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Seiko “Golden Tuna” Ref. 7549-7009

We love vintage watches for so very many reasons, and whether you approach the vast world of watch collecting from an interest in their practicality and mechanical innovations, their aesthetic delights, their historical relevance, or any combination of the above, we can all agree on one thing: A a reference is exponentially cooler if James Bond wore it in a movie.

Yes, even Roger Moore’s James Bond. And while many of us are very familiar with the high-visibility Bond watches like Sean Connery’s “Big Crown” Submariner ref. 6538 and the various Omegas the MI6 man has donned in his contemporary adventures, there are still a few Bond watches that have eluded the greater interest of the watch-collecting masses. The fact of the matter is secret agents demand a helluva lot from their wristwatches – even before Q gets his hands on ‘em – and in the case of the Seiko Professional Diver 600m “Golden Tuna” (ref. 7549-7009), it’s a watch that could already handle it all! This reference was in many ways the pinnacle dive watch of its day, making it the perfect dive watch for Bond to wear in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only. So how exactly has this remarkable Japanese diver managed to float below the built-in hype that Bond-worn references enjoy for so long?

In this episode of our series Under the Radar, Craft + Tailored’s very own trend spy, Tyler Vanes, seeks to assassinate the “Golden Tuna’s” incomprehensible lack of hype by taking a closer look at a wonderfully well-preserved example from 1978. These watches were some of the most technologically advanced and reliable divers ever made when they were produced and that striking case design isn’t just for show – these watches are all about functionality. The “Golden Tuna” has a titanium nitride-plated case and was designed as a saturation diver. These watches boast a quartz movement and as such are incredibly accurate and reliable, and also represent exactly where watchmaking as a whole had gone in 1978. 

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This particular example is especially cool as it’s in such fabulous shape. Like all Seiko divers, these watches are exceedingly difficult to find in such excellent condition as these are watches people typically used for their intended purpose. The vast majority of “Golden Tunas” out there display the scars and patina of watches that have been to the depths and have been legitimately relied upon to keep their owners alive, so examining this particular piece represents a rare opportunity. 

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