Seiko World Time Chronograph GMT (1976)
Ref. 6117-6400 | Calibre 6117B Automatic | 17 jewels | Diameter 41mm
One of the late issued World Timers of Seiko in used condition. It has a beautiful black linen dial with a yellow ring and fascinating red step up GMT hand. A must have for every Seiko vintage watch collector.
Olympic Games 1964
The Seiko Watch Company was the official timekeeper of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Attracting global attention, the World Time watch was a stroke of marketing brilliance for Seiko. These watches came in several dial and color variations.
Seiko World Time Series
Three series of the Seiko World Time model can be distinguished.
6217-7000 (1964): black short GMT hand, lack on lume on hands, large fluted crown, 'made in Japan' @ 6 o'clock, snap on case back with Olympic torch (1964) or Asian Games (1966); 6217-7010 (1966): lumed hands, lume plots at every hour marker, text @ 6 o'clock 'Japan 6217 7010 T AD', different crown;
6117-XXXX (1968-1976): long red step up GMT hand, several dial and color variations. A special model within de 6117-series is the Navigation Timer with reference 6410 (Japan Domestic Market) or 6409 (US/Mexico/Canada)
Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
In earlier watches of the 6117-640X series Seiko made a 'mistake' on the intern bezel putting GMT beside London. From 1972 on the correct London = GMT can be seen on the Seiko World Time bezels.
The real story behind the 'error' bezel
On the 27th of October 1968 Prime Minister Harry Wilson of the United Kingdom began an experiment to maintain British Standard Time (GMT) at +1 all year long. On October 31 1971 this ended, but until then London was in line with Paris! For Seiko this meant that its World Time GMT 6117 bezel had to reflect this British experiment, as it lasted for three years and watches had to be sold!
So, as Seiko does, precision was paramount and they put London after GMT on the bezel, just above Paris. A laudable attention to detail. However, it became known as the “Error Bezel” and quite uniquely so - because in October 1971 it had to be changed all over again!