1973 Seiko Bellmatic

$850

An automatic stainless steel Seiko Bellmatic gunmetal metallic dial watch. Hot on the heels of both the Vulcain Cricket and the Jaeger LeCoultre Memovox, the Japanese watch maker, Seiko, launched their wrist alarm watch, the Bell-Matic in 1966. Including an alarm mechanism inside a mechanical wrist watch proved very difficult to accomplish, early on during the development of the wrist alarm. Creating the sound was not so much of an issue. The disruption this would cause on the mechanism and accurate time keeping, on the other hand, was problematic. The ‘bell’ in the Bell-Matic is actually a curved metal sounding spring that is repeatedly struck by a small hammer powered by a spring unwinding. That spring is released by a lever moved by a wheel sitting on top of the hour wheel on the dial side.

As with the Vulcain, the Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Tudor, the Seiko utilizes two separate barrels for storing power. This ensures that the power required to ring the bell does not detract from the power reserve for time-keeping. A watch that powered its alarm via the regular mainspring would stop after the alarm sounded and not be particularly useful. Unlike some designs like the Memovox, the Seiko has one crown, and a button at the 2 o'clock position. With the alarm button pressed in, turning the Bell-Matic’s crown winds the alarm’s spring and feels just like winding a manual watch. With just 6 revolutions to full wind, the alarm spring has enough power to ring its tiny bell for around 11 seconds. Pulling out the button at 2 o’clock arms the alarm, pushing it back in again disables the alarm. Pulling the crown out to its first position engages the indicator ring allowing it to be turned. A marker on the ring indicates when, during the next 12 hours, the alarm will sound. Pulling the crown out to its second position allows the time to be set as with a regular watch.

The multi function Bell-Matic has another two tricks up its sleeve. Pushing the alarm button in to its second position and releasing allows the date to be quickset just like pushing the crown of a 6xxx series movement. Finally, the day can be quickset by repeatedly flicking the hour hand backwards and forwards between 2 and 10. During its lifetime, the Bell-Matic came in 27, 21 and 17 jewel variants. The early watches all have 27 jewels with most of the extra jewels employed in the gear train where all the gears are jeweled top and bottom. Both barrel arbors are also fully jeweled top and bottom in this version. In 1968, Seiko reduced the jewel count to 21 for the US market, supposedly to avoid the import tax applied to luxury watches with high jewel counts. Within two years, Bell-Matics for all markets had been reduced to 17 jewels. The only exception were the 4006-701x models that kept their full count of 27 jewels and continued to be sold in Japan into the mid-70s. This example is an earlier and more desirable 27 jewel version.

The Bellmatic remained in the line until 1978 when it was phased out by the onslaught of the digital watch revolution. These watches are fabulous in design, a very wearable size, and great to look at. They are quickly being sought after. This example with its gunmetal metallic dial and black outer ring is a very handsome version. The case has light wear to it, but remains unpolished showing strong original lines and chamfers. The condition of the dial is excellent with all the luminous material showing well under UV light.

Case measurement: 39.5 mm

This item is final sale.

Items discounted at more than 25%, whether purchased online or by phone, are not eligible for refund and will only be considered for a size/color exchange or a store credit.

Boxer shorts, masks, Made to Order products and 3rd party items (college silk paperweights, vintage watches) are all final sale and cannot be returned for refund or store credit.

Merchandise that has been altered in any way will not be eligible for returns or exchanges.

Return requests must be made within 30 days of the receipt date of your order.

Products must be in the original condition you received them and in their original packaging.

Return Instructions:

  1. Make your return request through https://jpressonline.myreturnscenter.com/. You will receive a Return ID Number (RMA#) from J. Press. Once your return request has been approved, you will be notified via email.
  2. Products must be in the original condition you received them and in their original packaging. All price tags must be attached.
  3. Pack the return items, along with the original receipt/packing slip or copy of the receipt/packing slip, and a note indicating your RMA#. You can use your original shipping box or any plain box. Please be sure to peel off any previous mailing labels on the box, or completely cover it with the new label.
  4. Please ship by courier of your choice and pay the return postage when sending the return item(s). Customers are responsible for shipping the items being sent back for refund or exchange. J. Press will not be responsible for any loss and/or damage incurred on return shipments.

Exchanges or Store Credit

If you would like to exchange an item for another size or color, note that we cannot reserve or hold an item for exchange. If the item is not available when we receive the item, you will be issued a store credit (discounted more than 25%) or refund. Exchange items are shipped for free.

  1. Make your exchange request through https://jpressonline.myreturnscenter.com/.
  2. Please indicate what size and/or color you would like to exchange in the Notes box.
  3. You will receive a Return ID Number (RMA#) from J. Press. Once your exchange request has been approved, you will be notified via email. Please do not send items back without obtaining the Approval from J. Press. If the item you wish to exchange is not available, we will contact you.
  4. Follow the Return procedure Return 2 through 4.

