During the present day in the era of the smart phone, there exists a certain charisma to the GMT/Navigator watch – like the 1969 Seiko 6117-8000 Navigator Timer GMT automatic here, on its rare original "ladder" bracelet – that appeals to vintage watch aficionados.
It is not always immediately obvious why particular complications find their way onto the mechanical wristwatch that might be viewed as indispensable, but for the air traveler, international corporate executive, news, finance, or communications personnel of the 1960’s, a watch with a 24-hour function must have carried a certain useful appeal.
The 6117 is of a similar movement pedigree to the famous Seiko 6105 diver, with the rather notable exception that the 6117 possess a date register and a third 24-hour GMT hand calibrated to the main hour hand, and an inner bezel. And we can't fail to mention the 6117 Navigator Timer was Seiko’s second GMT watch after their World Timer.
The Seiko 6117 GMT here also features a gunmetal grey dial, a bright-red GMT hand, lumed hour and minute hands, and a lightly lumed chapter ring that makes for a highly functional GMT watch that was a favorite of Viet Nam War pilots.
It’s important to note the red GMT - GMT being four hours ahead of the U.S.’s EDT/EST - hand only makes a complete circle of the dial every 24 hours (the hour, minute, and separate time zone red hand all align at the 12 o’clock position when this occurs), so it moves more slowly than the hour hand.
This Seiko 6117 comes on its original bracelet, and with a nylon strap, rugged travel case, and springbar tool.
1969 Seiko 6117-8000 Navigator Timer GMT Automatic
DIAL: Spectacular steel grey Seiko Navigator Timer-signed dial with zero blemishes and correct hour, minute, seconds, and red GMT hands. All hand lume (hour, minute, and GMT), along with dial hour indices shine following exposure to strong light. GMT and date at 3 o’clock position works as designed.
CASE: Stainless-steel tonneau case measures 38.5mm x 45mm, with matching caseback. Bezel insert evinces nearly zero wear and retains its 24-hour indices and rotates bi-directionally without rachet, as designed. No evidence of machine polish, and case lines are sharp. Case retains original brushed finish on top.
CRYSTAL: Flawless correct domed crystal.
BAND: This Seiko 6117-8000 comes on its quite rare original Seiko-signed stainless-steel "ladder" bracelet, which will fit up to an approx. 7.25 inch wrist; this GMT also comes with a black nylon strap.
MOVEMENT: Seiko 17-jewel 6117A automatic movement, which beats at 21,600 bph, was manufactured in September 1969. We have performed a full service on this Seiko GMT.
CROWN: Recessed unsigned stainless-steel crown.