Retro Alba watches

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Retro Alba watches

Post by mrneddles on 2012-12-02, 14:47

I have been watching the Alba market on eBay for a few weeks and picked up two little gems. My taste has always leaned to the "off beat", explaining why I have owned my share of Rados and Androids. If Seiko used the same dating code on the Alba brand, I would put mine as produced in the late 80s (any clarification would be greatly appreciated!). What I find remarkable is the overall quality of the watch and attention to detail, especially compared to the junk pumped out by companies today.

From Wikipedia:
Alba is a wristwatch sub-brand of Seiko Watch Corporation which appeared first in 1979.
Using Seiko's own family of movements but with modern styling designed to appeal especially to younger customers, Alba watches are primarily aimed at Asian markets in the hope of creating long-term loyalty to the Seiko group when these customer's purchasing power increases.

First up is the bullhead. It has a wonderful two tone brown dial (hard to catch in photos) with applied markers. They cover the stem with a brown painted dot on the crystal. The watch is about 40mm wide and very slim. I like the complicated bracelet. The big links are solid, with the sizing links folded metal. They use a folded metal ingot which pops out very easily for sizing (you could do it with a paperclip). The watch is very unique, but given its dimensions, it is very pleasing without being obnoxious.

Broad sunburst brushing with a sharp line of polish on the case (try that Mr. Liang)

Beveled crystal with applied markers on the dial. Second hand at the 3 o'clock position.

Detail of the sizable links.


Next up is this square model. I bought it out of Hong Kong for a steal at $25 plus shipping. It arrived a bit tarnished:

A quick trip to the ultrasonic cleaner for the bracelet, and minimal polishing with a Cape Cod cloth, the watch was back to wow state on the wrist.

I would describe this watch as a "drivers watch" as the dial is angled into the case in such a way that time can be read with your hands on the steering wheel.

In fact, the cheese grater case and bracelet reminds me of one of my favorite drivers from my adolescent years, the Ferrari Testarossa:

Detail of the case, again featuring a two tone blue, applied markers, and the stem covering dot painted under the crystal.

About 38mm wide at its widest


Thanks for looking, and if anyone can tell me more about these two, thanks in advance.

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by eddiea on 2012-12-02, 15:18

How is your Spanish?

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by mrneddles on 2012-12-02, 15:25

eddiea wrote:How is your Spanish?

Terrible. My Colombian father was a surgeon when I grew up. He left for work before I woke up and came home after I went to bed. We never became a bilingual house. Plus I believe my mother was against Spanish being spoken at home, it wasn't fancy enough for her.

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by bigedsurf on 2012-12-02, 16:38

Nice pick-ups Dave...............

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by eddiea on 2012-12-02, 16:50

mrneddles wrote:
eddiea wrote:How is your Spanish?

Terrible. My Colombian father was a surgeon when I grew up. He left for work before I woke up and came home after I went to bed. We never became a bilingual house. Plus I believe my mother was against Spanish being spoken at home, it wasn't fancy enough for her.
That's a shame....(drop me a line if you need help)
http://www.foroderelojes.es/showthread.php/12397-Vintage-Brands-Japan-Seiko

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by Mortuus on 2012-12-02, 17:54

This is my only Alba, thus far, a very cool dual-timer my lady purchased for me in Singapore for my geburtstag back in early '00. We were combining a bit of business (I was deployed at the time) and pleasure; that amazing city is our favorite place - other than RSF, of course - and we had several visits there together over my 26 years on active duty.

I was wearing this watch on 911 when I ended up being pinned down - ironically, I think - on my left side by a big chunk of cement wall that managed to also break my back in three places and my left leg in five when it fell on me. I was still wearing this watch when the priest gave me last rites that same evening, and nearly three years later, when I finally got to come home to San Diego after just about two years spent as a very reluctant inpatient at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, plus 12 months as a very homesick and continuously bitching outpatient, both there and at Walter Reed.

