The 3rd Series World Time

Model No. 6117-6010 and 6117-6019

In 1968 and 1969 SEIKO produced a new version of their mechanical world timer.

In early 1968 SEIKO started production of a new version of their World Timer, referred to here as the 3rd series because this is the third case, dial and bezel design, as well as the third model number. It was produced under two model numbers for the first time, 6117-6010 and 6117-6019. 6117-6019 models were intended for sale in the North American Market, the 6117-6010 for the Japanese Domestic Market and the rest of the world. There are no differences between the two model numbers aside from the intended sales regions.

June 1969, Silver dial, on "Beads of Rice" bracelet
July 1968, Gray dial, on "Bricks" bracelet

The biggest changes in this new version were to the dial and the movement.

Table of Contents


Key Statistics



38mm

Watch Case Size w/o Crown


45mm

Lug to Lug Measurement


Rare

Rarity Index Among Cataloged Examples is 8.5 out of 10


84

Total Examples Cataloged


13.2%

Percentage of all Cataloged Mechanical Examples

Top-line Sales Info


  • 38mm stainless steel case
  • In-house movement: 6117A – 17 jewel automatic, 3.0Hz / 21,600 bph with 47 hour power reserve
  • Date display at 3-o'clock w/ quick change at second position of the crown
  • Waterproof to 30m
  • 2-way Diashock protection
  • Offered in silver linen and sunburst gray dial options, with applied indices
  • MSRP: Unknown

A New Movement


The new caliber 6117A movement was used to power this series. It beats at 3hz vs the outgoing 6217A which ticked away at 2.5hz.

A New Dial


On the dial, we see a new lume application at 12, 6 and 9-o'clock, and a rectangle of lume to the left of the date window at 3-o'clock. The hour and minute hands were carried forward from the lumed versions of the 6217-7010. The GMT hand however is all new, with a lumed triangle pointer, and finished in red on both silver and black/gray dials. The Suwa logo is added to the dial for the first time, underneath WORLD TIME, which is now at 6-o'clock, with AUTOMATIC moving to 12-o'clock. DIASHOCK and 17 JEWELS are no longer printed on the dial.

Silver dial
JAPAN 6117-6010TAD
Black dial
JAPAN 6117-6010TAD
Black dial
JAPAN 6117-6010TAD

NOTE: two black dial variants are photographed above. As of this writing it is believed that the difference in color of the bottom half of the 24 hour ring is attributed to sunlight exposure, with the more red colored hue being the original color

Changes to the 24-Hour Ring


Several changes were made to the 24 hour ring.

First, the 24 marker was replaced with a 0 hour marker. Second, each printed hour was either left-justified (top half of the dial) or right-justified (bottom half of the dial), instead of being centered. Importantly this changes the way the 24 hour position is read, with the line / marker now indicating the hour, instead of the center of the hour segment.

Because of this realignment, the 18 hour marker is now part of the top half of the dial, instead of being split down the middle. The 5 and 6 hour markers are now centered on the date window creating a kind of smashed up numbering there. On prior dials the 6 hour marker was omitted / assumed to be at the place of the date window.

Silver dial from previous series for reference 6217-7010
Silver dial from this series 6117-601X
Black dial from previous series for reference 6217-7010
Black dial from this series 6117-601X

Follow the link below for a more detailed look at the evolution of the dial:

Silver dials are the most common in this series, accounting for about 76% of all watches cataloged. The remaining 24% were gray dials.

An Updated Case


The 6117-601X used a revised version of the 6217-7010 case.

  • 38mm case
  • 19mm lug width
  • 45mm lug to lug
  • Stainless Steel, polished
  • Low(er) Profile, Reeded Crown
  • 31.5mm Screw-on case back
Left side case profile
Right side case profile w/ crown
Lug profile
Back side with end links and lug profile

This case is a revision of the 6217-7010, with difference found mainly on the caseback, likely to accommodate the new movement. The crown was also changed slightly from the prior series. These small changes can be easily overlooked if not checked closely. Measurements, including case size, lug width and lug to lug dimensions remained the same. Top and side profiles also appear nearly identical to the previous version.

Here is a closer look a the subtle changes to the case from the 6217-7010 to the 6117-601X.

6217-7010 on left, 6117-6010 on right. Note the difference in case profile around the crown, and the crown itself.
The 6217-7010 on top/left, 6117-6010 on bottom/right.
The screwdown case back on the 6217-7010 measures 35mm and covers the entire back of the watch.
The case back on the 6117-6010 is much smaller, measuring in at 31.5mm.

Reference Cities Bezel


Early examples of the 6117-6010 and 6117-6019 retain the reference cities bezel from the prior series (6217-7010). In April of 1968 the reference cities bezel got a big update, introducing a GMT reference separate from London, among other changes. This is the first appearance of what is often referred to as the "Error Bezel".

Silver Bezel, through March of 1968
Silver Bezel, from April 1968 through end of run
Black Bezel, through March of 1968
Black Bezel, from April 1968 through end of run

Follow the link below for a more detailed look at the evolution of the cities bezel:

Production Numbers


This generation used a 6-digit serial number scheme, allowing up to 9,999 watches per month/year. It is estimated that production likely ran from January 1968 through October of 1969, for a total of 22 months. That gives us a maximum production of 219,978 watches.

It is unclear if any breaks were taken in production, but there are currently 7 months with no production examples cataloged.

