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Let's get this out of the way - there's only two watch companies with such strong reputations for making tool watches that can make patina - evidence of a life lived with the purpose that a tool watch was designed for - attractive. 


Namely, a Swiss company (masquerading as a charitable foundation) that starts with an "R" and...Seiko.  And this is one of those watches - a full-serviced and seldom-seen white Arabic-dialed 1972 Seiko 7005-8032 automatic sport diver.

The Seiko 700X line - of which this "military-adjacent" watch counts itself - debuted in 1969 and was produced until the 1990’s, when it was replaced by Seiko’s famed 7S26 line (used by Seiko SKX, also heavily favored by military forces world-wide).  So why do we call this watch military adjacent?

This isn’t a USMIL Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) Seiko.  It’s got a white dial, not terribly discreet.  However, it’s of quite similar design; namely, an Arabic-numbered dial, robust automatic movement, and sold in the same era as those the watch community recognizes as worn by SOG forces.


Due to the overly sensitive nature of MACV-SOG ops, sterile gear was required to provide the U.S. plausible deniability if a service member fell some place they were not supposed to be fighting, like Laos, Cambodia, and North Viet Nam.  Principally run by Ben Baker, the Counter-Insurgency Support Office (CISO) office issued standard and untraceable (sterile) gear, like the five known Seiko automatics worn by MACV-SOG personnel, the 6619-8060, 6119-8100, 7005-8030, and 6106-8100, as we wrote about in Watches of Espionage.


MACV-SOG chose this watch - with the steel-grey dial being the only difference - to be worn by some of the best and most daring Special Forces the USMIL had to offer during the Viet Nam conflict, which speaks volumes.


The 7005 line was a midrange offering, which featured Seiko’s Magic Lever winding system, and allowed the automatic rotor to gather energy in a bi-directional fashion; it was old in several sub-variants, which included the 7005 here, as well as the 7002, 7006, and 7009, all of which were almost identical and shared numerous parts in common (which also makes watch servicing cheaper).  The 7005 was date only, the 7009 a day/date, and the 7002A date only and with a different auto winding weight.


When comparing the 7S26 to the 7005, the lineage is more than a bit obvious.  That said, there remains a lot in favor of the 7005, as the calendar mechanism of the 7005/9 was superior in design and construction and the overall quality of finish on the 7S26 is substantially lower than its predecessors.


This Seiko 7005 comes on a leather rally strap, and with nylon strap, spring bar tool, and rugged travel case.

1971 Seiko 7005-8032 White Arabic Automatic Sport Diver

  • DIAL: White Seiko-signed patina'd Arabic dial; handset is correct design, but aftermarket.  Lume on dial and handset shines after exposure to strong light.  Quick set date function works as designed.


    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 37.5mm x 41mm, with matching caseback.  


    CRYSTAL: Acrylic domed crystal, scratch and crack-free.


    BAND: This white-dial automatic comes on a braown leather rally strap; it also comes with a black nylon strap.  


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 17-jewel 7005A automatic movement, beating at 21,600 bph, manufactured in October 1971.  This Seiko 7005 has been fully serviced.


    CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel crown, almost entirely recessed.

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