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One of the major draws of Seiko’s 6619 automatic line - like the 1970 Seiko 7005-8030 MACV-SOG Arabic dial automatic sport diver here (the most rare of the Seiko SOG watches), with vintage Waltham military compass, NOS USMIL strap, and MACV-SOG patch - were their amazingly simplistic dials and hands.  These combine to form its single greatest aesthetic quality – symmetry.  But what else is significant about this Seiko 7005...

 

Ah yes – this is one of at least four Seiko divers procured by the U.S. Military Assistance Command Viet Nam – Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG) and issued to U.S. Special Forces during the conflict.  During the era these were made, Arabic numeral dial designs were rare and quite the departure from the norm.  It’s a safe assessment the Arabic numerals were one of the aspects MACV-SOG favored, and USMIL forces assigned to the secretive group were either issued these watches or instructed to purchase them at the PX before a covert ops tour.

 

A highly classified multi-service USMIL Special Operations unit, MACV-SOG conducted covert unconventional warfare operations prior to and during the Viet Nam War.  The unit conducted cross-border operations from Viet Nam into neighboring Laos, Cambodia, and North Viet Nam, with the USG infamously denying its existence until declassified in 1997.  SOG operations levied a high toll on North Vietnamese logistic supply lines and bases in Laos and Cambodia following the early 1968 Viet Cong Tet Offensive. 

 

But to operate in a non-attributable manner in these countries – where the USMIL wasn’t supposed to be – required atypical equipment.  Established in 1963 and principally run by Conrad “Ben” Baker, the USMIL's Okinawa, Japan-based Counter Insurgency Support Office’s (CISO) main mission was to issue standard and untraceable (read, sterile in appearance to offer a fig leaf of plausible deniability when USMIL forces were operating somewhere they weren’t supposed to be in the countries in and around Viet Nam) gear, clothing, and weapons to Special Forces in Vietnam, to include the USMIL’s MACV-SOG.  It would cease operation in 1973, following the US withdrawal.

 

The story of CISO and Ben Baker, these Seiko watches, and the work of SOG operatives is told by Frank Greco in his book, “Running Recon: A Photo Journey with SOG Special Ops Along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.”  The Seiko 5's ordered by Ben Baker have become much sought after in vintage military and Seiko collecting communities.  Want more on the MACV-SOG use of Seiko?  Read these two Watches of Espionage articles, here and here.

 

Per Greco’s tome and our additional in-depth research, SOG forces used four different Seiko references.  Some were CISO-issued beginning in circa 1968 and some preceded this time (so-called “Pre-CISO” watches) – the 6619, 6119-8100, 7005-8030, and the 6106-8100.  Of the four, the first iteration were the 6619 models, made available in two sequential styles,  the 8280 and then the 8060.  The 6119-8100 would subsequently replace the 6619, and be followed by the 7005-8030.  As noted, the 7005-8030 is the most difficult to track down out of all Seiko SOG watches, and CISO's own Ben Baker owned one.


This Seiko 7005 MACV-SOG comes on a NOS USMIL nylon strap, and with black nylon strap, springbar tool, SOG patch, vintage Waltham compass, and rugged travel case.

MACV-SOG 1970 Seiko 7005-8030 Automatic Diver, w/Waltham Military Compass

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Out of Stock
  • DIAL: Brilliant black Arabic dial, with each hour indice marked with a lumed Arabic numeral; matching baton hands.  Date function at 3 o'clock position works as designed.

     

    CASE: Stainless-steel case measures 37.5mm x 41mm, with matching caseback - all inscriptions are legible and crisp.

     

    CRYSTAL: Domed acrylic crystal, no scratches, cracks, or blemishes.

     

    BAND: This 7005 comes with a new-old stock USMIL dark green nylon strap, which features matte grey hardware - note this USMIL nylon strap is slightly smaller than the watch lugs by design, as it was when issued to fit the Waltham compass; this Seiko also comes with a new black nylon strap.  Both compliment the military look and heritage of this MACV-SOG Seiko. 

     

    MOVEMENT: 17-jewel Seiko 6619 automatic movement, manufactured December 1970.  

     

    CROWN: Unsigned stainless-steel crown, mostly recessed.

     

    This Seiko 7005 comes with a working vintage matte green Waltham military compass, akin to those used by MACV-SOG and other NATO military partner forces during the era - compass is in excellent condition.

     

    A portion of the sales from all of our vintage MACV-SOG Seiko watches are donated to the Special Operations Association and the Third Option Foundation.  The SOA benifits a range of programs for the USMIL Special Operations Community from scholarships to POW/MIA efforts; the Third Option provides support to surviving family of CIA Special Activities Center (SAC) operators and offers medical services for active-duty operators.

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