The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

7A28, 7A38 and 7A48 (plus 7A34, 7A36, 7A07 and 7A54)
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The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Prompted by the appearance of a stupidly over-priced example, listed on eBay by our 'favourite' Italian eBay seller (of more anon), I've decided to write a short topic on these less than desirable 7Axx variants. From memory, I first wrote about them in a thread on the UK RLT watch forum, exactly 10 years ago: Seiko 7A36 Surf Timer On The Bay. They've never held any attraction for me personally, but a member of the old Webs hosted forum, Arpad, took a fancy to them. I could have sworn Arpad wrote a thread about them, but if he actually did I can't find it. :( The closest I found was this post he made on page 8 of the Show and Tell - Your newest incoming 7A thread in May 2014.

7A36-7000-SurfTimer-Black-YellowFace-Arpad-May2014-Post-1.jpg
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To his credit, Arpad did subsequently post some useful additional information about the 7A36(A) movement in another rather amusingly titled thread: Cue Dismissive Snorts, Cue Derisive Laughter. Basic Question: How many jewels ?

7A36-7000-SurfTimer-Black-YellowFace-Movement-Arpad-July2014-Post-1.jpg
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Although his (once freely hosted) photos have since been reduced in size and watermarked by Photobucket, if you zoom in on the middle one, it's still possible to read the battery positive plate stampings: 7A36A NINE 9 JEWELS. Scroll further down that thread and you'll see that a year later, Arpad did a partial strip of the 7A36A movement in his 7A36-700A Surf Timer, revealing that the unused 1/10s bridge was still present, but empty and the top plate has no jewels (nor bushes) fitted. Note also, although its contact block is present (presumably for electrical continuity), the 1/10s coil is missing.

7A36-700A-SurfTimer-Yellow-BlackFace-Movement-Arpad.jpg
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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

At the time of writing, I've been unable to establish in which half yearly Seiko JDM catalogue the 7A36 Surf Timers first appeared, which I consider a prerequisite for starting this post. :oops: I've scrolled through the scans of 1985 and 1986 JDM catalogues hosted on SCWF and strangely there's no sign of them. All examples seen to date have had 54xxxx or 55xxxx prefix case-back serial numbers, indicating manufacturing dates of April and May 1985. From the few price tags seen in photos of NOS examples, their recommended retail price was 35,000 Yen.

According to this screen print of a search result on '7A36' I took off Seiko Oceania's database, more years ago than I care to remember, there were theoretically 4 variants of 7A36-xxxx. That said, I know for a fact there were only three. It's conceivable that a 7A36-701A (as opposed to 7A36-7A10 as shown) may have been planned, but was never productized. A somewhat incongruous sales code of SEJ027, completely different dial code 7A20X914 (compared to the other 7A36 Surf Timers' 700L prefixed dials) and other missing data fields points to it having been a keying input error (viz. 7T36).

7A36-7xxx Variations.JPG
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Note the dial colour for the 7A36-7000 (S)SKP019 is erroneously shown as 'BROWN' (another common recurrent error). :roll:

7A36-7000 SKP019.
Black chrome coated watch case with black plastic shroud. Yellow dial with black printing and chronograph hands. Yellow plastic pushers and crown. Black 22mm neoprene rubber strap with yellow keeper and black chrome buckle.

7A36-700A SKP018.
Black chrome coated watch case with a yellow plastic shroud. Black dial with yellow printing and chronograph hands. Black plastic pushers and crown. Yellow 22mm neoprene rubber strap with a black keeper and black chrome buckle.

7A36-7010 SKP012.
Silver anodized watch case with a blue plastic shroud. Light green dial with black printing and blue chronograph hands. Light green plastic pushers and crown. Blue 22mm neoprene rubber strap with green keeper and silver anodized buckle.

All 3 variants have black English / Kanji day and date wheels and use stainless Phillips headed shroud retaining screws.
Here's a few photos of original examples of each variant that I saved over the years.

