How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

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Pascal S
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How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Pascal S »

With the imminent return of my 7A38-7000 chronograph (for which I have to warmly thank our host) comes the question of how on earth I'll be able to wear it. This watch was given to me when I was 15, and at now 52 my wrist has acquired more girth than its earlier incarnation in my teenage years. Even 10 years ago, I was unable to wear it without my left hand turning blue. I'm probably going to try fitting a bracelet extender on the buckle but that solution, assuming it works, remains pretty ugly and will only get me so far.

So I wonder how difficult it may be to find spare links for a 7A38 bracelet. Are there specific places where one might look for this sort of part? Or can these still be ordered from Seiko?

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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Are you sure your memory serves you correctly, Pascal - with regard to your left hand turning blue (10 years ago) ? :?
Reason I ask, is that the bracelet fitted to your watch appears to be full length, complete with its original complement of removable adjustment links (3 on one side, 6 on the other). In the wrist shot photo I posted, I'd adjusted it to fit my 7½" (19cm) wrist. There's a slight amount of stretching between the links, commensurate with wear (and possibly an indication of it previously being worn too tightly). That setting was on the 5th pair of holes in the SQ 7-hole adjustable clasp, with 3 adjustment links effectively hidden away, unused, under the clasp. Moving their end connecting tube to the outermost pair of holes adds 5mm per link and thereby increases the maximum bracelet length to 8" (20.5cm).

What I found slightly strange (apart from your bracelet having an extra symbol stamped on non-removable connecting links) is that the three removable adjustment links hidden under the clasp showed little or no signs of wear, viz. there's no scuffing and their matt black painted interconnecting sections were almost pristine, as if they'd never been utilized (compared to the exposed slightly worn / faded adjoining links).

So, $64K question: How many more links do you think you're going to need to get a fit ? What exactly is your wrist size ? Forgive my saying, but from your Linkedin and Doyoubuzz profile photos, I'm guessing you're a big lad. :P

One thing, I can tell you with absolute certainty, is that if you do actually need more links, they're going to cost you an arm and a leg. :cry: Seiko have been unable to supply additional adjustment links for the B1170S bracelet for years. They can be found on eBay occasionally, where unethical and unscrupulous sellers have removed them from watches they've sold and greedily ask ludicrous prices for them. Check out these two threads (the first from the old archived forum):

How much for a used bracelet adjustment link ??? (includes examples of B1170S and interchangeable B1074S links)
How much for a used bracelet adjustment link ??? (that thread includes this rather appropriate pertinent quote):
Seiko7A38 wrote: Thu Sep 02, 2021 7:36 amHere is THE PRIME (read 'Worst') example of such completely UNASHAMED GREED that I have ever seen in my life. :!: This eBay listing for various 7Axx bracelet adjustment links (but obviously, from the primary image, majoring on the ever-popular stainless 7A38-7020/9) appeared overnight. You only get one guess as to the identity of the miscreant.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Maglie-Links ... 4366753759
Giuseppe has since re-listed it: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/384637642246 and that lot includes 5 used B1170S links:

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Pascal S
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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Pascal S »

You're making me doubt now. After all, I haven't seen this chronograph in almost a decade, but I remember pretty clearly having trouble getting the clasp closed.

But describing me as a "big lad" is a bit too kind. I'm in serious need of a healthier lifestyle! :lol:

As a result, I have a 21cm wrist (and probably slightly bigger in warmer months), which explains that even at its longest this bracelet ends up being very tight. And there's nothing strange about the 3 adjustment links being like new, as they probably remained tucked under the clasp during the time a much thinner version of myself was wearing it. At 18, I was still pretty far from the fat bloke I became since...

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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Seiko7A38 »

I'm relieved that you took my cheeky jibe in the manner it was intended, Pascal. ;)

So to get it to fit your 21cm wrist comfortably, you need one (minimum) or possibly two (for Summer) adjustment links. Rather than go cap in hand to the likes of Giuseppe, there is another somewhat cheaper, more comfortable solution. :idea:
That would be to fit a 16mm spring-loaded clasp extender, like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/381466444753

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I've used them to good effect on a few of my 7A38's whose bracelets were short of adjustment links, including, as it happens, on my 'beater' stainless 7A38-7000, a.k.a. 'El Caracortada'.
Seiko7A38 wrote: Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:28 am
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I gave it the nickname 'El Caracortada' (Latin American for 'Scarface') as a nod to the eponymously titled 1983 f-rated movie starring Al Pacino and obviously the scabby scarred dial. It joined the roster of my regular everyday beaters and was particularly comfy to wear, because I'd fitted a spring-loaded clasp extender to the slightly too short bracelet (which really needed one more adjustment link).
Here's how it looks fitted to 'El Caracortada':

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Pascal S wrote: Sat Jan 01, 2022 10:25 pmI'm probably going to try fitting a bracelet extender on the buckle but that solution, assuming it works, remains pretty ugly and will only get me so far.
Personally, I don't think it looks that ugly or obtrusive when fitted as deeply into the clasp as possible (as mine is). ;)
Simply fitting it (in that position) automatically adds almost the depth of one adjustment link, in the resting position.

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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Pascal S »

The clasp extender was actually my first idea. I have used these things on a few others of my watches, including a vintage Omega Speedmaster, in the past and they work reasonably well.

As far as dear Giuseppe is concerned, his listing makes obvious the fact that he's looking for a transaction off eBay. He invites any would be bidder to contact him privately to find out the price for the particular links he might be interested in. I might actually do that, if only to find out how greedy the chap is.

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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Seiko7A38 »

I suspect appallingly so - and devious to boot. 👎 Let me know how you get on. Don't mention that I pointed you in his direction. There's not a great deal of love lost between us (minor understatement). :P

If you need one of those 16mm spring-loaded clasp extenders, let me know. I'm sure I have a spare one in stock. ;)

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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Pascal S »

Question fired off. Let's see what happens now...

Pascal S
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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Pascal S »

That was quick!
Good evening I'm sorry but I finished them for 7a38 7000
So basically the chap is advertising for parts he no longer has in store... Yeah, that's ethical! Not. :roll:

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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Ethics is not one of Giuseppe's strong suits. Just try searching the forum on his name (or eBay ID oysterdelarge727). 🔥

Pascal S
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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Pascal S »

Well, given that it will obviously be difficult to source these links without being at the mercy of the likes of Giuseppe, I'll take you up on your offer for a clasp extender. At least it will allow me to give some wrist love to my chronograph.

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Re: How difficult is it to find spare links for a 7A38 chrono?

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Done. :) There seem to be some minor variations in manufacturing tolerances with these clasp extenders. I fitted yours on the same 4th pair of adjustment holes as I'd done with my 'El Caracortada's similar extender, but it protruded slightly more from underneath the SQ clasp cover (by only a millimeter or so).

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Which is probably just as well, because as the saying goes: 'every little helps' - to give you your required 21cm. :)

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