There are so many things to say about vintage Seiko automatic chronographs, that it’s almost hard to find a place to start. They are iconic, well made, collectable, gorgeous, historically significant and…affordable. While it’s hard to give exact numbers, generally speaking a Seiko 6138 or 6139 will run you between $100 and $400, condition and scarcity depending. Which is fantastic, because there are a plethora of models out there, some of which are more famous than others, and the relatively low price makes it possible to own a few. While it’s tempting to write about them all, there have already been various articles, guides and forum posts on the topic, so I’ll defer to those for brevity.
Back in 2006, John Biggs put together a guide of classic Seiko movements, including the 6139, which is a good starting point. Felix, over at Hodinkee, did a splendid job putting together a guide a couple of month’s ago of specific significant models, focused on the 6139 and 6138 movements. And if you want to see an awesome photo archive of many models, from early hand wound 5717’s, through the 6139-38 movements to the 7016, which had minute and hour chrono registers on a single sub-dial, go here (but be warned…that archive can be dangerous to your bank account, as you are likely to find many models you want). Then, you can search any of the forums and many thorough discussions amongst collectors will appear.