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 full serviced and rather uncommon 1972 Seiko 5619-7019 GMT automatic here – that appeals to vintage watch aficionados. The 5619 was only made by Seiko for a short time, from 1972 to early 1974.
Seiko built the 5619 on the same 56 calibre automatic movement as the King Seiko and Grand Seiko references of the era. However, and unlike other Seiko GMT models at the time, the 5619 is unique in that the 24-hour GMT hand is not operated by slaving a 24 hour hand to the existing 12 hour hand, while determining local or GMT time by adjusting an inner 24 hour bezel. Instead, the 5619 design allowed for independent quick setting of the 24 GMT hour hand – so no rotating bezel it required.
The 5619’s independent GMT orange time zone hand (see pictures) is set to the time zone of wearer’s choice, via the first crown setting (one way for the GMT hand, the other for the date). Following this adjustment, the orange hand moves along with the regular hour/minute hands.
This Seiko 5619 GMT comes with on its original stainless-steel bracelet, with a nylon strap, hard plastic travel case, and springbar tool.
1972 Seiko 5619-7019 Duo Time GMT Automatic, w/Original Bracelet
DIAL: Seiko-signed metallic blue linen dial, which appears as several shades of blue depending on angle and lighting. Hour and minute hands are thin polished batons with a slender seconds sweep; the Explorer 2-esque GMT hand - a stout contoured arrow with orange trim and a large luminous window and used to show a second time-zone - has no fading and operates as designed. Date at 3 o’clock position works as designed.
CASE: Stainless-steel case has a mixed finish, with contoured tonneau with beveled edges, and it measures 37.5mm x 41.5mm, with matching caseback.
CRYSTAL: Seiko5619-correct crystal, no cracks or blemishes.
BAND: This 5619 GMT comes on its original stainless-steel bracelet, which will fit up to an approx. 7.25 inch wrist. It also comes with a grey nylon strap.
MOVEMENT: Seiko 23-jewel 5619 automatic movement, manufactured in December 1972. We have performed a full service on this 5619 GMT.
CROWN: Unsigned mostly recessed stainless-steel crown.