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What to say about this amazingly atypical watch, the Seiko Fieldmaster, aka “Seiko Contra,” like this ridiculously unique 1985 Seiko 2C21-0080 Fieldmaster "Contra" field watch full set here, with its Seiko boxes, Seiko instructions manual, and hang tag?


The Field Master was allegedly worn by the anti-Communist Nicaraguan Contra’s during the 1980s conflict  (hence the nickname), but we have no evidence this is true.  But we do know various Reagan Administration officials' testimony to Congress included the provision of wristwatches to the Contras. 


Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affaris Eliott Abrams testified he had debates regarding lethal vs. non-lethal nature of USG support to the Contras, "I remember us saying, well, you know unless you've got a very large wristwatch and hit somebody with it, it was not lethal aid.  But this was deadly serious, deadly serious, because of legal restrictions.  And we actually debated, of course wristwatches weren't 'lethal aid'...I decided, yea, a wristwatch is OK."


Civil wars are almost always violent and messy, and facts are usually difficult to come by – so judge for yourself.  All we know is that it’s a fantastic military-esque tool watch, and Seiko hadn't made a watch like this before its launch in the early 1980's and has never made anything like it since!


The Nicaraguan Contras were the various U.S.-backed-and-funded right-wing insurgent groups active from 1979 to 1990 in opposition to the Marxist Sandinista Junta of National Reconstruction Government in Nicaragua, which had come to power in 1979 following the Nicaraguan Revolution. 


Per the Report of Congressional Committees Investigating the Iran-Contra Affair (November 1987), from late 1981 through 1987 the United States Government (USG) began financial and military support of Contra activities against the Sandinista government, with the CIA at the forefront of operations.  The CIA provided the Contras with planning and operational direction and assistance, weapons, food, and training in what was described as the "most ambitious" covert operation in more than a decade, per the Congress-authored report. 


After USG support was banned by Congress, the Reagan Administration covertly (and illegally) continued the support, culminating in the Iran-Contra Affair, exposed in late 1986 by both an expose interview of a senior official in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps member in a Lebanese magazine coupled with the discovery of an airlift of weapons downed over Nicaragua.


Seiko's Fieldmaster came in three variants - a variant with the watch, compass, and map meter modules (like the one on offer here, albeit sans the map meter module); a second, less seen variant with the watch, compass, and map wheel modules, but also an additional forth module - an LCD timer display; and the third, a rare Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) version, which featured all four modules, with olive color PVD module cases and gold bezel inserts. 


The Fieldmaster module case - or rather, cases - consists of two square 28mm x 28mm modules.  While the watch module is permanently affixed to its case, the second module allows the user to pull the "crown" (in reality a pin holding the module in place) out at the 4 o’clock position and remove the module to replace it with a different one.


Seiko started its Fieldmaster series using the already proven H558 movement (used in the famous "Arnie" hybrid watch featured in “Predator (1987),” “Raw Deal (1986),” “Commando (1985)," "Terminator 2 (1991)" and other Arnold Schwarzenegger films of the 1980s and 1990s) and redesigned the watch around it. 


The Japanese are known for extreme adventures around the world, and Seiko wanted to provide a watch users could rely on for their lives (NASA astronaut Colonel Pogue, anyone?).  Fieldmaster watches were taken on numerous North and South Pole adventures, as well as to Mt. Everest and other icy peaks of the world; it featured many rugged characteristics – many lifesaving.


This Seiko Fieldmaster Contra comes on a leather-backed canvas strap, and with leather strap, rugged travel case, Seiko boxes, Seiko instructions manual, hang tag, and springbar tool.

1985 Seiko 2C21-0080 "Contra" Fieldmaster Field Watch Full Set

  • DIAL: Black dial with 3, 6, 9, 12 hour Arabic indices, and correct hands; dial lume shines; compass and map meter modules - which were included with the Contra when new - are both included.


    CASE: Two 28mm x 28mm titanium module cases, with matching stainless steel caseback.  Both the watch and map meter module retain their original blue caseback stickers.


    CRYSTAL: Original crystals throughout, no deep scratches or cracks; watch crystal is flawless.


    BAND: This 2C21 comes on a leather-backed camo canvas strap; it also comes with a brown leather strap - dress-up and activities!


    MOVEMENT: Seiko 2C21 quartz movement, manufactured in March 1985; movement uses a button-cell battery.


    CROWN: Unsigned Seiko crown.


    Of note, this Seiko Contra comes with Seiko inner and outer boxes, as well as its Seiko 2C21 instructions manual and hang tag.

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