Based on cataloged data, a minimum of 105,772 were produced. It is not known how many of these were of each model designation (6010 vs 6019).

Resale Value


Please note:

  • This scale is a derivative of the Hagerty Classic Car Condition Rankings, adapted for watches. It is an attempt to keep it simple. They explain it really clearly here (albeit in car terms): Car Conditions: What The Numbers Mean.
  • Almost no one owns or has even seen a condition 1 example of this watch in at least a few decades. Most of what is sold online today are condition 4 and 5 watches - if you think you have a gem, it is most likely a 3.
  • While many enthusiasts spend inordinate amounts of time chasing down the best deal, digging through the dark corners of the internet, local antique shops and estate sales, and are ok fixing things up themselves... a lot of others would like to just know what a clean example is worth from a reputable source - that's what these are. Think of them as the price you would expect to pay if you saw one of these under the glass at your favorite local watch shop.
  • All values assume OEM parts or all original examples. After market dials, mismatched bracelets etc will reduce the value, in some cases substantially. For example a non-original bracelet can reduce the overall value by 10-20%, a non-original dial may reduce resale value by 80% or more.
  • Finally, gold-tone variations (these are not gold plated, but rather gold colored base metal) command a much lower resale value, from 50% to 80% less than equivalent examples in stainless steel.
Rank Description and Value

1

Condition 1
EXCELLENT

A perfect original (NOS) that has been professionally serviced and where all components are functioning as new; also a watch that has been restored to current maximum professional standards of quality in every area, showing no signs of wear; a 95-plus point show piece that isn't worn.
$4,000+ USD

2

Condition 2
FINE

Well-restored or a combination of superior restoration and excellent original, where any replacement parts are strictly OEM; also, an extremely well-maintained original showing very minimal wear, or NOS that has not been professionally serviced.
$1,500 USD

3

Condition 3
VERY GOOD

Completely operable original or "older restoration" showing wear; also, a good amateur restoration, all presentable and serviceable inside and out. Plus combinations of well-done restoration and good operable components or a partially restored watch with all parts necessary to complete a restoration and / or valuable NOS parts.
$1,200 USD

4

Condition 4
GOOD

A wearable watch needing no work to be functional; also, a deteriorated restoration or a poor amateur restoration. All components may need restoration to be "excellent", but the watch is usable "as is".
$800 USD

5

Condition 5
TO RESTORE

Needs complete restoration; may or may not be running, but isn't rusted, wrecked or stripped to the point of being useful only for parts.
$300 USD

6

Condition 6
FOR PARTS

May or may not be running, but is weathered, wrecked and/or stripped to the point of being useful primarily for parts.
$200 USD

Original Bracelets


This model is found on at least three bracelets in catalog/brochure scans.

The Brick Bracelet
The Beads of Rice Bracelet
The Mini-Coffins Bracelet
The Bricks Bracelet

This is a 5-segment bracelet. The end links are marked 6117 on the left side and 601 on the right side.

Note the solid side profile of the links. Most other bracelets of the time had a folded / layered side profile.
The end links are marked 6117 on the left and 601 on the right.
The clasp is signed with 5 micro adjustments
The bracelet attaches here with a spring bar.
The Beads of Rice Bracelet

This is a common bracelet across various SEIKO (and other manufacturer's) watches, with many after-market versions. The easiest way to determine an original beads of rice bracelet is to study the underside of the end links.

Note the square profile of the 3 center cut-outs and the additional two rectangular cut-outs on either side on the back of the end links.
The side profile and underside of the bracelet have rolled or folded profiles.
This bracelet is brushed outer links and polished inner "beads of rice".
The clasp is signed, with 5 micro adjustments.
The Mini-Coffins Bracelet

This bracelet was also offered on several other Seiko models of the period, and similar variations are also found on watches from other manufacturers. Original bracelets should have end links with engraved diamond patterns, continuing from the bracelet. The side profile and underside of the bracelet should match the photos here.

Note the side profile of the links. The removable links are connected with spring bars on this bracelet.
Note the folded or rolled underside with and the shape of each link from the back.
Photo from a different Seiko watch with this bracelet. Note the end diamond pattern continuation on the end link.

Tips on Confirming Originality


The Dial

The dial should be either silver with a linen texture or dark gray with a sunburst texture. All dials are marked JAPAN 6117|6010TAD along the bottom edge, where | indicates the 6-o'clock hour marker.

The Movement

These models were powered by the caliber 6117A. Some watches have been found with the (incorrect) 6117B movement, which was introduced later, in the 6117-640X versions - and will easily fit in this case.

The GMT Hand

There is only one correct GMT hand / style for this series. It is unique to this series in the World Time series, though also used in other adjacent SEIKO models (notably the 6117-8000 Navigator). It is red with lume in the triangle shaped arrow / pointer. The arm is narrow and of consistent thickness, short in length, with the pointer rotating around the inside of the hour indices.

The Bezel

Insure the bezel is one of the model-correct bezels documented here. Black bezels should be on gray dials, silver bezels on silver dials. Bezels with GMT should be on watches produced from April 1968 and forward.

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Reference Cities - Changes over the Years

A history of changes to the Cities Bezel on SEIKO World Time mechanical watches from 1964 through 1976

The Date Wheel - Changes over the Years

A history of changes to the Date Wheels on SEIKO World Time mechanical watches from 1964 through 1976

The Dial - Changes over the Years

A history of changes to the Dials on SEIKO World Time mechanical watches from 1964 through 1976

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