Orient J39 (7A38) case designs re-used in HFA 7T32's

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Orient J39 (7A38) case designs re-used in HFA 7T32's

Post by Seiko7A38 »

I never got round to creating a separate topic in the old forum's 7Txx Discussion section covering this. Perhaps I should have done. Instead, I occasionally added posts into the Rare and unusual 7T32-xxxx variants spotted thread, which, with hindsight, possibly diluted that topic. :|

When Seiko ceased production of 7A38's in mid-1989, they'd already begun manufacturing its much cheaper successor - the 7T32. I think I'd be fairly safe in saying these had all new case designs and certainly nothing closely resembling any 7A38 model appeared initially. Later they came out with the titanium 7T42-7A10, which in effect used the case design of the JDM 7A38-7030 SJS018, but that's a notable exception.

Orient Watch Co. were (and still are) owned by Seiko-Epson corporation. Whereas they still manufactured their own mechanical watches, they were clearly dependent on their parent company for supply of quartz movements. Orient Watch Co. had been producing J38's and J39's since the mid 1980's and along with Spanish subsidiary RACER Relojes, continued into the early 90's. However, when supplies of J3920 movements dried up and they switched to the HFA00 7T32 movement, being 'a poor relation', presumably with a much lower model development budget, little effort had been made beforehand, tooling up new case designs for them.

Hence, apart from changes to the position of their crowns and pushers, the reason why many Orient HFA '7T32' case designs bear very close resemblances to their J39 predecessors. I'd observed this anomaly as far back as July 2013:

Orient-7T32-CaseDesigns-Post-1.jpg
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Ignoring my subsequent posts about the Orient / Racer BreitBling 7T32 clones (also based on J39 case designs), which I later developed an affinity for, I scrolled through that old forum thread and found this post from a year or so later:

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Orient-7T32-CaseDesigns-Post-2b.png
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Seeing that again raised another wry smile. :) Particularly in the light of my recent posts on this forum on that subject.

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Re: Orient J39 (7A38) case designs re-used in HFA 7T32's

Post by Seiko7A38 »

So what should come up in one of my saved eBay search result notifications earlier this afternoon, but this ! :o

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/OROLOGIO-ORI ... 4677601937

OROLOGIO ORIENT HFA004 CHRONO ALARM 5 TASTI JAPAN VINTAGE 39MM NON FUNZIONA

Orient-7T32-HFA004-70-Stainless+Gold-BlackFace-HeadOnly-eBay-Feb2021-1.jpg
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I'm not sure why it came up in my search notifications, because it was first listed by Italian eBay seller watchretromode as far back as February this year. Talk about 'the power of suggestion'. :roll:

It's a HFA004-70, that obviously re-used the J39002-70 watch case. Difference is, this watch has a black dial, which I've never seen in the J39 equivalent. Makes me wonder now if one might have existed. Something else to look out for. :|

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Re: Orient J39 (7A38) case designs re-used in HFA 7T32's

Post by Seiko7A38 »

Here's another classic instance of Orient carrying over a J39 design. This Racer HFA030-70 '7T32' was listed yesterday by a French eBay seller, with a Buy-it-Now price of 90 Euros.

rsz_racer-orient-7t32-hfa030-70--palladium-gold-whiteface-ebay-oct2021-1.jpg
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Racer-Orient-7T32-HFA030-70--Palladium+Gold-WhiteFace-eBay-Oct2021-2.jpg
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Unless you're as familiar with all the different dressy J39 variants as I am, it might not immediately be so obvious in the guise of 7T32 configuration, but I instantly recognized it as a continuation of the two-tone palladium plated J39028-70.

rsz_p1760066-crop.jpg
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Not quite so clearly visible in the French seller's primary image, but in the second one that I've uploaded, the sub-dial numbering is similarly also printed in dark blue.

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