Post by dapellegrini on Aug 31, 2021 19:18:54 GMT -8
As I am finishing up my documentation of the mechanical World Time watches from Seiko (1964-1976), I am finding myself more and more interested in what came next. Curious if others can help get me pointed in the right direction here...
So far, this is what I think I know about vintage Seiko Digital/LCD World Time watches:
It appears that the digital follow-up to the mechanical Seiko World time was the M158-5000/9 - aka the PAN AM, perhaps produced from 1977-1978 ?
Then in 1978, it looks like they released the dual screen A239-5000/9 and A239-5020/A series perhaps running into 1980?
After that, or perhaps at the same time? - I am seeing an A358-5000/9 watch - though not sure how it is different from the A239's
Then into the 1980's it looks like we see at least an A718 and A708 version
Googling is getting me sales listings, but very little (so far at least) good information. I am hoping for a lineage of models in chronological order, some cliff notes on the major differences, etc.
I did stumble on a thread here where a member found an awesome NOS A239 a couple years ago.
dapellegrini - Hmmm, I'm feeling a magnetic pull towards some of these vintage LCDs even while the 6117-6409 is on just on my wrist for 3.5 days now. You're thorough investigation of the topic is likely to push me over the edge to start looking for one!
Post by dapellegrini on Sept 2, 2021 11:22:34 GMT -8
Ok, some revised assumptions...
I believe there were essentially 4 watches here - going something like this:
1. M158-500X - The original PAN AM, Lemon colored LCD
- 1977 - 1979 - One dial version has city names abbreviated - Another dial version spells out the city names
- 1980 - 1982 ? - The follow-up to the gen 1, gets an Alarm function - Looks like we get a new LCD panel
- Dec 1979 - 1982 ? - This is a completely different watch - Sold along side the A358 - Had two layer LCD - so you could set the time zone using a world map screen
- 1984 - 1990 ? - This is the 3rd gen of the original watch - Gets full city names on the dial/bezel - I have seen A708 and A718 versions - not sure the difference? - Is this the last LCD world time from Seiko?
Post by dapellegrini on Sept 2, 2021 14:31:05 GMT -8
Also - as someone who has ignored (perhaps snobbed) digital / quartz / LCD watches - what's the deal with the displays in terms of collectability? I've read some say these LCDs have a short shelf life - others claim they will work for a long time, were high quality / expensive in their day. I don't think anyone believes they will last as long as a mechanical watch - do they?
Perhaps they are not collectible because they are all doomed to fail sooner or later and as NOS and donors disappear - the likelihood of keeping one running long term is somewhere between poor and hopeless?
Post by dapellegrini on Sept 4, 2021 10:36:01 GMT -8
Well, I will proudly stake my claim to this space - current population 1. I am sure there are at least a few others out there that are interested in this generation of digital watches - time will tell. For now, I'm on the hunt for NOS examples in this series - if anyone has one that is looking for a good new home.
And looking forward from here - it appears this series of digital/lcd world timer was phased out in the early 1990's and replaced by the "Age of Discovery" world times - which I believe celebrated 500 year since Columbus discovered the New World - and were produced throughout the 1990's, perhaps up to the year 2000 as the main continuation of the Seiko World Timer series...
I'm feeling a very strong urge to head over to Ebay right about now
Despite being a late 70's watch - it definitely has an 80's nostalgia thing going on. I've been wearing it all day and really enjoying it. The mechanical watches that proceeded it are a bit more timeless - whereas this feels strongly tied to the 80's.
And yes - the A718-5000 is referred to as the "John Cleese" - apparently he wore it in a film called "Clockwise" in 1986:
Post by dapellegrini on Dec 17, 2021 14:03:38 GMT -8
Whereas on the mechanical watches each time zone had at least one reference city - on the digital watches several time zone markers are just left blank - I guess no good abbreviations for whatever might be in those spots?
Beautiful example dapellegrini! I'd guess that the three letter designators left off the silkscreen would clutter the face. I really dig the way the m158-5009 has the hour offset printed as well. They should have done this here too!
dapellegrini - well written and very informative update! I must admit it's had me over to Ebay looking for an M158-5000 myself. Nothing there at the moment except a dead broken SGP one for $40 as a parts watch. I'm tempted to buy it and see if I can ressurect it, but the SGP case really detracts from the lemon tones of the LCD.