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Found A Seiko 6306 From A 1979 Antarctic Research Expedition

Found A Seiko 6306 From A 1979 Antarctic Research Expedition

On June 19, 2019, a Seiko was recorded on eBay with “Uncommon, checked dial” in the heading. From the photos it was clear it was a 6306. Indeed, even prior to tapping on the posting, Justin Couture understood what he should bargain with. There’s just a single rendition of the 6306 with a “checked dial” – the well known Scubapro 450 model, created related to the plunge hardware company.

Or so he thought. 

I met Justin through the profound universe of Seiko nerdom on Instagram and was similarly as inquisitive about a puzzling 6306 he posted as he more likely than not been the point at which he originally experienced it on eBay. It was positively a watch with a story, and here’s the way it unraveled. 

The Buy It Now cost was fairly high for a Seiko 6306 – a touch more than $1,000. The 6306 is indistinguishable in many manners to the much-cherished 6309, yet it was made for the Japanese homegrown market, and highlights a Kanji date haggle development, so a premium is normal. The portrayal yielded no foundation data on the checking, which was a straightforward “MSST1979-80” over the commonplace “Water 150m Resist” at 6 o’clock. A brisk Google search raised a couple of discussion posts on the “McMurdo Sound Sediment and Tectonic Study.” Interesting, Justin thought, yet there wasn’t any an ideal opportunity to squander. It is possible that he planned to pull the trigger or another person would. The watch looked authentic. It had been chosen. He’d get it without knowing the full story. 

Luckily it’s the matter of researchers to record each demanding insight regarding the known world for any kind of future family in any event, and the improvement of mankind, best case scenario. “MSST1979-80” was a logical report that occurred in Antarctica during the dates showed on the dial. Justin had a difficult, but not impossible task ahead, yet all the bits of the riddle were available. He just needed to assemble them. A report by Victoria University of Wellington turned up in a “MSST” Google search. It was the ideal spot to start. 

The watch hadn’t been dispatched to Justin yet, yet some cunning internet sleuthing uncovered that a portion of the researchers in the report were still employees at the Victoria University of Wellington. Dr. Peter Barrett , one of the essential researchers on the mission and an ebb and flow Emeritus Professor at the school’s Antarctic Research Center, had an email address recorded on his staff profile. 

Justin purchased the watch on the nineteenth, and found the researchers and connected on the twentieth getting some information about the historical backdrop of the very watch that was on the way on its approach to him. 

By the 21st, he had an answer. 

The McMurdo Sound Sediment And Tectonic Study

Antarctica, with the Continental United States superimposed for scale. 

97.6% of Antarctica is covered with ice, and Antarctic ice addresses about 90% of all the ice in the whole world. The mainland is partitioned into two ice sheets: The East Antarctic ice sheet, which is about the size of the mainland US, and the West Antarctic ice sheet, which covers a progression of islands and mountains that sit underneath ocean level. Ice of the West Antarctic sheet streams west; ice of the East Antarctic sheet streams east. Isolating the two is the Transantarctic mountain range. The ice on the East Antarctic sheet is up to three miles thick. As right on time as 1973, discoveries were made that set up the early history of the East Antarctic ice sheet and an expected connection with the early history of the Transantarctic Mountains. Cold history and the moving of mountains was believed to be recorded in the thick sedimentary arrangement that can be seen in seismic successions along the Transantarctic Mountain Front. The best approach to test the succession is by boring and recovering center examples that would then be able to be studied. 

That’s what the McMurdo Sound Sediment and Tectonic Study (MSSTs) was intended to execute. The task commenced with the first coring on October 21, 1979, with the target of penetrating into McMurdo Sound to recover silt tests which would have the option to disclose to us more about the historical backdrop of Antarctica, especially a vital period between 50-10 million years prior, during which ice slowly covered the continent.

A map portraying the East Antarctic and West Antarctic Ice Sheets divided by the Transantarctic Mountains.

The project was a joint endeavor between the Victoria University of Wellington and the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition, with help from U.S. furthermore, Australian organizations. 

A penetrating apparatus used to recover center examples from the McMurdo Sound. 

A U.S. Naval force Helicopter (UH-1C) used to ship center samples. 

Crews of geologists, drill administrators, geochemists, and researcher would take off onto the ocean ice of the McMurdo Sound to work monstrous drills that would initially pierce through ice that was around six feet thick. At that point the drill would arrive at profundities of 195 feet to drill into the silt. The center examples would then be shipped back up to the surface in a “split cylinder” and powerfully removed in ten-foot segments. 

Sea-ice penetrating frameworks utilized in the Antarctic; B, above, is MSSTS-1, 1979.

An starting assessment would happen in a “science hovel” developed on the ocean ice before the example was taken care of and shipped off the center lab at Scott Base (named out of appreciation for Captain Robert Scott, who drove two British endeavors to the Ross Sea). U.S. Naval force helicopters, Dodge Power Wagons, and sleds pulled by a crawler farm hauler moved an aggregate of 41 boxes of tests to the base, where readings for seismic speed and gas composition were taken. Studies concerning sedimentology, geochemistry, foraminifera, and radiolaria (minute creatures that produce mineralized skeletons, which are a significant piece of ocean bottom residue) were hence conveyed out. 

