The SEIKO World Time "TWA"

Model No. A708-5000

In 1984 SEIKO introduced several new lines of digital World Time watches. The A708 was the entry-level option.

In 1984 SEIKO released several new digital world time watches based on the caliber A708A and A718A modules. These modules were very similar, with the main difference being that the A708A did not include an alarm complication, whereas the A718A did. The A718A also had a modified LCD display to manage the alarm settings. The cases are however quite different, and for this reason, the A718 is treated to its own separate article.

The Stainless Steel A708
The Gold-tone A708

Table of Contents


Key Statistics



37.5mm

Watch Case Size w/o Crown


37.5mm

Lug to Lug Measurement


Uncommon

Rarity Index Among Cataloged Examples is 7.0 out of 10


22

Total Examples Cataloged


11.6%

Percentage of all Cataloged Digital Examples

Top-line Sales Info


  • 37.5mm case (not including buttons)
  • 37.5mm lug to lug
  • 28 selectable Time Zones
  • Display Medium: Nematic Liquid Crystal, FE-Mode
  • Time micro-adjuster : Trimmer condenser system
  • Offered in Stainless Steel and Gold-tone versions
  • MSRP: 14,300 YEN / $Unknown USD in Stainless Steel
  • MSRP: 17,000 YEN / $Unknown USD in Gold-tone

Case and Crystal


The case is about square at 37.5mm wide and tall (lug to lug). There are four buttons, one at each corner of the case. The general shape and size of the A708-5000 is reminiscent of the M158, in the best ways. And unlike any other model in the digital generation, this watch has a curved crystal, which gives a slight magnification effect to the LCD and lends a little more vintage charm.

The left side of the case, with top-right button (used to set time/date) recessed
Right side of the case
The case back

Comparison with the M158


On the wrist, this watch feels like the true spiritual successor of the iconic M158 "PAN AM", and is deserving of a similar moniker, the "TWA". Here is a side-by-side with the M158.

The Stainless Steel M158 at left, A708 at right
The Gold-tone M158 at left, A708 at right

Like the M158, the A708-5000 came in only two options, stainless steel with black dial frame or gold-tone. Jules Borel and Boley databases list a A708-5010, though as of this writing, no images of this specific sub-model have been found. It is likely this is an erroroneous entry, perhaps confused with the A718-5010 (Frankenstein).

Unfortunately the A708 and A718 modules are significantly less robust than the M158 and seem to have a higher failure rate. They also have significantly fewer removeable and replaceable parts compared with prior generations. Even the incandescent light is soldered in place on this module. The only reasonable repairs that can be performed are cleaning and replacement of gaskets.

Measurements


Here are approximate measurements.

Lug to lug is about 37.5mm
Width is about 9.5mm including OEM curved glass crystal
20mm lug-to-lug width for bracelet
The bracelet springbar tubes are just shy of 20mm wide
The bracelet itself flares out to about 22mm wide at the case
The bracelet tapers down to 16mm at the clasp

Dial Frames


Here are the two different dial frames.

The black dial frame, code A708-5000D
The yellow dial frame, code A708-500AD

Original Bracelets


YA24A

The YA24A bracelet was matched with the A708-5000 model in stainless steel. The lug width at the spring bars is 20mm, with the bracelet itself tapering from about 22mm to 16mm at the clasp.

The bracelet code is stamped on the underside where the spring bars connect.
The underside of the bracelet
The side profile
The underside of the clasp marked STAINLESS STEEL JAPAN
The side profile of the clasp and bracelet
The signed clasp
YA23A-E

The YA23A-E bracelet was fitted on the A708-5000 in SGP (gold-tone) finish. It it identical to the YA24A except the outside / top color. The underside and sides of the bracelet are stainless steel.

The bracelet code is stamped on the underside where the spring bars connect.
The underside of the clasp, BASE METAL TOP STAINLESS STEEL BACK JAPAN G
The bottom and side of the gold-tone bracelet are unfinished / in stainless steel
The signed bracelet clasp, SEIKO
The bracelet design is otherwise identical to the stainless steel version YA24A
The stainless steel / unfinished underside of the bracelet

Production Numbers


Based on the image data collected to-date, this series was produced from at least May 1984 through at least November 1988. These models use a 6-digit serial number scheme, allowing for up to 9,999 watches per production month/year. Assuming a 55 month production run, this allows for a max production of 549,945 watches, with a minimum production of 8,886 based on current image data.

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.
$300+ 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.
$200 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.
$150 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".
$100 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.
$50 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.
$20 USD

Other Resources


The Internet is littered with various documents about this watch. Here is a quick collection to save you some googling around.

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