The SEIKO A239 "Dual LCD"

Copies and Counterfeits

Is imitation still the highest form of flattery if you have to pay a license/royalty?

The A239 had at least a few immitators. Or did it? Curiously the watches listed here appear to have the same electronics, or at least the same LCD panels, as the A239. Did SEIKO license these modules out to other brands? Or perhaps they bought a license to produce these watches using someone else's intellectual property? Or maybe these are all counterfeit copies. We will likely never know.

At least one blogger and owner of the Armitron version confirms that the actual usage is in fact different vs the A239. This suggests that perhaps these are more copies vs rebranded identical watches. Click here to read the blog post.

Here is a break down of the known SEIKO A239 counterfeits, copies and/or knock-offs.

Index of Manufacturers


Armitron


Armitron is still around today and still making watches. Click here to read up on them.

Armitron - World Time Dual Melody Alarm
Impressively, this one looks like it has the dual LCD setup, perhaps it's even using Seiko LCD panels here?
Based on the photos, this one looks like a nearly identical copy.
ARMITRON CORP. MADE IN HONG KONG
STAINLESS BEP _EP
40-6248

Caravelle


Caravelle is a brand owned by the Bulova Watch Co. Could this be an example of a legitmately licensed copy?

Caravelle - Melody Alarm
Nearly identical to the A239, with a few dial frame differences.
The Map LCD appears to be red on this example.
ASSEMBLED IN HONG KONG
STAINLESS STEEL BACK
BULOVA WATCH CO
P2 BASE METAL BEZEL

Piratron


Not much is known about this brand, but is generally agreed that they sold entry-level copies and derivatives of popular LCD watches in the 1980's. They are stamped MADE IN HONG KONG.

Whether the name is a play on Piranhas or Pirates - you have to love it. Probably Piranhas given the logo.

Piratron - Dual Melody Alarm
Appears to have the same LCD modules as the A239.
Piratron - World Time Alarm
This is believed to be another Piratron.
Here with branding badge on case removed.

Tempic


The Tempic brand was used on watches sold through the Neckermann mail order network in West Germany. They used mostly Swiss and Japanese parts in their watches from this era. This brand still exists today, but only as a shell of its former self.

Tempic - Dual Melody Alarm
Another direct copy of the A239.

Others?


Do you own or know of another copy / fake SEIKO? If so, drop me a line - either in one of the forum threads below or via PM and I will be sure to add it!


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