Post by dasher on May 10, 2016 13:21:47 GMT -8
I've always had a fascination with the vintage Seiko World Time watches. I guess it has to do with all the different time computations a wearer can perform. That and I think they're just beautiful, well-made watches.
This review will be limited to the silver (or "white", if you will) dialed 6217 World Time watches. This review is based on a limited review of available material, so some corrections may be necessary after the review is written. Additions and corrections are certainly welcome and appreciated. Let's get started, shall we?
The Seiko Watch Company secured a very impressive responsibility of being the official timekeeper of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Two watches that Seiko created in conjunction with the 1964 Olympics were the 6217 World Time and the 571x (where x = 7,8, or 9) One Button Chronograph. Both watches can be seen in this 1964 snip from a Seiko advertisement:
With the 1964 Olympics attracting global attendance, the World Time watch was a stroke of marketing brilliance for Seiko.
The earliest Seiko World Time watches were the 6217-7000 World Time watches. These watches came in several dial and color variations which for the sake of brevity, I will reduce to silver dials and black dials. I have 3 examples of the 6217 silver dialed World Time watch for this review.
The very first/earliest Seiko 6217-7000 World Time watches looked like this:
A few of the easiest ways to identify an early 6217 World Time are the black GMT hand (the later 6117 WT has a red GMT hand), the lack of lume on the hour and minute hands, and the large, fluted crown. When considering a purchase of a World Time, these three characteristics should all be present.
Notice too, the sparse wording down at the 6:00 area - only "Made in Japan". This is another clue that this is an early example.
Another clue to the early example Seiko 6217-7000 World Time watches is the condition of the case back. The 6217-7000 World Time had a snap-on case back, and the earliest examples had the case back text etched on, rather than stamped. As a result of this etching, the earlier examples have case backs that are worn smooth. My example is worn pretty smooth:
Notice the Olympic torch on the case back. To find a 6217-7000 with a good etched case back is a rare find.
Here is an example of a "stamped" case back:
The stamped case backs can withstand more wear and tear than the etched case backs.
The earliest examples of 6217-7000 World Time watches that my research yields is March, 1964. The Olympic Torch was on the 6217-7000 case back until around October, 1964, to the best of my research. After October, 1964, the Seiko Dolphin appears on the case back. My research has not produced a lot of examples of dolphin case backs on the 6217-7000 World Time.
My research did not yield ANY Seiko World Time watches produced in 1965. None, so far. Then, in 1966, the Asian Games were held in Bangkok, Thailand. Seiko was probably the timekeeper for this sporting event, although I have yet to see any advertisements proving such. Nonetheless, in 1966 Seiko made an Asian Games case back on the 6217 World Time:
(image from eBay listing - for informative/educational purposes only)
And as the image and my limited research shows, it appears Seiko only produced the 6217-7000 World Time watch in the year 1964, between the months of March and December, if true, making these a very limited production!
Around August of 1966 (see photo above), to the best of my research, Seiko then created the 6217-7010. The 6217-7010 was similar in nearly every way to the 6217-7000 except for the dial text at the 6:00 area, the lumed hour and minute hands, and the lume plots at every hour marker on the dial:
Externally, Seiko also changed the crown on the 6217-7010:
So that whereas the 6217-7000 and the 6217-7010 share the same movement, there were several changes that made the two different. As with the dolphin case back watches, there are not that many examples of the 6217-7010, and the most information I can provide on them is that they were produced as early as August of 1966 and as late as August of 1967:
Notice the final case back design on the 6217 World Time: just the word SEIKO.
As this is supposed to be a review, here are a few other facts about the 6217-70x0 Seiko World Time watch:
case measures approx. 37mm
lugs measure 20mm
originally came on a metal bracelet with unsigned clasp:
(You guessed it, very very hard to find)
6217 movement. Inner rotating ring with city names is rotated by the crown in the closed position. First click allows setting of the date, second click allows setting of the time.
There are city and GMT time zone variations among all the Seiko World Time watches that deserve a different thread alone, or at least a separate posting.
I'll finish up with a snip of how to use the World Time:
And that, my friends, is nearly all I know about the Seiko 6217-7000/7010 World Time watch. Thanks for reading!