Scott Base, envisioned close to the US McMurdo Station filled in as HQ for the MSSTs. Boring locales were situated in the McMurdo Sound. 

The Torii Connection

Now the late Dr. Tetsuya Torii enters the image. A prestigious Antarctic researcher, he had before the finish of his profession visited Antarctica multiple times more than 27 years. He even found “Antarcticite” a formerly obscure calcium chloride hexahydrate mineral. Antarctica’s Mount Torii and Torii Glacier are named after him. His blessing to the world is the information and information that came from a deep rooted commitment to Antarctic exploration as the Secretary General of the Japan Polar Research Association, yet on an individual level, he was additionally known to offer endowments to the researchers he worked with. In David Henry Lewis’ book Ice Bird, in which he annals his 1972 endeavor at without any help circumnavigating Antarctica, he says thanks to Dr. Torii for blessings that helped him on his voyage:

Dr. Torii envisioned on the right. 

“The most liberal blessings of a twofold Antarctic camping cot and a full arrangement of Antarctic apparel and extras from the Teijin Co. what’s more, for a Seiko Diver’s watch from the Hattori Watch Co. I’m generally obligated to these companies.”

And that wasn’t the solitary watch that Dr. Torii had skilled. During a past campaign named the ” Dry Valley Drilling Project ,” he gave his kindred researchers Seiko 6105 watches bearing “DVDP1973” on the dial. He was one of three geochemists on the McMurdo Sound Sediment and Tectonic Study in 1979, and he talented watches to the gathering of researchers from around the globe that participated. It was one of those very watches talented by Dr. Torii to one of his associates that turned up on eBay last June. Presently it’s Justin’s most valued piece in his collection. 

Naturally, the dealer was the main individual he connected with subsequent to purchasing the watch. The dealer was completely unconscious of the Antarctic association. He reacted to Justin’s request about the historical backdrop of the watch candidly: 

“I discovered it in the North Myrtle Beach territory. No name and I’ve possessed it for at any rate a year. I was at a swap meet and the dealer didn’t have it available to be purchased. We got to discussing vintage watches and he hauled it out. I made him an offer he was unable to won’t. It’s run solid since the time I got it. I’ve swam in it, and so forth No issues”

And the vender had a hypothesis on how it wound up in a swap meet, too, “I presume the first proprietor was in the military, yet that is (sic) a supposition dependent on our discussion. He passed it down to this current person’s father who offered it to his son.”

Dr. Tetsuya Torii on the far left. 

Even however he had no information on the Antarctic inception, the military hypothesis is to be sure conceivable. The merchant probably won’t have been excessively far misguided. Recollect the different strategies for transportation used to get the center examples back to Scott Base from the penetrating site? A U.S. Naval force helicopter was among the armada. The watch may have been talented to the pilot. That may have been the manner by which it wound up in the U.S., when a large portion of different beneficiaries were essential for the New Zealand crew. 

U.S. Naval force helicopter team wearing a 6105.

Dr. Torii and R. B. Thompson “on the ice.”

 It was Alex Pyne who followed the watch to Dr. Torii in an email to Justin. Justin had recognized Pyne from the Victoria University report. He’s actually utilized by the college, so interfacing with him was conceivable. During the endeavor Pyne was a center grabber. 

“I was engaged with the MSSTs drill program yet was not senior enough to justify the endowment of one of these watches. Dr Tetsuya Torii I figure organized the watches to (be given to) senior individuals from the MSSTS program.”

A lead researcher on the MSSTs project, Dr. Peter Barrett affirmed the association, yet had additionally gotten one of the Seikos being referred to from Dr. Torii. 

“The watches were given by Dr Tetsuya Torii, to members in the 1979 MSSTS undertaking, and NZ-US-Japan penetrating task … I actually have my watch in the top draw of my work area – rather weighty. My consistently watch is a $60 Casio 100m water resist.”

Dr. Barrett at that point associated Justin with Dr. Peter Webb, another lead researcher on the task, who had not just gotten a Seiko 6105 from Dr. Torii for the previously mentioned Dry Valley Drilling Project, yet additionally the MSSTs. Dr. Webb actually has the two watches. In an email to Justin, he recommends a substitute use for the pair of Seikos: 

The two Seikos actually work consummately and would make great boat secures. My child continues to ask when he can have them. Answer – when my body temp drops well underneath 98.7 degrees for a few hours and thoroughness mortis is affirmed – at that point they are yours!! Meanwhile they are living in a bank security box.

Photos: Kim Westerskov – Antarctica New Zealand Pictorial Collection, NASA, British Antarctic Survey. Much obliged to Justin for presenting to us the story, and you can follow him for additional, on Instagram  

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