7A36-7000 SKP019:

7A36-7000-Black-YellowFace-SKP019-GMT+9-YahooJapanAuctions-June2011-1.jpg
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7A36-700A SKP018:

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7A36-7010 SKP012:

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Judging by the proportions of 7A36 photos I've saved in my folder (regardless of their condition), it suggests that the black / yellow 7A36-7000 SKP019 was by some margin the commonest of the three variants. Followed closely by the blue / green 7A36-7010 SKP012 and that the yellow / black 7A36-700A SKP018 was by far the scarcest of the three.

Regular problems seen with used examples include: split plastic shrouds (usually at the screw fixings); cracked plastic pusher buttons and crowns and broken or perished straps (frequently replaced with another rubber or leather strap).

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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Obviously, being a JDM variant, they crop up most frequently on Yahoo Japan. But many used examples have rocked up on eBay over the years - usually in Italy. A possible explanation for this (which I've posited before) is that sometime in the 1990's, Seiko offloaded their excess unsold inventory of less desirable models on their Italian distributor Italwatch.

Much to my amusement, another 7T36-7000 Surf Timer washed up in the Bay of Italy in the early hours of this morning. It was listed by deluded Italian eBay seller oysterdelarge727 a.k.a. Giuseppe, with an absolutely ludicrous Buy-it-Now price of 2000 Euros !! :lol: As ever, prone to gross exaggeration, he's claiming it's 'ULTRA RARE' and a 'Holy Grail'. It's not. He's also pulling his customary ruse of attempting to give the impression of it being a 'full set', by including a generic Italian Seiko presentation box, Italian warranty booklet and his customary blank Seiko Quartz paper hang tag. :roll:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ULTRA-RARE-N ... 4263985768

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As usual, the description ends with his customary keyword spamming marathon. As if he needed any more visibility. :roll:

7A36-7000-SurfTimer-Black-YellowFace-eBay-July2021-KeywordSpamming.png
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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Seiko7A38 wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:54 amObviously, being a JDM variant, they crop up most frequently on Yahoo Japan ....
Indeed, funnily enough, there was a genuinely NOS 'Dead Stock' example of the 7A36-7000 Surf Timer on Yahoo Japan last month. It was listed as a 7-day auction with an opening bid price of 1000 Yen and sold for 76,600 Yen after 40 bids. Using today's current exchange rate, that converts to $698.35 USD / £507.90 GBP / €590.05 Euros.

https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/t815588670

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It came complete with the original Japanese strap tag and instruction leaflet. Here's 7 of the 10 small YJ listing photos.

7A36-7000-SurfTimer-Black-YellowFace-YahooJapan-June2021-1.jpg
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Note the case-back serial # 540150. By amusing coincidence, it just happens to be the same NOS 7A36-7000 SKP019 which had sold 10 years earlier on Yahoo Japan in June 2011. Check out my previous photo. Talk about Déjà Vu ! :lol:
Seiko7A38 wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:57 amUsing today's current exchange rate, that converts to $698.35 USD / £507.90 GBP / €590.05 Euros.
So whatever possessed Giuseppe to think that his misrepresented used example is worth 2000 Euros is beyond me !! :? Given their comparative conditions, I'd estimate his example is likely worth less than 500 Euros in real world money.

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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by jamesam »

This seems like the appropriate theme music for 2 of the three 7A36-70xx Surf Timers: https://youtu.be/O7_hvm34Obo

I don't find them too appealing, but I’d certainly pay up to $30 to own one that I could wear with the other “black and gold” gear that I wear for a Steelers game.

FYI - The link is to a YouTube video of “Black and Yellow” a hit song by American rapper Wiz Khalifa — supposedly a tribute to his hometown of Pittsburgh, with its 3 black and yellow themed sports teams.

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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

jamesam wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 3:48 pmI don't find them too appealing, but I’d certainly pay up to $30 to own one that I could wear with the other “black and gold” gear that I wear for a Steelers game.
The plastic parts of the 7A36 Surf Timers become brittle with age and hence prone to breakage. Sounds like you could probably use some tougher home grown apparel for match day wear. Check out this suitably appalling Invicta chrono !!

