A Timeline, 1977 through 1988

This is a graphical representation of the major milestones in the digital SEIKO World Time watch series releases.

  • 1977

    The PAN AM

    The Digital Revolution, An Icon is Born
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    Model No: M158-500X

    By the late 1970's quartz watches had become the new standard, a future SEIKO embraced early and completely. In 1977 SEIKO replaced the then aging and outdated mechanical World Times with the all new M158-500X. Referred to as the "PAN AM", this watch became synonymous with airline pilots of the day. It was one of the first digital watches to include a world time complication, and certainly the most sophisticated.

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    Produced from 1977 through 1979

  • April 1979

    The Alarm

    The second series of Digital World Times
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    Model No: A358-500X

    The new A358 replaces the iconic M158 in 1979 with an updated model sporting several additional features. As the A in the model number suggests, this World Time included an Alarm. Two alarms infact. One that could be set based on Home time and another that could set based on World time. It also included a Time Signal complication - essentially a chime that could be set to ring every hour, on the hour.

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    Produced April 1979 - 1980

  • July 1979

    The WOPR (Pronounced WHOPPER)

    The third series of Digital World Times
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    Model No: A239-50XX

    The A239 was released around the same time as the A358 models. This watch had no direct predecessor or successor. Unique to this series was a first of its kind (for a world timer) dual LCD setup. With the click of a button, the user could toggle between a standard time and date screen and a world time map screen.

    WOPR (War Operation Plan Response) was the computer that simulated World War 3 in the 1983 movie War Games. Its display was a world map, reminiscent of the one on this watch. The name WOPR (pronounced WHOPPER), has been re-purposed here to stand for Wrist Operated Pilots Reference.

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    Produced April 1979 - 1980

  • Early 1984

    The "TWA"

    The fourth series of Digital World Times
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    Model No: A708-50XX

    The A708 "TWA" was the aesthetic successor to the M158 "PAN AM", sporting the same overall case shape and dimensions, this time with a vintage-inspired curved crystal, and four button layout. The A708 module that powers this watch is nearly identical to the A718 models, but lacking an alarm complication. Despite the common electronic components, the A708 looks nothing like the A718 models otherwise.

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    Produced April 1984 - 1988

  • Early 1984

    The Frankenstein

    The fifth series of Digital World Times
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    Model No: A718-5010

    A rare watch to find today, the A718-5010 "Frankenstein" was the first watch in this generation of world timers to add Frankfurt to the list of reference cities. It also included prominent pushers, reminiscent of the pegs in Frankenstein's monster's head and neck, and a unique case design. Known examples include dial frame variants in black and gray.

    Marked SPORTS 100, this watch was likely marketed as a sports watch with a world time complication, rather than a world time watch.

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    Produced April 1984 - 1988

  • Early 1984

    The John Cleese

    The sixth series of Digital World Times
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    Model No: A718-5030

    The A718-5030 model is sometimes referred to as the "John Cleese", as it was worn by the actor in the 1986 film Clockwise. The A718 appears to have been a premium version of the A708, including an alarm complication with updated liquid crystal display.

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    Produced April 1984 - ???

  • 1989

    The Next Generation - 5T52

    Quartz Analog and the Age of Discovery
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    Model No: 5T52-6AXX

    In 1989 SEIKO sunset their digital line of World Timers, replacing them with a new line of Quartz Analog watches. Early examples were based on the new 5T52 movement. Around 1990 this series became part of The Age of Discovery line, celebrating 500 years since Columbus discovered the New World.

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    Produced 1989 - 1992