Please send all returns and exchanges to:

J. Press E-Returns
8 West 38th Street
Suite 200
New York, NY 10018


J. Press will update you via email when your return has been processed. J. Press will not charge an additional shipping fee for size and/or color exchanges shipped within the US by Ground shipping. International orders may be charged additional shipping fees for exchanged items, and custom duties or taxes may be billed by the carrier at delivery.

If you have any questions or would like assistance with Online Orders, please Contact Us at customerservice@jpressonline.com or +1 888.779.4956, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm ET Monday-Friday.

*Due to limited staffing allowed in our office, we ask that you contact us by email or through our livechat. If it is an urgent matter, please contact one of our store locations.

J.Press Stores - https://jpressonline.com/pages/j-press-stores

RESERVED RIGHTS

*If you believe that you have received damaged, defective, the wrong item(s) or missing item(s), please contact us immediately within 7 days of the receipt date before you start the return process, so we can assist you.

  • Merchandise that has been altered in any way will not be eligible for returns or exchanges.
  • Return requests must be made within 30 days of the receipt date of your order.
  • Gift boxes cannot be returned for a refund.
  • Please note: Shipping fees along with international duties & taxes are not refundable.

DOMESTIC (USA)

First time customer orders will be shipped to the billing address of the credit card used for security reasons. If you need your order shipped to an alternate address, please use PayPal, or contact us.

  • Domestic Express orders must be placed before 12pm EST/9am PST to be shipped out the same or next business day. Other delivery methods Ground standard delivery or International delivery are not guaranteed to be shipped out the same or next business day, especially at high order volume seasons such as holiday season or special promotion periods.
  • On orders being delivered to major cities, we may use our discretion in requiring an adult signature to accept delivery. If your order is over $500, please check your tracking number.
  • Orders with multiple items may be shipped in multiple packages.
  • Orders cannot be shipped to PO Box without the street address.
  • All Express deliveries (Next Day or Second Day delivery) arrive on Monday - Friday. No deliveries on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.
  • Orders to APO, FPO, or DPO addresses are accepted with Standard delivery (Express delivery is not available). Shipping charge is the same as the Domestic Ground shipping rate.
  • If you have not received your order within 7 days of the shipment date, please contact us immediately. J.Press will not be responsible for claims made after 7 days from the shipment date.
  • Merchandise shown on the website may not be available in all sizes or colors, as item availability can change throughout the day.
  • If an ordered item is not available, you will be notified by email and adjusted your order total for charge.

Merchandise shown on the website may not be available in all sizes or colors, as item availability can change throughout the day.
If an ordered item is not available, you will be notified by email.

DOMESTIC RATES (USA)
GROUND Rates Merchandise Total Standard Shipping
 Under $150 $7.50
$150.00 and up FREE

 

 EXPRESS Rates
Second Day
Next Day by 8PM
Next Day by 12PM
DOMESTIC ECONOMY*
STANDARD OVERNIGHT*
PRIORITY OVERNIGHT*
Shipping Address
Delivery by 8:00 PM
Delivery by 8:00 PM
Delivery by 12:00 PM
EASTERN ZONE
$25.00
$35.00
$40.00
CENTRAL ZONE
$30.00
$40.00
$45.00
MOUNTAIN ZONE
$30.00
$40.00
$50.00
PACIFIC ZONE
$40.00
$50.00
$55.00


*All Express deliveries arrive on Monday - Friday. No deliveries on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.

*J.Press will not be responsible for delivery delays due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our reasonable control, such as delays due to severe weather, natural disasters or strike.

INTERNATIONAL

  • International orders are subject to customs duty or additional fees according to the tariff law of your country. Customers are responsible for all customs duty. Customs duty is not refundable. Zonos checkout will collect this for many countries.
  • International orders will only be shipped to the billing address and billing person for security and customs duty reasons.
  • Orders to Japan are shipped via Yamato USA and are subject to customs duty or additional fees.
  • Orders to other countries are shipped via FedEx.
  • Orders with multiple items may be shipped in multiple packages.
  • Orders cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.
  • No deliveries on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays.
  • Merchandise shown on the website may not be available in all sizes or colors, as item availability can change throughout the day. If an ordered item is not available, you will be notified before shipping.
INTERNATIONAL RATES

International orders will be shipped by FedEx, aside from Japan, which will be delivered by Yamato.

Rate will be determined in Zonos checkout based on items ordered. Make sure correct country flag is selected at the bottom lefthand corner of the homepage so you can see proper currency and fees. If the United States flag is selected, you will not be able to access the Zonos international checkout.