Seiko Ladies' Diver
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Seiko Ladies' Diver

Women’s mechanical watches can often be something of an afterthought. Either they’re bejeweled variants of men’s styles, oftentimes with quartz movements, or they’re scaled-down versions of the men’s sizes with smaller (and therefore less-reliable) mechanical movements. True, though in recent years some manufactures have put out thoughtfully-executed watches for their female clientele, those are few and far between.

And when it comes to vintage watches for women, the pickings can be slim, quite the opposite from the men's market. Though undeniably beautiful, the vintage cocktail watches that survive are little more than ornamentation. Due to the size and fickle nature of their movements, they’re not ideal for daily wear, and should not be worn within splashing distance of a swimming pool.

But there are pieces like this one from Seiko that fill that niche. 

Seiko has long been making women’s watches. Though their earliest examples were of the dainty sort that the Swiss were making in the first half of the 20th century, this soon changed in the 1960s and 1970s with the advent of dive watches. When Seiko began to release purpose-driven dive watches for men in the 1960s, women’s watches soon followed.

These watches were anything but afterthoughts. Crafted with the same care and attention that Seiko imbued all their watches with, these beautiful little dive watches are replete with tiny details that (we’re sure) would make any man jealous. We’re talking embossed hour markers and beautiful hands.

Internally, these watches were no slouches either, with scaled-down versions of the movements used in men’s watches—in fact, sometimes these movements were nicer than the male equivalents!

Take for example this watch, a Reference 2205-0769 diver, which Seiko produced from 1970 to about 1980.

Sure, it might be 33mm. But aside from the smaller size, it’s almost identical in looks to the Reference 6105 beloved by collectors and featured on the wrist of Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now. In fact, due to its similarity to that watch, the Reference 2205 is often referred to as the “baby 6105.”

But don’t let that name fool you—this baby is by no means dainty. The asymmetrical steel cushion case is still sturdy, despite the size, and is a solid weight on the wrist. Capped with a rotating bezel, the watch wears larger than its petite size would attest, and has a depth rating of 150 meters.

And the movement is the well-renowned Calibre 2205, an automatic hi-beat calibre with smooth sweeping seconds. Yes, you read that correctly: the Calibre 2205 beats at a staggering 28,800 bph, which is almost unheard-of in a ladies’ watch. Additionally, the movement contains a quick-set date function similar to what Omega used in its mid-century Seamaster designs, activated by pushing the crown outward from the time-setting position.

This particular Reference 2205 is in excellent condition with crisp bevels on the case. The fact that this watch exists is a testament to a woman’s need for a watch with substance. This watch is exactly that.

Details

SKU: AS02150

Stainless steel case is approximately 33mm (excluding crown). Seiko Reference 2205-0769. Calibre 2205 Self-Winding Movement.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in excellent condition with crisp bevels on the case. Dial is likewise in excellent condition with crisp printing and light patina to the luminescent elements. Screw down crown. Case back is in excellent condition.

Includes one 16mm black rubber "waffle" style strap.

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