Little Dogs, Big Seikos

The other day I mentioned how Mister B, our 15-year-old dachshund, has become an occasional rather than a daily walker like his younger housemates Fritzi & Lulu. Well, he was eager enough to walk this morning. Less eager to stop for photos, though … he ran for the shadows every time I pointed the camera at him. For a minute there, I though he was going to burrow into that cactus.


Now that I look at the photo, Lulu (the black & tan) doesn’t look happy either. Anyway, the dogs have been walked, the bird feeders replenished, the bird bath cleaned and refilled. It’s time to blog!

While I’m rattling on about the dogs, Chewy says they need a new prescription for Mr. B’s special food. I called the vet, who wants to shake us down for a $300 checkup before he’ll cough it up. Never mind the money (actually we do mind), we don’t want to subject the old guy to the stress of a vet visit. If it were either of the younger dogs we wouldn’t think twice, but Mr. B has more than earned the right to be left in peace. Looks like Chewy has non-prescription alternatives that’ll protect Mr. B’s kidneys as well as what we get from them now, so that’s what we’ll do instead.

On watch groups and forums I follow, people always bitch about the rising price of Seikos. I don’t know about the high-end ones, Grand Seikos and the like priced up there alongside Rolexes, but everyday models like mine cost no more in today’s dollars than they did in the 1970s, less even.

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Donna bought me the Seiko on the left in 1978. The receipt’s long gone, but I think it was around $80. I know exactly what the same model cost in the early 70s, because its owner kept his: $71.50. That was NASA astronaut Bill Pogue, who bought one in 1972 and famously wore it in orbit aboard Skylab a couple of years later. In fact this Seiko model is now known as a Pogue, and is highly collectible … you can expect to pay around $1,000 for one in decent condition on eBay.

But never mind the collector hustle. What would my $80 Seiko sell for today, assuming Seiko still made that particular model? Let’s see … according to the first inflation calculator that pops up on Google, the price would be $396.

I bought the Seiko on the right in October. It lists on Amazon for $350. By any measure it’s the better of the two watches, and it sells for less than my price-adjusted Pogue.

I’m not sure this proves anything, because it certainly doesn’t apply to the price of anything else, but maybe it explains why I’m finding wristwatch collecting more my speed than riding motorcycles or going out to dinner, activities where fixed-income seniors like me are being priced out of the market.

IMG_9262Apologies if you’ve seen what follows on Facebook, but I know not everyone who reads this blog follows me on social media, and I think it’s worth sharing here.

The watch on the left is a Seiko diver I bought off Amazon for $162 in 2015 (it sells for $775 today, probably because it’s no longer made and there are only a few new ones still in inventory). It has a self-winding mechanical movement and a screw-down crown to keep water from getting into the movement. It’s rated to a depth of 200 meters, not that I ever intend to test that. I looked up some information on its history.

Seiko made this model for 22 years, from 1996 to 2018. The SKX009, my version, has a blue & red “Pepsi” bezel; its sister, the SKX007, a black one. They were first low-priced, widely-available dive watches and, like the Pogue, have become collectibles. Seiko introduced the 4 o’clock crown with these watches, positioned so as to avoid interference with wearers’ wrists. Everyone talks about famous actors wearing Rolexes (I do, anyway); Robert Redford wore a Seiko SKX009 in the movie “All Is Lost.”

I’ve always had a great fondness for this particular watch. Now that I know more about it, I’m determined to take better care of it.

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