Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The automatics.......

6:52 am - Wednesday - January 29th - Riverside, CA - 43° F,  79% humidity, wind 3 mph of the east by, clear this morning with a forecast high today of 69° F.

After our great hike to the top of Mt. Rubidoux Monday, the first in years, I decided to get my Cannondale Bad Boy out and take a 20 mile ride on the SART*.  Since we moved into our Newell Classic back in February of 2011, and lived at Rancho Jurupa Regional Park for one year I have ridden a few hundred miles on the SART*, but in the last couple of years not so much.  The SART stretches over 70 miles (currently from San Bernardino to Newport Beach following the path of the Santa Ana River with a 10 mile gap.....still to be finished) between Norco and Yorba Linda.  When I lived in Ontario, CA I often rode the stretch from Yorba Linda to Newport Beach and back.....a 62 mile round trip.  When we moved to Riverside I began to ride the northern stretch (Norco to San Bernardino), which passes right next to Mt. Rubidoux.

I left on my ride around 10:15 am and returned just before noon time having covered exactly 20 miles.......

 You can see the snow capped San Bernardino Mountains

 The Coyote Trail stretch of the trail in Norco

.....I haven't ridden 20 miles since I did it back in Burlington, VT with TLE back in October of 2018.  Just before we arrived at RORVR back in April we were staying at the Fontana/Rialto Elks Lodge and I rode 10 miles on the PET** a couple of times, so it's been over a year since I reached that bench mark.  As I began the ride I was wondering how I would do, but within minutes I was floating westbound down Jurupa Avenue to the trailhead at Martha McLean-Anza Narrow Park feeling like I could ride forever.  When I reached the Norco terminus of the SART, and made the turn around I had covered just over 9 miles.  I felt great, and like I could finish the final 10+ miles home.  I made it home with energy to spare.....

 Still smiling after 20 miles I sit here Wednesday morning composing this post I still feel fine....a little stiffness, but nothing unusual.  

Back in my workaday life I used to collect Seiko Chronograph Automatic Speed Timer watches....automatic means it is a self wind.  I bought my first one brand new sometime in 1972.......

 The original - Model # 6139-6005

......this watch, introduced in May of 1969, is known at the first mass produced automatic chronograph.  Sometime in the late 80's it stopped working, and I bought another Seiko, and put the Speed Timer in my jewelry box to be fixed someday.  In the early 2000's I had it fixed, and had a new crystal installed.  I began to collect more of these beautiful watches, and at one time owned 8 of them.  I had a 'watch winder' which kept my collection wound all the's not good for them to lay idle, like any mechanical thing.  About 3 years into our vagabond life I listed 4 of them on eBay, and was surprised that they went for about $300+ each....I paid about $100 per watch originally.  So, fast forward to December, 2019 I decided to sell the last 4 as I was not wearing them, and my 'watch winder' had broken.  On December 6th I  dropped off three of my four remaining Seiko Automatic Speed Timer watches at a watchmaker in Riverside that I have known for a couple of years to be cleaned, oiled, and adjusted, which included my original Navy Blue dial Seiko.  The other two are below......

 Very rare salmon colored dial Seiko Automatic....this is the only one I have ever seen on eBay....Model # 6139-6002

The most popular of these Seikos.....called the Pogue Seiko (also Model # 6139-6002) after Col. Pogue, an astronaut, who wore one of these into space back in the early 70's.  This one has the day of the week in either English, or Arabic....I least I believe it is Arabic.
Arabic day of week...pretty cool, huh?

.....I received a call about a week ago that the three watches were ready for pickup, so Tuesday I drove over to the watchmaker on Mission Inn Blvd. to retrieve them.  At that time I delivered the fourth Seiko Automatic (black dial) to have a new stem/crown installed as the original fell out a few years ago.  I'll list the ones I have now on eBay today, but if any of you are interested in any of these watches I'll give you a good deal.

I spent the rest of the afternoon researching closed auctions on eBay to see what they are going for now, and the prices seem to range from a low of $300 for average to good condition to over $1,200 for pristine condition.  The salmon dial one is in near pristine condition with original crystal (scratch free) and Seiko bracelet.  The Pogue Seiko (gold dial) has minor scratches on the crystal, and stainless steel case, and has the original Seiko bracelet.  The Navy Blue one has a new crystal, and an after market look alike bracelet, but I still have the original Seiko bracelet, which I will include.  The case shows some wear and scratches as I wore it every day for a dozen years before it quit working.

Thanks for stopping by!

* SART = Santa Ana River Trail
**PET = Pacific Electric Trail

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