Invicta-PittsburghSteelers-Chrono-Ugh.jpg
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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by jamesam »

Not only would I wear that—but at the right price (under $100), I could buy an extra or two for family.
Sadly they are more expensive.

I realize this forum is mainly for chronographs but the non-chrono version seems to be more reasonably priced (see e.g., the Invicta NFL Pro Diver Scuba).

“Match day”? Only on the other side of the pond.

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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Enough of the off topic, I think, Jim. ;) Back to the 7T36 Surf Timer ....
Seiko7A38 wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:38 amAt the time of writing, I've been unable to establish in which half yearly Seiko JDM catalogue the 7A36 Surf Timers first appeared, which I consider a prerequisite for starting this post. :oops: I've scrolled through the scans of 1985 and 1986 JDM catalogues hosted on SCWF and strangely there's no sign of them. All examples seen to date have had 54xxxx or 55xxxx prefix case-back serial numbers, indicating manufacturing dates of April and May 1985. From the few price tags seen in photos of NOS examples, their recommended retail price was 35,000 Yen.
In such situations, there really is only one solution: to consult 'The Oracle' - Australian Seiko collector extraordinaire, Anthony Kable, who probably owns the most complete library of Seiko catalogues in the World (in terms of private collections). I dropped him a PM via SCWF yesterday. He replied earlier this morning:

7A36-SurfTimers-SCWF-AnthonyKable-PM-Reply.png
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Anthony later followed up that slightly disappointing reply with this little nugget:

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As you can see, Anthony very kindly attached 3 high resolution scans from that Summer 1985 dealer news brochure. :)
The cover photo is rather appropriate. 8-)

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Only the brighter coloured 7A36-700A SKP012 and 7A36-7010 SKP018 are featured. Possibly the 7A36-7000 SKP019 wasn't available in time for the photo shoots. :| That miniature Seiko surfboard 'dynamic image' diorama / shop display at the top of page 24 is, dare I use the word 'cool'. 8-) Note that the stainless 7A38-6040 SJS038 managed to sneak into the shot at the top corner of page 21, even though it was already included in the mainstream JDM catalogue.

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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Seiko7A38 wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 10:54 amAs usual, the description ends with his customary keyword spamming marathon. As if he needed any more visibility. :roll:
Another thing that annoys me about eBay sellers like Giuseppe and his ilk (he's certainly not alone in using this practice) is the way he regularly 'bumps' his listings, by ending them as allegedly 'no longer available' and re-listing them, so that they appear at the top of eBay search results as 'New'. As he did with his listing for the 7A36-7000 Surf Timer earlier this morning - after less than two days FFS ! :x

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/384263985768

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He re-listed it just two minutes later, with the still ludicrous Buy-it-Now price now reduced to 'only' 1700 Euros. :roll:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ULTRA-RARE-N ... 4266529484

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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by jamesam »

If I wanted a watch with a bright yellow face so badly that I’d be willing to pay 1,700 Euros, then instead of buying his Surf Timer, I’d just try to buy a “Vulcan” instead.

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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

In the early hours of this morning, Giuseppe pulled his regular stunt of ending all his current batch of eBay listings as allegedly no longer available, then immediately re-listing them. The Buy-it-Now price of his 7A36-7000 Surf Timer is now reduced to 'only' 1200 Euros (from the original 2000 Euros). So there's probably another 800 Euros still to go !! :lol:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ULTRA-RARE-N ... 4301796473

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Re: The 7A36-70xx Surf Timers - Plastic covered JDM Jetsam

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Not quite sure what to make of this, but Giuseppe's still ridiculously over-priced 7A36-7000 Surf Timer appears to have sold earlier today for an undisclosed best offer. :| Surely no-one can have been foolhardy enough to pay anything like his asking price, for a horrible plastic covered quartz chronograph without a 1/10 second function. :?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/384301796473

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