The Original SEIKO World Time

Model No. 6217-7000

The 1st Series SEIKO World Time was a special edition to commemorate the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

This is the inaugural version of the SEIKO World Time! It was first released to coincide with the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. Production ran from March through November of 1964, and again for a few months in 1967. A dolphin case back version of this model was produced in December of 1964.

Twenty six (26) reference cities were included on this first model, with twenth five (25) timezone markers (twenty six including the International Date Line marker). Paris and Rome are the only reference cities to share a timezone position.

August 1964, Silver dial, all original
August 1964, Black dial, non-original bracelet.

Table of Contents


Key Statistics



37.5mm

Watch Case Size w/o Crown


43mm

Lug to Lug Measurement


Uncommon

Rarity Index Among Cataloged Examples is 6.6 out of 10


143

Total Examples Cataloged


22.6%

Percentage of all Cataloged Mechanical Examples

How to use


To use the world time complication: start by making sure the crown is in the first position (pushed all the way in). In this position, turning the crown will rotate the inner bezel of reference cities in either direction. Locate the reference city representing your current timezone and rotate the bezel until the GMT / 24 hour hand is pointing directly at your reference city. The bezel is now correctly aligned so that each city marker indicates the current time for that timezone, using the 24 hour ring on the dial.

For example, say you are in New York, it is 3pm and you want the time in London. Rotate the inner bezel so that the GMT hand is pointing at New York. This should put the New York timezome marker at the 15 mark on the 24 hour ring. Now find London, and note that it is next to the 20 marker, indicating it is 8pm in London, 9pm in Paris/Rome, etc.

Top-line Sales Info


  • 37.5mm stainless steel case
  • In-house movement: 6217A – 17 jewel automatic, 2.5Hz / 18,000 bph
  • 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 black sunburst dial options with applied indices
  • MSRP of 12,000 YEN, $59 USD
  • Included 6 month warranty against manufacturer defects

Original Features (that remained unchanged)


While the SEIKO World Time did change several times over the years, many key features remained common throughout all versions. These include:

  • The crown cannot be used to wind the mainspring. Either keep the watch on a winder, or just shake it around a few times, set the time and wear it.
  • Crown placement is at 4-o’clock
  • Crown functions by position
    1. rotates internal cities bezel
    2. date quick-set
    3. sets the time (4th series models have hacking seconds)
  • Date window at 3-o’clock

Measurements


Lug width is just barely 19mm, original bracelets are 18mm, leaving a .5mm gap on either side for a sure fit
The case is 37.5mm excluding crown
Thickness is around 11mm, with aftermarket crystal
Lug to Lug is about 43mm
  • 37.5mm case
  • 19mm lug width
  • 43mm lug to lug
  • Stainless Steel, polished
  • Fluted Crown
  • Snap-on case back

The Case


The case is stainless steel with a polished finish on all surfaces and a snap-on case back with etched model attribution. The lugs curved down for a clean look, sitting flush with the case back when placed on a flat surface. The crown stuck out prominently at the 4-o'clock position.

Note: It is not uncommon to find pitting and/or fine hairline cracks on examples that spend a lot of time around water or in humid climates.

Lugs sit flush with flat surface, acting as feet.
The side profile of the case shows three layers or lines, where the case back meets the case and the case meets the retaining ring of the crystal
A closer look at the lug profile
Side profile, sitting on original bracelet

The Dials


Here are the 4 original dials, in two colors: silver (with linen texture) or black (with radial sunburst texture). Each dial color has two dial code variations. The JAPAN | 6217-7000TAD dials appears later in the 1964 run, and are much less commmon in general.

The silver linen dial, MADE IN JAPAN
The silver linen dial, JAPAN | 6217-7000TAD
The black sunburst dial, MADE IN JAPAN
The black sunburst dial, JAPAN | 6217-7000TAD

Despite the use of "T" in some of the dial codes, which is commonly used to indicate the use of Tritium lume, there is no lume on the dial or hands of this watch.

Of the dial options, it appears that 84% were produced with the silver dial, with 15% being produced with black dials. This is based on data collected in the Image Data Study.

Here are some more dial photos:

Linen / canvas texture of silver dial
Linen / canvas texture of silver dial
Sunburst texture of black dial
Sunburst texture of black dial
Date window, black dial
24 hour ring, black dial

The Bracelet


This watch was offered in a number of bracelets (more on that in the article on validating this model). The most common was the tank tread bracelet, shown here.

The "Tank Tread" bracelet
The "Tank Tread" bracelet - with a good look at the crown as well
Bracelet side profile
Bracelet and Clasp
Bracelet and Clasp
The correct End links
The correct End links
The correct clasp
18-8 STAINLESS STEEL T

Different Case Backs


Small changes were made to the way the case back design was applied. Early versions had an etched case back that was easy worn off. An updated case back with a deeper etching or stamped version appeared later in the 1964 production run. And in 1967 an engraved case back was used.

Original Etched Case Back - 1964
Updated Deeper Etched or Perhaps Stamped Case Back - 1964
Engraved Case Back - 1967

Here you can see what the etched case back looked like new, vs worn down

Etched case back when new
Etched case back worn away

Different Markings Inside the Case


There are at least a couple differences in the markings on the movement and the inside of the case back.

Inside a 1964 case back
SS
6217-7000
JAPAN
A
Inside a 1967 case back
DAINI SEIKOSHA CO. LTD.
6217-7000
JAPAN
A
Movement inside a 1964 case
SEIKO
17 JEWELS
Movement inside a 1967 case
DAINISEIKOSHA CO.,LTD.
SEVENTEEN 17 JEWELS
UNADJUSTED JAPAN

Estimated Total Production of the 1964 Olympic Torch Version


This model had a 7-digit serial number scheme, allowing for up to 99,999 watches to be produced each month. It was produced from March through November 1964. This gives us a maximum production of 899,991 watches. And while we do see several production months move above 10,000 total watches, none go much beyond that milestone.

Based on current data, at least 96,307 were produced in 1964.

Tips on Confirming Originality


This series was produced in high quantities relative to its short (9 month) production run. As of this writing, it is the second most commonly found vintage SEIKO World Time listed for sale, after the 6117-640X models.

Follow the link below for more information on confirming originality of the 6217-7000.

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.
$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.
$1,500 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".
$1,000 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.
$500 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.
$300 USD

The Dolphin Case Back


The dolphin case back was used by SEIKO to indicate water proof watches.

There is a rare version of the 6217-7000 that had a dolphin case back. Based on the Image Study data, this watch appears be a December 1964 producton uniquely.

Read more about it here:

The 1967 Olympic Torch (Re)production


The 6217-7000 was again produced in limited quantities in 1967.

Read more about it here:

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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

The Seiko World Time 6117-6409 in Gold

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

The Seiko World Time 6217-7000 - 1967

All about the reproduction of the first series world time watch from SEIKO in 1967

The Seiko World Time 6217-7010 - Standard Edition

All about the 2nd Series World Time watch from SEIKO in 1967

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