The Seiko 7A28-7040, also known as Seiko “Speedmaster”, even if it is a quartz watch, it’s not an ordinary one. The mechanism went into production in 1980. Several actors have worn this watch in their movies, the most famous of them being Ellen Ripley in the “Alien” movie series.
In the era when digital was the latest technology and a Seiko CX003 digital was more expensive than the Omega Speedmaster “The First Watch on the Moon”, Seiko decided to release their first analog quartz, the Speedmaster.
This quarz watch ranks definitely higher above all the other quarz watches that you can find on the market today. Its delay is ±10 seconds per month, unlike ±15 seconds per month as the majority of the other quartz watches. It has a full metal body, 15 jewels and an adjustable and serviceable mechanism provided with EOL function for the battery charge. It might not sound impressive for today’s technology, but for the first built analog quartz watch it certainly is. Its durability is the reason that we can still find so many worn watches in such a good shape. The one presented here is from 1983.
The first thing that impacts our attention when looking at this watch is the design of the case. It is pretty compact and thin, therefore very comfortable to wear. The diameter is 40.5 mm and the thickness is just below 11 mm. The distance between the lugs is 20 mm and the distance between the spring-bars is just 43 mm. The combination between diameter and the distance between the spring-bars gives this watch a very nice fit for every wrist type. The case has a utilitarian matte grey finish, with three pushers and a crown on the sides. The crown does what we expect it to do, whilst the pushers are much alike to the modern chronographs. The one at 2 o’clock stops the chronograph, the one at 4 o’clock resets the chronograph, whilst the one at 10 o’clock provides the split time function.
Incredibly attractive to this model is the diver design bezel. Made of stainless steel with an aluminum insertion and phosphorus above the 12 o’clock, the bezel is bidirectional, having 60 very firm and precise clicks. The system used to make it is based on an arch and a metallic ball (the Seiko click ball), making it the best that I have ever come across with. I wish every watch had this kind of bezel!
The spring-bars are hidden below the case, therefore the matching between the bracelet and the case is perfect. The bracelet is 20/16 mm and the links are folded over and pretty thin, therefore very comfortable to wear. The design of the bracelet complements the watch, with the same utilitarian matte grey finish. In conclusion, I wouldn’t buy this watch without its bracelet.
The three sub-dials and the colors used for this watch reminds us of the Omega Speedmaster. The dial has a black-grayish matte color that prevents any reflections. The text and indices are white and very visible. Under the 12 hours the brand name “Seiko” appears, made of a silvery metal. Below, “Chronograph” appears in a bold and lighter color and beneath it, the text “Quartz” appears. On the inner ring we can find a tachymetric scale that measures the speed. The hour indices contain luminous material and appear at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. In addition, the one at 12 o’clock is wider and longer.
The sub-dials surfaces are lower than the main dial, with a printed text and having the 12 o’clock indices double in size, just like on the main dial. The sub-dial at 3 o’clock measures the decimals of seconds, the sub-dial at 9 o’clock measures the minutes (up to 30 minutes) and the one at 6 o’clock measures the seconds. Under the 6 o’clock quadrant, we can see the text “Japan 7A28” “-706 LT”.
The indices of the smaller quadrants and the seconds hand of the chronograph have a matte silver finish, catching the light beautifully. The hour and minute indicators are in the shape of a sword, differing only by their length. They are both white on the edges and have phosphorus in the middle.
It is sincerely hard for me to pick only one good thing about this watch. All the design elements fit very well together. The main quadrant, even though it is not spectacular, is very functional, readable and well made. Everything is carefully aligned, with the secondary hitting every index perfectly.
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Text by: Vlad I.
Photo by: 7F&W