Seiko’s 7T59 calibre – like the 1996 example here – lived a short but glorious life during the 1990s and were never marketed or sold in the US; however, at their release they marked the pinnacle of Seiko ingenuity and technology, and remain one of the most complicated analog movements manufactured for watch consumers. It remains Seiko’s only movement to offer an analog 1/100th second chronograph with day, date, and GMT functions.
Seiko asserted the 7T59 was made to prove to the world it could be done – yet, it wasn’t offered for long, and Seiko ended production in the face of an onslaught of digital watches that had become increasingly popular, offering the same functions for far less expense to the consumer.
Of note, the 7T59s were linked to the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Summer Games, with Seiko as the official timekeeper. During the games, Seiko conducted an advertising campaign to showcase the 7T59s 1/100th second chronograph technology vis-à-vis the need for accuracy of Olympic events, in particular the track and field events, in which accuracy is paramount.
Seiko had been the official timekeeper the first time the games came to Japan in 1964, but didn't reprise the role again until 1992, and the firm subsequently officiated during the Winter Olympics of Lillehammer 1994, Nagano 1998, and Salt Lake City 2002.
This 7T59 comes with its original Seiko-signed stainless-steel bracelet, hard plastic travel case, and springbar tool.
1996 Seiko 7T59-6A00 1/100 Second Analog Chronogrpah
DIAL: Seiko-signed dial with three subdials and a whopping nine hands in total; lume glows brightly, with promethium-based luminous material for hour, minute, and second hands, and at hour indices. Wirting on dial remains crisp, with no blemishes on the dial.
CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 44mm (w/crown and pushers, 41mm w/o) x 43.5mm at bezel, 10mm thick. Case lines remain sharp and bezel wrtiting is crisp and legible.
CRYSTAL: Flat mineral crystal, no scratches.
BAND: Unlike the original Type II, this watch here features removeable springbars, accommodating all straps. It comes with a brown leather rally strap and a premium black nylon NATO strap. Both straps nicely compliment the military look of this watch.
MOVEMENT: 7T59 quartz movement; this movement hacks and features an independently-adjustable 12 hour and 24 hour hand for military time (GMT), or a second time zone. Of note, it features 1/100th second and 12 hour chronographs that include user-realignable hands on all chrono readouts and a second adjustable crown that enables user to adjust the hours without stopping the chronograph.
CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel crowns.
CHRONOGRAPH PUSHERS: Chronograph pushers depress easily, as designed, and reset to zero.