The 4th Series World Time from SEIKO

Model No. 6117-6400 and 6117-6409

In November of 1969 SIEKO started production on the last series of mechanical world time watches in this series.

December 1971, 6117-6409, white dial
August 1976, 6117-6400, black dial

At the end of 1969 SEIKO started production of this 4th series mechanical World Time. It was a complete redesign of the previous watch, including a new case and crown, new bracelet, new dial finishes, new hands and an updated bezel. It also introduced an updated movement, the 6117B, now with hacking seconds.

As with the 3rd series, there are two reference numbers for the same watch, 6117-6400 for the JDM and International Markets, 6117-6409 for the North American Market.

Table of Contents


Key Statistics



41mm

Watch Case Size w/o Crown


44mm

Lug to Lug Measurement


Common

Rarity Index Among Cataloged Examples is 0.0 out of 10


345

Total Examples Cataloged


54.4%

Percentage of all Cataloged Mechanical Examples

Top-line Sales Info


  • MSRP: ¥13,500, $69.50 USD
  • Movement: 6117B, hacking, automatic, 3Hz / 21,600 bph
  • Production: November 1969 – December 1976

Case Specs


  • 41mm
  • 20mm lugs
  • 44mm lug to lug
  • Stainless Steel or Gold/Gilt
  • Screwdown case back
  • Polished Finish

New Dial and Hands


The silver linen dial of old was replaced with a new off-white linen dial. The black sunburst dial was replaced with a black linen dial. The linen pattern is subtle on the white dial, and more pronounced on the black dial. The black dial gets a red-ish orange 24-hour ring, which is also used as the highlight color on the black bezel.

The hour and minute hands on the white (and golden hue) dials have a black stripe down the middle, whereas the the same hands on the black dial are solid metalic with a ridge down the center.

Black dials are the most common in this series, accounting for about 56% of all watches cataloged. Around 39% were white dials, with the remainder 4% being the golden hue dial.

Note the grooved texture on the bezel. Also note the font, size and clearness of the 22 hour marker. Aftermarket dials often get that wrong.
Close-up of the GMT hand, again note the linear texture on the bezel in this shot
The date window cutout
Note the black center line on the hour and minute hands. These hands are the correct ones for the white (and golden hue) linen dial.
JAPAN 6117 | -6420T is the correct dial code for the white dials. There are aftermarket white dials with codes ending in -6400T and -6424T.
JAPAN 6117 | -6400T is the correct dial code for the black dials.
Hour and minute hands on the black dial do not have the black line down the center.
Dial code close-up, 1 of 2
Dial code close-up, 2 of 2
The applied SEIKO logo and printed WORLD TIME at 12-o'clock
The date window, and lume spot at 3-o'clock
Pin holes in the dial finish, perhaps an effect of aging?
Black dial, linen finish and indices
Linen texture on black dial
Indices at dial

Original Bracelets


The "Railroad" Bracelet

The most common OEM bracelet for this watch is referred to as the "Railroad" bracelet. Here are some detail photos of the bracelet, clasp and end links.

Top of bracelet with end link and clasp
Bracelet attachment at lugs, at case back
Here is the underside of the end links, where they meet the case.
Where the bracelet mets the clasp, side profile
Where the bracelet mets the clasp, back side
The SEIKO branding on the clasp
Top of bracelet and end link
This is the underside of the bracelet, detached from the clasp. One removable link remains on this side.
The side profile of the bracelet links shows an inner an outer layer of metal.
The Stelux H-Link Bracelet

Some 6117-6400's sold in the Asian Pacific were sold on a Stelux H-Link bracelet. There are many SEIKO bracelets that look similar to this one and work in ongoing identifying the correct version.

A view of the H-Link bracelet on a watch just out of the watch box / coffin.
The H-Link bracelet shown in a newspaper ad clipping.
Another look at the Stelux H-Link bracelet design

Estimated Total Production


These models had a 6-digit serial number scheme, allowing for up to 9,999 watches to be produced each month. They were likely produced from November 1969 through December 1976, a total of 86 months. While it is unlikely that SEIKO produced 9,999 of these every month for this entire period - we can use this as a ceiling, or max total production of 859,914.

