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Vintage Digital / LCD - Seiko World Times - Collectors & Owners thread

2548 Views 7 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  dapellegrini
As I am finishing up (for now) my research on the mechanical World Time watches from Seiko - I am finding myself more and more interested in what came next - in this case specifically the Digital / LCD World Times that Seiko produced from 1977 through some point in the 1990's (to be determined).

I am starting at absolute zero here - I knew nothing about these watches a few days ago, so there is a very high likelihood that my current assumptions are not correct. I am hoping some other owners / enthusiasts can help me get this all straight! Thankfully there are a lot of catalog scans of this watch - helping me get started.

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
  2. A358-500X
    • June 1979 - 1982 ?
    • The follow-up to the gen 1, gets an Alarm function
    • Looks like we get a new LCD panel
  3. A239-50XX
    • Nov 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
  4. A7X8-50XX
    • 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?
Please help me get this correct!

Here's the start of a Google Doc:
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Here are the M158's:

And the follow-up A358's:

And the completely different A239's:

And perhaps the final edition A7X8's:
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From what I have gathered it looks like this series ran through perhaps 1991, and was then replaced with the "Age of Discovery" World Timers - celebrating 500 years since Columbus discovered America. Interestingly those watches take on a much more dressy look/feel - with a return to analog dials and gold cases.

As for these digital versions - they are quite cool IMO - but no idea on how long one might reasonably expect these LCD modules to continue to work...
For the A239 series, I think this series started a bit earlier then December 1979.

I have Golfer Lanny Wadkins A239 that he was given for being in the Japanese Goldwin Cup in ether 1982 or 1983 (It was a different name from 1971 to 1981 and a different name in 1984)

It has Goldwin Cup engraved at the top and his name on the bottom

This watch is dated November 1979 so for some reason there Seiko seemed to have at least one 1979 model hanging around to be used for this.

Here is a post about it

The pics were from the original seller, once I replaced the battery the display went back to normal (with a darker display). There are a lot of Timex, Casio, Citizen and Seiko digital watches that have good displays. Most of the time, the thing that kills them is a leaking battery.
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Excellent - I have updated the doc to reflect Nov 1979. It seemed to be sold alongside the A358, which I have seen with production dates as early as June 1979 - so there is a chance the A239 also goes further back.

Awesome watch BTW.

The ads / catalog suggests there are a few LCD version - a black map, a green map and a brown/red map. There are also a couple of listings on ebay right now (from Hungary) selling NOS digital units - claiming one is the green map and one is the black map.
I've started (very early days) indexing sales images with case back info for these digital watches. With only 65 total digital world times indexed so far, it looks like this:
  • M158: April 1977 - January 1979
  • A358: April 1979 - February 1980
  • A239: July 1979 - April 1980
  • A708: May 1984 - May 1988
  • A718: February 1984 - June 1984
You can browse the data here:

This will get built out like the mechanical watches eventually.

I have an A239-502A in the mail, and recently added the this one to my collection (the A718 at right):

I've also finally put up a first revision/post on the M158-500X:

I've also put up the ad/catalog scans that I could find:

Those are my first write-ups on these digital world times... If you spot anything incorrect, please let me know. More soon...
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Here's a write-up on the copies of the PAN AM that you can find out there right now with very little effort. If you know of any others please send me links and or photos!

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