns a white 1971 Mercedes Benz 350 SL cabriolet).

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The reason I decided to post it belatedly, is that if you scroll back up to my second post, this watch bears a remarkable resemblance to the Bifora 7A28 clone. Ignoring the reverse / panda dial colours (and the M-B branding), their case and dial design (including the CHRONOGRAPH QUARTZ script) and bezel markings with same surfeit of dots are almost identical.

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Re: Close Calls and Double Takes - Return of the Clones

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I can't honestly say I've made much (if any) effort searching for 7Axx clones recently. But late this morning, I decided to run one of my infrequent worldwide eBay searches on Seiko 7A28 and a very passable clone came up near the top of the results. It was listed yesterday lunchtime by a Spanish seller. It's a 7-day auction with an opening bid price of €60 Euros.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Sany ... 6117199063

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(The seller has included a total of 15 photos, but I've only bothered uploading 4 of them.)

Google translates the seller's Spanish description as follows:
Extremely rare vintage Sanyo Chronograph watch.
All its functions are 100% operational, everything works perfectly. New glass and gasket, new batteries (takes 2), strap It must not be the original. Some signs of wear on the case, strap and bottom cover.
It has similar functions to the Seiko 7A28, with the same position of pushers and crown.
NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH 7A28.
Akita 4GY1 movement composed of two batteries.
Very rare to see and/or find this model.
The movement appears to be of the familiar composite 2-battery type. This one is stamped AKITA LTD. 4GY1 JAPAN.

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