1964 marked the resurgence of a post-war Japan onto the world stage as a first-rate economic power, most readily apparent in Tokyo hosting the Summer Olympics that same year. Seiko – despite having no prior experience in sports timing (much to Heuer’s chagrin, we are sure) – was named the official timekeeper, and began research and development in preparation for the games in 1961.
As part of Seiko’s R&D, and to commemorate its upcoming role in the summer games, it developed several advanced wristwatches for the Olympics, and Seiko would develop the large crown 6217 GMT for the Games - this small-crown 6217 GMT here was the immediate successor to the GMT developed for the Games.
Circa August 1966, Seiko created the 6217-7010, which was similar in nearly every way to the 6217-7000 except for the dial text at the 6:00 area, the lumed hour and minute hands, and the lume plots at every hour marker on the dial - and of course, Seiko swapped the large crown for a much smaller one.
The 6217 was released for a short period of time during and after the Olympics, and then discontinued. Seiko also released concurrently two variants of the 571x - the 5717 and 5719; as well as the ultra rare 5718 (the ultimate grail of most Seiko collectors) - all for for the Olympics. Never one to pass up on an advertising opportunity, Seiko naturally advertised and associated the 571x and GMTs with the games.
This Seiko 6217 comes with a leather rally strap, nylon NATO strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1967 Seiko 6217-7010 GMT Automatic
DIAL: Silver "linen" Seiko-signed dial with polished hour indices; hour, minute, and second hands retain lume. Inner city wheel, albeit slightly faded in some places, rotates via crown as designed
CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 38mm (41mm w/crown) x 45.5mm, with a matching caseback that features clear and defined inscriptions with no fading.
BAND: This 6217 comes a brown leather rally strap, with off-white/cream colored stitching and stainless-steel hardware. It also comes with a dark blue and gray nylon NATO strap, with stainless-steel hardware, which plays off the dial of the watch.
CRYSTAL: Domed acrylic crystal in excellent condition – no scratches or blemishes.
MOVEMENT: Seiko 6217 automatic movement, which beats at 18,000 BPH; this watch was produced in June 1967.
CROWN: Original large unsigned crown.