It's 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 watch – like this 1974 Seiko 6117-6410 Navigator Timer automatic GMT on offer here – that appeals to vintage watch aficionados.
The 6117’s independent GMT red time zone hand (see pictures) is used in coordination with the inner rotating bezel to tell time in another time zone of the wearer’s choice. The wearer simply sets the inner bezel to the time they desire (ie: GMT is four hours ahead of EDT, so the inner bezel is set four hours ahead of EDT time), and the red hand moves along with the regular hour/minute hands.
It’s important to note that the red 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. On the inner bezel are red and blue segments – indicating 12 hours of daylight – red – and 12 hours of darkness – blue!
The 6117’s independent GMT red time zone hand is used in coordination with the inner rotating bezel to tell time in another time zone of the wearer’s choice. The wearer sets the inner bezel to the time they desire (ie: GMT is four hours ahead of the U.S.’s EDT/EST, so the inner bezel is set four hours ahead of this time), and the red hand moves along with the regular hour/minute hands.
This Seiko 6117 comes with a leather strap, nylon NATO strap, Pelican travel case, and springbar tool.
1974 Seiko 6117-6410 Navigator Timer GMT Automatic
DIAL: Seiko-signed black dial, with slight patina. Red GMT hand has virtually no fading of the blue and red markers on the dial, albeit with some limited wear typical of these. Dial lume shines brightly. Date at 3 o’clock position works as designed. Inner GMT chapter ring rotates as designed.
CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 41mm x 45mm, with matching caseback.
CRYSTAL: New Seiko 6117-6410-correct crystal, no scratches or blemishes.
BAND: This Navigator Timer comes with a light brown leather strap, as well as a dark blue and red nylon NATO strap, both with stainless-steel hardware.
MOVEMENT: Seiko 17-jewel 6117 automatic movement, manufactured in May 1970.
CROWN: Unsigned recessed stainless-steel crown.