Found an old friend (wrist watch from the 80’s)

Author: mirai  //  Category: All Posts, Life in general, Rants and Raves, Techie Stuff

In my previous entry, I talked about looking for an old Alba watch that I had when I was in elementary school.  It was an Alba/Seiko Y749-5030A.  After scouring the internet looking for someone who may know where I could find one, I lucked out and came across someone who happened to be selling the Y749-5020A. It isn’t the exact same model that I owned but functionality-wise, they are pretty much identical.  The only real difference aside from the color, is that the 5020A comes in a 50 meter water resistant casing as opposed to the 100 meter water resistant casing that the 5030A’s have, and they come with a metal bracelet instead of the silicon watch band.  I prefer the silicon over the medal bracelets, because bracelets not only feel heavier, they don’t fit as well on me.

I decided to bid on the watch anyway, because I figured that this would probably be the closest thing I will be able to find to the model that I use to have.  It was in excellent shape.  As a matter of fact, like the Person’s watch that I bought a few weeks ago, it was a dead stock, which means that its pretty much brand new and never been worn.   The seller was selling it for about $60 USD which is an excellent price considering that they use sell for nearly twice as much back the days.  i know this, because the watch came with the original Alba price tag still attached.  I didn’t want to spend too much over the $60 asking price, although I had the option of ending the auction early and winning the watch, if I spent $10 more.  But I decided risk it and waited the 2 days for the auction to end.

While waiting for the auction for the Y749-5020A to take its course, I did some research on the Y749 movement, and found that it was used in many different model watches.  I could have spent a lot less and settled on another used Y749-5000 series Seiko watch, but it wouldn’t be quite the same.  After all, what I am really looking for is the Y749-5030A, which seems to be much more rare and elusive than the other Alba models.

I also was able to find out that the movement inside Person’s watches are also made by Seiko and based on the V701 movement which are used in MANY Seiko and non-Seiko brand watches, which was somewhat of a surprise to me, although I think I may have known this and had just forgotten.    This particular movement seems to be so common that they are still being sold today.   Since I gutted an old Person’s watch that I had cannibalized to repair a very old watch that owned since high school, I now have a shell available that I can pretty revive into a working watch.  So I went onto eBay and bought a new V701 movement for about $21 USD (including shipping to Japan).  Once it arrives, I can repair the Person’s watch and I will then have 3 Person’s watches.  I might even paint it a different color so that I would have the same watch in 3 different colors.

After two days of waiting, the auction finally came to an end, and I was the winner.  Being somewhat of a rare find, I was a bit worried that someone might outbid me at the last moment, which would have been heartbreaking, and I contemplated paying the extra $10 so that I could end the auction.  But I decided to take the gamble, and it paid off.  So now, I own an Alba Y749-5020A.  It brings back so much memories from my childhood, even though its not quite the same.  One thing that I immediately noticed is how compact this watch is.  The Casio TS-1200 thermometer watch is also pretty small and compact, but look noticeably larger than the Alba.   I will continue to search for the Y749-5030A  in the hopes that I will be able wear the same exact model watch I had as a kid , but the 5020A is still a great find.  And being able to hear that cricket-like alarm again makes things all the better.



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