It is unknown if any breaks were taken in production, but seems likely. There are currently 21 months with no production examples cataloged.

Further, we can determine a minimum total total production by adding up the largest serial number from each year/month in the current cataloged data. This suggests a minimum production of 226,038. Note: this assuming SEIKO started each month at 0001 and continued numbering with no gaps through the largest recorded number each month and year.

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.
$3,000+ 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.
$2,000 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.
$1,000 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".
$750 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.
$100 - 200 USD

Small Revisions Over the Years


This watch was produced for 7 years, more than 3x longer than any other series. While it remained largely unchanged during this entire period, the following variations have been noted.

WORLD TIME Position on the Dial

Early watches had WORLD TIME marked at 6-o'clock like the previous series 6117-601X – likely through Dec 1970. It was later moved to the 12-o'clock.

There are catalog scans showing WORLD TIME noted at 6-o'clock in later years. As of this writing it is unclear if these were old photos reused in the catalogs, or if production was mixed for a longer period. Based on the Image Study data, it seems that the 6-o'clock position much more common through 1970, and thereafter 12-o'clock seems to be the majority.

WORLD TIME at 6-o'clock, white dial
WORLD TIME at 12-o'clock, white dial
WORLD TIME at 6-o'clock, black dial
WORLD TIME at 12-o'clock, black dial
London, GMT and the "Error Bezel"

Early watches through the end of 1971 have London and GMT listed at different positions on the time zone dial. This is commonly referred to as the Error-Bezel, but it was not in-fact an error, read more here. When London returned to GMT time in 1972, the bezel was updated again to correctly reflect this change.

1969 - 1970 silver bezel, separate GMT and London - "Error Bezel"
1971 update silver bezel, separate GMT and London - "Error Bezel"
1972 and forward silver bezel, stacked GMT and London
1969 - 1970 black bezel, separate GMT and London - "Error Bezel"
1971 updated black bezel, separate GMT and London - "Error Bezel"
1972 and forward black bezel, stacked GMT and London

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

Case back changes

Two variations are found on the case back. The first is the water resistance notation, which appears in 3 versions:

  • WATERPROOF, through Sept 1970, on 6117-6400's only
  • WATER RESIST, through Sept 1970, on 6117-6409's only
  • WATER RESISTANT, from Oct 1970, on both models

Additionally, some cases are marked JAPAN F while others are marked JAPAN J. Unlike the water resistance notation, these manufacturing codes are found through the entire production run. JAPAN J makes up about 36% of current cataloged data, with the remaining 64% marked as JAPAN F.

WATERPROOF
JAPAN J
WATERPROOF
JAPAN F
This is the only example cataloged.
					Could this be an incorrect case back?
					Are there any other models that fit 6XX7-6409 from 1970?
WATER RESIST
JAPAN F
WATER RESIST
JAPAN J
WATER RESISTANT
JAPAN J
WATER RESISTANT
JAPAN F

The Gold Watch


In 1972 a gold version was produced.

Click the following link to read more:

Tips on Confirming Originality


This 4th series is the most common of the generation, with production at least 2x greater than any previous series. When confirming originality, one must consider both original vs after-market parts and the case manufacture date vs the parts used. For instance, a bezel showing GMT and London at the same position should not appear on a watch with a date prior to 1972. Likewise, a dial with WORLD TIME noted at 6-o-clock should not be found on later production years.

There are also world time parts that have been re-housed, into an incorrect watch cases. In other cases the screw-down case back is taken from another model. Most common are the 6117-6410 Navigator and the 6119-6400.

Additionally, silver and black sunburst dials and their handsets can be found incorrectly transplanted onto this series.

Click the following link to read more:

Ad from Google

Related Articles


Authenticating The Seiko World Time 6117-640X

Tips on confirming the originality of your Seiko World Time 6117-640X

Old Ad Scans: Seiko World Time 6117-640X

A small collection of ad and catalog scans of the SEIKO World Time 6117-640X

The Seiko World Time 6117-6409 in Gold

All about the gold/gilt world time watch from SEIKO, produced in 1972

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

Ad from Google