Difference Between a Seiko 7040 & a 7049

Written by frank gates
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Difference Between a Seiko 7040 & a 7049
SCUBA divers need a watch that does more than just tell the time. (PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Seiko diver's watches are some of the most popular watches of their type in the world. Vintage Seiko diver's watches have a large following and can get quite pricey in some cases. The Seiko 7040 and 7049 belong to the 6309 series of Seiko 150 meter diver's watches which started production in 1976. These watches are housed in big cushion cases, have round markers, screw down crowns and bidirectional non-locking bezels. The general consensus among collectors is that there is no difference between the 7040 and the 7049 Seiko diver's watch.

6309 Overview

The 6309 series of Seiko diving watches is a successor to the 6105 models. They are all 150 meter diver's watches. Both series have 17J (jewels) and run at 21,600 bph (beats per hour). They are both non-hacking (pulling the crown out will not stop the second hand) and feature a Quickset day and date calendar. The 6309 series produced two different styles or looks. The earlier style which applies to the 7040 and the 7049 had the big cushion cases and round markers. The later style slimmed down the cases and introduced rectangular markers.

6309-7040 Bezel Color

The 7040 has a black bezel, which is the ring that surrounds the watch face and can be rotated clockwise and counterclockwise. The background on this bezel (between the numbers) is black in colour. However there have been reports of a 704x which has a blue and red bezel.

Case Number

The watch case number, stamped on the rear side of the watch, is essentially the part number used by Seiko to identify the watch. This is not the watch serial number which is a unique number stamped on the back of the case. The 7040 has a case number of 6309-7040. while the 7049 has a case number 6309-7049. The 6309 is common to both watches and designates this particular generation of Seiko diver's watches. The last digit of the 704x number indicates the export market for this watch. The 7040, (last digit "0"), was marketed for overseas countries other than North America, whereas the 7049, (last digit "9") was marketed exclusively for North America.

Tips to Spot a Fake 6309-704x

Before you plunk down £65 to £650 or more to purchase your vintage Seiko diver's watch you should make every effort to make sure that it is a genuine Seiko product and not a fake. Here are some tips that will identify a fake very quickly. Genuine 6309 Seiko watches have the standard "Water 150m Resist" on the watch. If this does not appear on the watch or has been replaced with anything else such as "Divers 150m" it is probably a fake. Another tip is the serial number. Seiko does not use eight digit serial numbers. If your watch has an eight digit serial number it is most likely a fake. These two tips can help you to easily eliminate the watch in your hand as a fake, but they will not catch every fake. Let a Seiko expert examine your watch to make sure that it is genuine.

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