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.
Even during the present day, in the era of the smart phone, there exists a certain charisma to the GMT/Navigator watch – like the all original 1968 Seiko 6117-8000 automatic GMT here – that appeals to vintage watch aficionados.
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. Turning the crown when it is in its normal depressed position controls the GMT inner chapter ring; at half-extension, the crown controls the date register; and at full extension, it sets the time.
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 with a leather strap, nylon NATO strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1968 Seiko 6117-8000 Navigator Timer GMT Automatic
DIAL: Original Seiko dial with original hour, minute, seconds, and red GMT hands. All hands that have lume - hour, minute, GMT - and dial hour indices shine following exposure to strong light. Date at 3 o’clock position works nicely.
CASE: Original 38.5mm x 45mm stainless steel case, with original caseback. Original bezel and 24-hour bezel insert, rotates bi-directional. No evidence of machine polish, and case lines are sharp. Case retains original brushed finish on top, as designed.
CRYSTAL: Correct 6117 GMT domed crystal.
BAND: Brown leather strap, with stainless-steel buckle. This GMT also comes with a gray nylon NATO strap - a nice matching compliment to the sporty nature of this Seiko Navigator Timer.
MOVEMENT: Original Seiko 17-jewel 6117A automatic movement, manufactured in March 1968.
CROWN: Original recessed unsigned stainless steel crown.