I likes them old Albas, Doc Needles; nice grab... pirat


Last edited by Mortuus on 2012-12-02, 21:58; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by wottime on 2012-12-02, 20:53

Nice pick ups mrneeds. That square Alba is sweet. Love the dial. The bullhead is very catchy as well.

To digress, what a story Mort. Didn't know your direct ties to 9/11. Damn brother, last rites and still going strong. WOW!!!

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by AlbertaTime on 2012-12-03, 01:49

Mortuus wrote:I was wearing this watch on 911 when I ended up being pinned down - ironically, I think - on my left side by a big chunk of cement wall that managed to also break my back in three places and my left leg in five when it fell on me. I was still wearing this watch when the priest gave me last rites that same evening, and nearly three years later, when I finally got to come home to San Diego after just about two years spent as a very reluctant inpatient at Bethesda Naval Medical Center, plus 12 months as a very homesick and continuously bitching outpatient, both there and at Walter Reed.

I'm quite serious; your story brought me to tears. I'm sorry you went through all that. I'm thrilled you survived. The world needs more watchaholics.

Otherwise, people will be late. I just know it.
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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by Mortuus on 2012-12-03, 04:43

Many thanks, wotts. When I finally spoke to my old family priest about the whole thing after I made it home to SoCal, he told me that he had some "very mixed feelings" about my having received last rites. He was the Monsignor of the Catholic school I attended from K to 8th grade, then became the head of the Catholic high school just in time to deal with his "favorite troublemaker," as he often referred to me, for the next four years.

"Mixed feelings?" I asked.

"Yes," he said, slowly shaking his head from side to side and pursing his lips in that certain way he always did, when he was getting ready to lay a sizable guilt trip on you.

"How so?" I asked, genuinely puzzled.

"Well, Mort, all those years of having to deal with your troublesome behavior - "

"For which you granted me pennance each time" I said a bit too loudly.

"Yes, that's true" he said, nodding slowly, as if trying to remember just one time he'd failed to grant me absolution so he could lacerate my conscience with it at that moment. Fortunately for me, he couldn't.

"So I'm not getting the whole 'mixed feelings' thing" I said a bit more caustically than I should have.

"Well, Mort, every time you got in trouble, I was the one who had to deal with it, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, for a dozen years. You broke poor Nancy Medlin's beautiful baby blue combing band, and they brought you to me to deal with."

"Look, Father, how dumb was she, leaving that fragile thing on the ground for some kid to step on?"

"Then you locked Lori Schaffer's poor little cat in the Janitors' chemical locker; poor little thing wasn't ever the same after that."

"No, Father, that cat was born a spazz, which was why everyone hated it. Little bastard yurked up a hairball all over my school sweater more than once."

"Mort, I've told you many, many times that 'spazz' is an inappropriate word - "

"Not if you're talking about Lori Schaffer's cat!" I said. "That little turd - "

"And that is also an inappropriate term, Mort."

JEEBUS...

"And you told Sara Dorff you were going to kick her in the uterus!"

"That was Roland Kettering who told her that!" I protested.

I could go on, but ultimately, Father Sal finally got around to the point, telling me the following:

"After more than a dozen years of working through your disciplinary problems and personal issues, I was actually looking forward to performing your last rites...I was gonna have fun with it. Now it ain't gonna happen! Damn it to HELL!"

And with that, he threw me outta the Rectory. Such a small thing he'd wanted... No

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by bigedsurf on 2012-12-03, 05:29

It is clear to me, Mort, that you were the direct cause of the good Father's many years of problems with excessive use of Sacramental wine...........

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by Ocean on 2012-12-03, 14:20

I like both Dave. The bull head at first would be my choice but the more I look at them the more I like the Red Testarossa best.

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Re: Retro Alba watches

Post by Mortuus on 2012-12-07, 00:35

Hmmm..."Ferrari Testarossa" roughly tranlates from Old Italian into "Rosy Red Testicles on Wheels" in English. And 'Maserati?' Oy, we won't even go there...

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