They don't make 'em like this anymore. Seriously.
I've been a fan of watches for a very long time. I don’t mean stupidly expensive luxury Swiss watches. I’ve nothing against them, except their prices. But I have a strong affection for certain designs and styles. Years ago, I was deep into Swatch. Yes, Swatch. I was even a “club member” and was granted early first-dibs access to new designs as they rolled out each season. Swatch just never stops. (And don’t you love that loud ticking? I do.)
I have more G-shock Casio watches than I'd normally admit in public. Black, dark military blue, white, military green… They last forever and have that perfect balance between retro, practicality and fashion. They also step on both sides of the sporty/handy side and the nerd side, so you can blend right into society and leave everyone guessing.
But I also focus on late 70s and early 80s digital watches, too. My focus is almost entirely consumed by SEIKO, but I’ve dipped my toes into Citizen waters as well. Maybe it was born from a tech obsession perpetuated by Sir Roger Moore. In fact, I’m pretty sure of that was part of it. And pretty much any sci-fi movie that sported a digital watch I had to go hunt it down. One of my favorites is the one worn by Sigourney Weaver in Aliens. But when you research that watch, you quickly find yourself looking at the SEIKO computer watches, too. You know - the ones that came with their own keyboards.
Anyway, I just picked up a total crown jewel: a near-mint SEIKO A547-5059. Based on my research I believe this watch was released in 1981. In Japan at the time it retailed for 26,000 Yen. That would have been approximately $120 in US dollars back then. In today’s 2018 economy that translates to around $340 or so.
For a digital watch.
Fear not. I didn't pay the 1981 prices. I got really lucky.
It’s worth noting that this is from the Sports 100 line, which offered a more rugged build as well as water resistance. It’s not the highly coveted “SilverWave” line, which could be used for scuba diving. But it could support swimming, snorkeling and shallow diving down from 5 - 20 BARs (50 - 200 meters, which is very deep) depending on the model. The design of the waves on the back denotes the BAR potential.
In any case, it’s pretty rare to find these “ancient” watches in this kind of condition. All of the button work, the light, even the little sounds from the speaker - it’s all 100% awesome.
More pics in hi-res are over on Flickr of the A547-5059. Love it!
Here are a few other models I own or have owned, too.
SEIKO A714 505A T "Running Man" (white)
SEIKO 5 7009
SEIKO “Pepsi” 6139 6030T
SEIKO A714-5050 “Running Man” (black)
SEIKO G757-4010 (The “best” James Bond digital watch)
SEIKO A159This was once thought to be a James Bond model, but I proved it was in fact not. Still gorgeous.
Yeah, I know. It's weird.
I've sold many of the watches above over the years. Part of my "catch and release" program. But I've hung onto a couple. Those albums showcase about 10-20% of what I've picked up over the years. No sense in showing all of it, right? So many I got very cheaply simply because I liked the design. I'd wear it for a year (or less) then tuck it away after getting a replacement. You know - moods change.
Note: It's always feels right over on Ebay when I start to "Watch" a watch auction. And I can see there are X number of others "watching".