Seiko Chronograph Baby Panda 6138-8000 & 6138-8001 - The guide
Updated: Jun 23
The Seiko 'Baby Panda' ref. 6138-800x is a highly regarded watch among Seiko collectors for several reasons. It was initially released exclusively for the Japanese domestic market (JDM) and was the world's first fully integrated automatic chronograph with a column wheel and vertical coupling mechanism. It is powered by the esteemed 23-jewel cal.6138 movement, which was introduced in 1971 and remained in production for only one year. The movement is housed within two models: the ref. 6138-8001 and its slightly smaller counterpart, the ref. 6138-8000.
The 'Baby Panda' stands out due to its column wheel, which controls the chronograph functions, and its vertical clutch mechanism for smooth engagement. Furthermore, it offers the convenience of a quick-set day/date indicator and the ability to be hand-wound, setting it apart from the ref.6139 model and other Seiko chronographs of that era.
Not only boasting the updated Cal.6138B, but it also features a smaller but taller case compared to its sister the Ref.6138-8020, and a very unique railroad bracelet that comes with brushed links which makes them stand out from the crowd as they are also very comfortable to wear.
A collection of Baby Panda Ref.6138-800X watches in white and reverse dial variants.
The Seiko Baby Panda was made in two dials colors: White dial or Ivory dial which often develops a beautiful creamy patina and the rarer reverse variant sporting an amazing deep gray dial.
The white "Ivory dial" variants:
Throughout the production history of the Ref.6138-800X, you can notice 4 dials types. Although similar, you can notice subtle differences which will help you identify the correct case number and the estimated production year/month. This is also applicable to the Reverse dial variants which will soon cover in this article as well:
Ref.6138-8000 - Lumed dial and hands - Large minute subdial font - Small Tachymeter font - Bracelet XAB-321
Ref.6138-8000 - Lumed dial and hands - Small minute subdial font - Small Tachymeter font - Bracelet XAB-321
Ref.6138-8000 - AKA Transitional - Lumed dial and hands - Large minute subdial font - Large Tachymeter font - Bracelet XAB-321
Ref.6138-8001 - Lack of lume on the dial and hands - Large minute subdial font - Large Tachymeter font - Bracelet XAB-322